The Reader vs the Hours Essay example

Submitted By TimMcCaffrey1
Words: 1119
Pages: 5

During the eight films that were shown, there were many instances where the characters would change. Whether this is a change spanning over the entire movie, or a sudden plot twist where a character changes his or her beliefs, a director needs to make choices on how to present a character. Throughout “The Reader” and “The Hours,” there are many character spins that allow an audience to always be on their feet. The characters Hannah from “The Reader,” and Laura from “The Hours” create new aspects to the plot by a moral change that comes from within themselves. Hannah Schmitz, the leading lady role for “The Reader” is first seen as a character in charge. When she first appears on screen she is a dominant figure and acts like a motherly figure towards Michael or “kid” as she calls him. As the story progresses forward the viewer sees Hannah having some flaws in her life that Michael doesn’t necessarily see at first. He only sees her as this powerful, working woman who he finds his first sexual experience with. He falls in love with her after the first experience he had with her, but to her he is just an empty void being filled. This is only the forefront until the viewer see the actual struggles Hanna has throughout the movie. Her first powerful choice in the movie was when she decides to up and leave. Hanna insists on this emotional distance with Michael which causes him to be heartbroken when she leaves. When Michael’s law students sit in on the trial where Hanna is being tried, he finds out that she was once guard who was involved in the murders of hundreds of Jewish prisoners. Michael was very upset with Hannah for doing these terrible things to these innocent people as well as her leaving him out of the blue. His unsympathetic view of Hanna is put to rest when he finally realizes that she is hiding another secret; she cannot read. This secret now explains a lot of unanswered questions about her behavior during their affair, and why she insisted he read to her and why she left so suddenly. This also shows why Hannah had favorites in the SS and singled them out to read to her. She had the moral choice of doing what she did to those innocent Jews, but she did it because she had too, not because she was influenced by it. There is a change that occurred in Hannah throughout this movie and especially this point in time. She is now faced with a life sentencing charge and doesn’t seem to be a powerful woman anymore. She has internalized these thoughts of her illiteracy and made it apparent she will not allow this charge to give up her secret. She then admits to writing the report which she believes is the only thing that she thinks will save her dignity. Hanna is a character whose personality is based on pride and power. They’re the things that define her, and it’s the way she sees herself. When either of these comes into threat of being lost, she’ll do anything to retain them. She is slowly breaking down at this point and the court room sees her as an easy target. She did still have her wittiness about her as the court judge asked why she would do such a thing. She innocently asks ‘…so what would you have done?’ This question is also aimed at the audience. This asks each audience member to look at themselves and to stand in the shoes of the accused and asks what they would do in her shoes. After Hannah is convicted, she makes a change that comes from within her soul. She finally admits to Michael that she cannot read and attempts, with the help of his audio books, to read and write for the first time. This final realization that the things she allowed that were immoral pushes her psyche into believing she does not belong on earth any longer. In “The Hours” Laura Brown is a character that had a lot going on in her life.
As she was living her life in Los Angeles, she could relate to Clarissa Dalloway, a character in the book she was reading. Her country was also recovering from war. But Laura had some real