Teacher Guide

Washington Square Lesson Plan

Relationship to Other Books

In addition to the many other novels, nonfiction, and letters of Henry James, consider the film versions of Washington Square, first adapted for film in 1949. The Heiress was directed by William Wyler and starred Ralph Richardson as Dr. Sloper and Montgomery Clift as Morris. Olivia de Havilland earned an Oscar for her portrayal of Catherine, but changes to the end of the story put an emphasis on revenge rather than autonomy. Ironically, the film’s ending is more melodramatic than James’s. This is because the film was written by the same playwrights who wrote The Heiress in 1947 based on James’s novel.

The 1997 film Washington Square is more faithful to James’s work. It was directed by...

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