Sample Film Paper on Adaptation of McTeague

Adaptation: McTeague

Adaptation is regarded to as process of translating information or creating a film from an original source/ text. A new text is more likely to be biased than the original work of a particular author. This is because information contained in the text is deliberately omitted by the filmmaker to reflect or meet the intended purpose. Mc Teague is one of the adaptations/film attributed to Frank Norris novel printed in the year 1899. There are many instances that denote adaptation. The film was produced in the year 1916. It contained some of the features included in the novel such as costumes and setting of the stage. Therefore, this essay critically analysis the adaptation of McTeague novel. Specifically, it concentrates on the adaptation themes as observed in the story as it unfolds.

In this section, the essay makes a comprehensive analysis of the alterations made in the film. Mc Teague comes from a poor family and he worked in a small dentist shop. Trina Sieppe visits the parlor for dentist help.  As Mc Teague was offering services, he became attracted to her to an extent of declaring his love for Trina. As time passed, Trina won a lottery ticket amounting to $5,000. Mrs. Sieppe decided to make the marriage work between the two adults. The setting of the film incorporates lighting, glooming and room size. First, filming takes place in a local shop where the main character (Mc Teague) worked. Some of the features prevalent in the shop denotes under stocking, poor working conditions, and lack of necessary equipment.

In most cases, MC he applied bare hands to remove a tooth. In addition, Mc was popularly known for his brutality toward clients who sought services in his small premises. The shop was under-stocked; hence, patients could not get all the medicine they required. This symbolized poverty in the society, which was widely spread in the society and from one family to the other. Accessing basic services proved to be the most difficult tasks to the underprivileged population. Thus, businesses were established by private players as a way of bringing services closer to the community.

The lighting of the films is also a central idea that defines the adaptation process. In the novel, literary texts used to describe the play are utilized in filming endeavor. However, there are differences between cinematic text and literary text applied in film and novel respectively.

The medium through which information or ideas are shared to the public defines the distinction between the two texts. Each media has a way of delivering the message. Their designated properties affect the structuring of texts hitherto. The voiceover commentary that is applied in most films denotes the adapted features from the novel; employed on the visual art to describe different events.  Therefore, this voiceover cannot be regarded as cinematic features of the visual media. In addition, films are descriptive and assertive to the designated ideas of the novel. This makes it an ineffective way of representing the main idea of the story.

Marcus Schouler brought Trina to the dental shop for services. He loved her but was hesitant to declare his affectionate to her.  When Mac declared his feeling and attraction to Trina and become good friends, Marcus jealousy towards the couple set in. Facial expression are lacking in the novel as the events unfolds.  When it comes to filming, human reaction and facial expressions is brought out in a manner that viewers share emotional feelings that emanate in the course of the play (Norris 39).


The Wedding

After winning the lottery, the marriage between Trina and Teague took place. They would settle in San Francisco and continue working in their small shop to make a living. On the contrary, Trina refused to invest the money in buying or stocking the shop her husband operated instead, she channeled $5,000 to her uncle’s shop. The action would bring contradict to the commitment by the two lovers. However, they lived happily after the marriage. Marcus on the other hand was dissatisfied by the turnaround of the events that happened within a short span. Therefore, the cordial relationship that existed between him and Mac deteriorated to an extent they constantly engaged in fights. In one occasion, the fight was so severe that Marcus broke his arm. To revenge against the family, he contacted the local authority and informed them about the illegality of the dentistry shop.  Mac was not a qualified dentist for he did not hold any academic paper that indicated his capability to conduct the dentistry work (Norris, Asner, Keach, and York 34).

The process through which Marcus intended to plot revenge would leave the Mac with no other option than to move to low cost houses. This would ensure that Mac meet all expenses. The decision by Marcus to report and betray is former friend was unexpected from a person who connected to this family. Even if they had some differences within themselves, the extent to which Marcus undertook revenge was extreme. Therefore, he is portrayed to be an unforgiving and inconsiderate about peoples suffering. He is happy to see Mac suffer and get deeper into poverty. Forgiveness is a virtue that is inherent in human beings. Thus, having a person who is slow to forgive denotes extra ordinary human characters.

When evaluating different sources of information, we find that adaptation depicts some changes. For example, the rift that emerged between the two is not well covered in the film. This is because the events take few minutes. Thus, inattentive audience may not notice the change of events as the play continues. Contrary, texts are well structured in terms of details especially regarding major events. Some of these social events make the story and interesting reading material. It captures the audience emotions hence shares the grief or happiness.

Thus, Marcus would use this weakness to launch revenge towards Mac. This is because Marcus believed that Mac befriended his girlfriend who eventually became his wife. Marcus was opposed to this move and developed enmity that deepened over time. These events follow each other in a chronological manner in the film. It would be essential to mention that facial expressions differ from one media to the other. Adaptations focus more on the physical outlook such as glooming and facial communications unlike original arts. The reason behind this is that films depend on visual representation of the idea developed by the authors. Some of the ideas or information may be lost during translation from one media to the other (McElrath and Crisler 61). Thus, an original novel is considered to be more detailed than an affiliated copy that derives its themes from it.

An issue of authenticity arises in consideration to the new document. Moreover, this adaptation incorporates some scenes that were not originally included in the master copy. They include Trina mother’s approval for her daughter’s marriage with Mac. Costumes also change over time and with successive adaptation, the design is deemed to include some extra features.  Therefore, the idea of adaptation fallacies comes in. One of these fallacies denotes that novels are structured along concepts while films deal with perception. The differences in the definition of perception and concepts offer contradictory statements. This is because the two words are used interchangeably in literature work. Contrary, the application of these words outlines their differing meaning. A concept form part of the main purposes in coming up with a particular piece of art. Thus, it is the general picture created by the author. Perception is the direction taken by the author in regards to issues discussed in the story. For example, this novel is determined to incriminate revenge as an act against humanity. Therefore, the entire play revolves around revenge, which leads to dire consequences such as murder and fight amongst members in the community.

Closure of Business

Mac’s business was at the verge of collapsing due to legal issues. His family utilized the proceeds from the business to cater for the daily needs. Thus, the closure implied that the family would look for other means to make ends meet. Being left with no other option, Mac moved into the street in search of a job in order to support the family. Poverty engulfed the family to such an extent that Trina was forced to withdraw the entire principal amount she had previously won. Before withdrawing this money, her husband took the remaining saving and left home, leaving her alone.   As time passed, Trina husband returned home exhausted. He begged for money from his wife who firmly refused to lend him the funds. A fight erupted and she was killed so that her money would get into the hands of the husband.  Mac was under the influence of alcohol when he committed the heinous act.

Extreme anger also finds its way into this scenario. This is because the two members of the family engaged in a commotion as they struggled for the little money left. The wife was aware of her husband condition but insisted to go on with the struggle. In normal circumstances, human beings run away from trouble. Therefore, Trina could have fled for her life and leave the money to the husband.

He could not continue living in this place having committed an illegal act hence fled to a new region. Freeing would ensure that he escapes the wrath of the community as well as government arrest. At this point, specification about the cinematic details increases the understanding capability for audiences.  This implies that the pictures created in the minds of the audience’s helps figure out the meaning of the novel. Reading a novel becomes a boring endeavor hence people end up losing focus in between events. Thus, an individual will have to read and reread the document to be able to comprehend the work of an artist.  Contrary, an image can stick in the minds of the audience for a very long time. This is why visual representation or films are critical to understanding a plot.

Fidelity in most cases is applied in analyzing these events as they unfold in the adaptations.  An adaptation makes reference to the original text but remodel the way characters behave or events are carried out. This means that a deviation emerges from the original intention of the author. Therefore, when dealing with an adapted text, caution needs to be undertaken to ascertain this deviation, which may alter the meaning. However, fidelity is applied in a manner that takes care of the period when the translation took place. It insinuates that a document translated in the 18th century will look different from a text re-modeled during the twenty first century.  Periods determine the medium to be applied due to changes in literature and other related works. Thus, care should be applied while defining infidelity on an article.

Characters in the story are categorized in this class. Performance for certain text may be repeated in different places by different characters selected to represent players in the text.  Those selected should fit into the shoes of the original characters created by the authors to avoid misconception. The costumes also require to be designed in a manner that they portray the intended picture and drive the point home. It should never be designed to suits the producer’s perception and score intended goals. However, this does not limit the production body from innovative service delivery. They are deemed to include insightful ideas and thought that will make the film charming to the audiences.

The Death of Marcus

The last scene in this story incorporates the killing of Marcus by Mac. This happened after Marcus joined the search for the murderer in this case Trina’s husband. Finding the accomplices would enhance his revenge mission. Marcus determination to surrender Mac to the authority upon his capture would bring happiness to his life. The enmity that existed would make Marcus do anything that would hurt Mac. Thus, immediately he heard about Trina’s murder he rushed to the street to look for Mac who was hiding in the Death Valley.

When they met, fighting started right away. Mac seemed very strong to overcome his partner and later killed him. Therefore, he is portrayed as an aggressive and cruel character who finds it easy to kill. In most cases, the inclusion of aggressive characters in a story attracts critics from scholars. Some of the reasons given include extreme acts and superiority characteristics are beyond human capability. Generally, people find it hard to kill fellow human beings due to the duty of care prevalent in the world. Therefore, superior individuals who kill for fun or for other reasons surpass humanity.

Novels tend to model complex individuals who act as influenced by their feelings. Their psychological states determine the decision made in times of crisis or when faced with challenges. The relationship between one character and the other will also contribute a lot to the direction followed in the implementation of decision reached at by diverse characters. Referring to McTeague film, Mac behaviors in diverse occasions implies that he is inconsiderate and extremely cruel. Very few people would kill for money especially terminating the lives of family members. Instead, men care for their wives and protect them against external threats. Furthermore, fleeing the home due to poverty and leaving the wife to struggle with life was an unwise decision for a man. However, the magnitudes reached at by the acts as indicated in the film are less assertive as compared to the affiliated novel. The psychological components and status of the victims mildly defines his character. Marcus on his part would try as much as possible to avoid his cruel friend.

In conclusion, adaptations are less effective in regards to the characterization of diverse players. A play can be analyzed in different ways. Some of the strategies applied include the setting of the stage or film, behaviors of different characters and the lighting hitherto. These features have deeper meaning to literature students and researcher conducting text analysis. The space in the room where the play takes place is also important in defining an adaptation.  Producers and writers of adapted text have a great responsibility to ensure that the original idea is not lost in their quest for new version of the ancient work.

Creativity is highly appreciated in literature. Authors take advantage of the feature to add new events to a play. Some of the advantages accrued to adaptations include improved understanding and simplicity. Ancient’s arts are content oriented and are less likely to attract and encourage people to read. An adapted novel or visual art is more appearing to the public. Thus, the population will consume contemporary arts more than ancient arts. Complex actors in ancient Novels, makes the work of translators hard. Finding a perfect performer to match these characteristic in the contemporary world becomes a challenging work.


Works Cited

McElrath, Joseph R., and Jesse S. Crisler. “The Bowdlerization of McTeague.” American Literature 61.1 (2011): 97. Print.

Norris, Frank. Mcteague: A Story of San Francisco. 1st ed. Champaign: Project Gutenberg, 2013. Print.

Norris, Frank, Edward Asner, Stacy Keach, and Michael York. Mcteague. Venice: L.A. Theatre Works, 2012. Print.