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English 245: Modern Fiction

a collaborative exploration of pervasive tropes, themes, and concepts in contemporary fiction

Author

jenteganhunt

Novel vs Film: Adaptation

For my research project I have been examining the reltionship between novels and their film adaptations. One of the most common complaints against film has to do with the way it is visualized. While reading a novel we use our imagination to create the world within. Due to this every individual has a different conception of what the semplica girls, B-more, or North Cathage, Missouri looks like. When we then watch the film adaptation that ability to create the world as we see it is taken away and instead we are presented with the way in which the director sees it.

Now that we have begun to watch Gone Girl we can examine how this visual form differs from our preconceived notions.  I myself had already seen the film about a year prior to reading the novel. Some of the films conceptualization of the story did stick with me, most notably Ben Affleck as Nick and Neil Patrick Harris as Desi. However I had forgotten much of the movie when we read the novel. Now going back to the movie I find that my notions of these places and characters is quite different from the way it is depicted in the movie. For instance the attitude which Margo portrays is considerably more monotone than I imagined. Also parts of the setting such as Nick and Amy’s house, the abandoned mall, and The Bar all differ from how I visualized them. Are their any major points which differ for you between the two forms? If so how does it affect your enjoyment of the film?

We complete each other…

“We complete beach other in the nastiest, ugliest possible way.” (Pg 393)

This quote from Nick sums up the realtionship between he and Amy perfectly. Amy is a complete sociopath who needs people to love her absolutley. This love she feels is what is owed to her, that she is in fact Amazing Amy. We see this whenever someone compliments her and her reaction is simply I know or about time you realized it. “If you said she looked beautiful, she knew that was fact. If you said she was brilliant, it wasn’t flattery, it was her due.” (Pg 355) For those who don’t love her or even those who are loved more than her we have seen the dire consequences. Nick on the other hand is someone who works tirelessly to get people to love him. Near the end of the novel Nick worries about how his breakup with Andy went. “I just- hate how it ended” (Pg 356) he says despite how much damage she caused to in the case and to his face. He desperately needs her to like him despite all of the turmoil. When he is with Amy he knows that the only way for her to like him is to show unwavering love and devotion to her. For this love and devotion, Amy in turn loves him. Their faults feed off of each other creating as Nick so perfectly phrases it “a sick, fucking toxic Mobius strip” (Pg 393). Looking into the future of this relationship as a child is introduced I wonder how this will affect the dynamic. Amy will certainly expect unconditional love and admiration from the child but it’s very likely that it may like Nick better. If this happens will Amy be able to accept it, or will she seek revenge upon Nick and their child?

How it was written

In reading Gone Girl I am particularly amazed by the way in which it was written. In the story so far we have three different narratives, Nick’s, Diary Amy, and Real Amy. I wonder how Flynn went about writing the novel. Do you think that she wrote each narrative in one shot or did she write it how it appears in the book?

I feel that each way has both positives and negatives. If she wrote each narrative one at a time it would certainly be easier to maintain that narratives voice which she does so well. However the downside of this way of writing is that it would be harder to maintain the overall timeline, though a good outline could certainly alleviate this issue. If she skipped back and forth between the different character narratives it would be harder to maintain the distinct voices but easier to maintain a fluid timeline. Either way the novel is amazing.

Netflix

For the Master of None assignment I finally gave in and renewed my Netflix account after almost two years without it. I was pleasantly surprised that not only was Master of None a great series but that there was an abundance of other amazing shows. These shows come about by Netflix giving talented artists the means to make the show they want to make. Also these shows often play out in highly sequential order where a 12 episode season is really a 12 hour movie. Talented artists are creating their own dream shows not limited by needing to appeal to a mainstream audience or time constraints placed on network shows. These Netflix series are putting out complex and involved stories which would rival many modern fiction novels. Television is an artform which is less than a century old, perhaps the Netflix program model is the next step in its evolution. Was the novel an instant success or did it take centuries to evolve into what some might call “high art”. Perhaps the Iron Man 7‘s and B list celbrity reality shows are merely the growing pains of art. What do you think?

 

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