UNIVERSITA PALACKÉHO V OLOMOUCI PEDAGOGICKÁ FAKULTA. Katedra anglického jazyka. Bakalářská práce. Eva Hřibová. Ian McEwan s Atonement: - PDF

UNIVERSITA PALACKÉHO V OLOMOUCI PEDAGOGICKÁ FAKULTA Katedra anglického jazyka Bakalářská práce Eva Hřibová Ian McEwan s Atonement: Comparison of the novel and film adaptation Olomouc 2015 Vedoucí práce:

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UNIVERSITA PALACKÉHO V OLOMOUCI PEDAGOGICKÁ FAKULTA Katedra anglického jazyka Bakalářská práce Eva Hřibová Ian McEwan s Atonement: Comparison of the novel and film adaptation Olomouc 2015 Vedoucí práce: Mgr. Josef Nevařil, Ph.D Čestné prohlášení Prohlašuji, že jsem závěrečnou práci vypracovala samostatně pod vedením Mgr. Josefa Nevařila, Ph.D. s využitím pramenů, které jsou řádně uvedeny v bibliografii. V Olomouci, podpis - 2 - Acknowledgements I would like to thank Mgr. Josef Nevařil, Ph.D. for his support and valuable comments on the content, style and form of my final project Contents Abstract Introduction Motion Pictures Movie origins The need for films and their impact Film industry vs. publishing industry Adaptation Main differences in adaptations History of adaptations Atonement by Ian McEwan The author of Atonement and his view of adaptation Introducing the author Ian McEwan Introducing the novel Atonement Introducing the screenwriter: Christopher Hampton Introducing the director of Atonement: Joe Wright Comparison of Atonement the book vs. Atonement the movie The story Main differences The form Example: Briony in the field The characters Briony Tallis Example: Briony s desire for atonement Cecilia Tallis Robbie Turner The themes and events The accents The colours The soundtrack The deceit Atonement Conclusion Bibliography Appendices Resumé Annotation Abstract In my thesis I focus on Ian McEwan s novel Atonement and the eponymous film adaptation written by Christopher Hampton and directed by Joe Wright. The thesis deals with the key differences as well as similarities of the narrative, structure, atmosphere, main characters and the two main topics. I have included introduction to the whole matter of adaptations and their impact on society. Chapters about the author of the novel, and main filmmakers as well as an introduction to Atonement itself are also provided Introduction Allow me to prove a famous quotation, allegedly by President Theodor Roosevelt, that Comparison is a thief of joy (Cooper, 2013), wrong. The aim of this thesis is not to steal any joy from the book nor the film. My aim is not to cause separation by comparison. On the contrary, I would like to illustrate how and where both pieces need, complement and broaden each other. This project will be divided into five main chapters in which I will try to provide side by side analysis of, what I believe are in their own right, unique pieces of art the book and the film with the eponymous name Atonement. Before my examination of Atonement and its adaptation I am going to look at motion pictures in general. I would like to study if or how they feed on literature, how they have developed, their meaning and what they bring to the culture and our society. I would like to find out if there is tension between the book and film industry and if so, based on what arguments. In the second chapter I am going to analyse what an adaptation is, how it is made and, what the main concerns are about them. I will have a look at the most common difference between an adaptation and its original novel. I am going to briefly look at their historical background. In chapter three I am going to deal with the particular work and theme I have chosen for my project. I am going to explain McEwan s view on adaptations followed by the introductory of the author himself, the masterpiece Atonement and its achievements. As it is not only the novel itself I am going to be interested in, I will also introduce the filmmakers of the Atonement movie, the screenwriter, Christopher Hampton and the director, Joe Wright. Then I am going to take a closer look at both pieces and make overall comparison from which I will then analyse the novel and film according to different aspects. I am going to list the differences and comment on how they either hinder its particular media or how they manage to convey the ultimate message through means available. I will analyse the film and evaluate the characters, themes and events that are included or omitted from one or the other. I am going to explore the typical film features such as colours, soundtrack and characters accents and see how they compensate for words My thesis is going to end with scrutiny of the two main topics of the novel the concept of deceit and atonement, and how these evolve in the novel and in the adaptation 1. Motion Pictures 1.1. Movie origins An estimate from late 1970s suggests that a third of all movies ever made have actually been adapted from novels. If we were to include drama, short stories and other literary forms that estimate would increase even higher (Harrington, 1977). At first sight one could easily suggest that the film industry feeds on literature, however the matter is far more complicated. Movies adapted from classics such as A Passage to India (1984) or Mrs. Dalloway (1998) attract a far vaster audience in a much shorter period of time than the original novel does in all its existence and thus having a retroactive effect into the book industry by catapulting sales of the original novel high up the bestseller list (Costanzo, 1992) The need for films and their impact To get deeper, allow one to raise a question of what would have been lost had the film industry disappeared. Gone would be not only the movies themselves but also the collective visual memories e.g. Titanic (1997) and its scene of the lovers with spread arms on the ship s foredeck. More than pictures would be lost. Non-existence of movies would have had impacts on languages: expressions like: close up, freeze frame, reverse angle, fade out, would not have seen the light of day. From a psychological point of view, many of our mental editing techniques such as focusing and filtering would be unthinkable without the model of movies. Beyond all, behind the stories there are issues that films expose (Costanzo, 1992). Films raise awareness of easy-to-forget, deposed concerns and topics, such as: Schindler s list (1993) - World War II, Hotel Rwanda (2004) - genocide, and more recent one Intouchables (2011) disability etc. Then there is an enormous fashion, self-image and style influence. Last but not least - the fact that we can get insights of other cultures, customs and behaviour is also credited to movies (Thompsonová, 2007) Film industry vs. publishing industry On a more materialistic and practical note the world would be one huge industry short with an unimaginable hit to world-wide economies (Costanzo, 1992). According to statistics, the film entertainment revenue is steadily rising - from US$ 89 bn in 2012 to US$ 93 bn in 2014 with projection of US$ billion for 2017 (Statista 2015). 1 1 Appendix 1: Graph - 9 - Putting it side by side with the publishing industry where revenue data from 2014 show US$ 101 bn (IBIS World, 2014) it could be claimed that there does not need to be tension between the motion picture industry and the book publishing industry (even though the latter returns include education, professional, scientific, technical and medical books without a direct link to the film industry), (IBIS World, 2014). Financially, it is safe to claim that both industries can and do co-exist for they have found a way to complement, enrich and deepen each other. Back in the 1960s, JohnM. Culkin, media education pioneer, observed that We live in a total information culture, which is being increasingly dominated by the image (Masterpiece Theatre). The world is going through a general transformation of society, in which people are less and less able to absorb information without visual imagery, in other words, there is so much information around that an individual needs to visualise a vivid image to distinguish, utilise and apply it 2. Adaptation The best explanation of the word adaptation found, comes from a Free Dictionary and it states that it is a composition that has been recast into a new form (The Free Dictionary by Farflex). It might be a play adapted into a novel or a novel adapted to film and so on. Discussions about such processes are as old as adaptations themselves. The main and everlasting concern of retaining the fidelity of an original in adaptation has and is always going to accompany each such transition (Marciniak, 2007). Childlike adaptation is most often a matter of pulling out dialogue from a narration but adapting a novel to film is, without a doubt, a creative, large-scale mission and it is inevitable that the task necessitates a kind of selective interpretation, along with the skill to recreate and sustain the established atmosphere, spirit and ultimately the message of the original work (DeWitt, 1963). The emphasis of adaptations is not on the source but the way its meanings are changed in the process of reception. Filmmakers are to be seen as readers with their own opinion. Each adaptation is therefore the result of individual reading processes (Marciniak, 2007) Main differences in adaptations The major differences in the book-film adaptations are that visual images stimulate our perceptions directly, whereas written words can do this indirectly and very often much more effectively. This is due to the required involvement and interaction with the reader. On the other hand, reading the word house requires a kind of mental interpretation that a mere viewing of a picture of a particular house does not. Therefore it is often argued that film usually does not allow its viewers the same freedom a novel does to relate to the plot or characters by imagining them in their minds. For some viewers, this is often the most frustrating aspect of watching a film of a novel they had read. It is because they had imagined it differently (WGBH-Educational-Foundation, 2011). Secondly, where a novel is controlled by only one person, its author; a film is the result of the collaborative effort by many people. There is the screenwriter s subjective understanding of a particular literary work, the director s overall envisaged goal and then the actors ability to fulfil the above. Not to mention the sound director, costume director, location director and cut/graphics teams (WGBH-Educational-Foundation, 2011). The main gain of adaptations lies in spotting the unity of the artistic communication across media. Films contextualize books in a visible and audible environment and encourage viewers to find out the unsuspected ways of seeing and hearing things (Marciniak, 2007) History of adaptations Since the beginning of film making, novels have served as a rich supply of screen narratives. The first film adaptation occurred in 1896 with Thomas Edison s extract of a Broadway play called The Widow Jones (Ross, 1987). 2 The first films were under a minute long and until 1927 produced without sound. Nevertheless it took approximately 11 years for the innovation of motion pictures to grow into a recognized large scale industry (Harrington, 1977). Tolstoy was fascinated by the motion feature of the movies. He declared that: The cinema has divined the mystery of motion, and that is its greatness, (Harrington, 1977). Cinema has uncovered and developed a language of motion which often speaks louder and more accurately than words. Such a claim goes in hand with a psychological thesis that over 70% of information is conveyed through non-verbal-communication (Argyle, 1975). All the above arguments suggest that our culture might have entered an era in which novel adaptations are, so to say, younger brothers of books. Pieces that reach vaster audience spreading the book s core message. Michael Hasting explains: Film is visual brevity... If the novel is a poem, the film is a telegram (Masterpice Theatre). In the world of extensive speeches, lengthy promises, stretched commentaries commentating commentaries, a telegram might be somewhat refreshing, even leaving room for one s opinion and triggering curiosity or desire to search further. 2 Appendix 2: Picture of the first film adaptation 3. Atonement by Ian McEwan 3.1. The author of Atonement and his view of adaptation The author of the novel Atonement, Ian McEwan, may have envisaged his book being made into a film, for he had put in his contract that he was to be the executive producer. He even reserved the right to choose a screenwriter (Rich, 2007). This surprised the media as most novelists run from such an idea, worried their prose would be misrepresented. McEwan never wanted to write the screenplay (avoiding potential directors comments about not understanding his own characters), however he wished to stay very closely involved and to be to some extent part of the project (Solomon, 2007). One must wonder if that implies that he had predicted making of the film, visualising and adding up to the novel to make even a greater joined piece of art, or if he wanted to stay in charge of a potential movie to make sure it remained highly faithful to the original, conveying its whole meaning and not just taking advantage of the book s bestseller title, making it into something the author could not be proud of. Though he is adamant he does not write with an adaptation in mind, his exhaustive prose offers itself to the screen. McEwan says: I always think of the novel as a visual form. I think of people as visual creatures. It s our strongest sense. The key to an important scene is to get the visual details correct. His clear-cut, lyrical style is without doubt adaptable, down to the details one probably does not even notice when they are filmed (Dawson, 2014) Introducing the author: Ian McEwan A novelist and a screenwriter, Ian Russel McEwan 3 was born in 1948 in Hampshire, Great Britain, but spent a sizable part of his childhood outside his birth land. Due to his father s service in the army, his family lived in East Asia, Germany and North Africa. McEwan insists that his babysitters were corporals (Kellaway, 2001). The family returned to England when he was twelve. McEwan studied at the University of Sussex, graduated from English Literaturein 1970, then continued at the University of Anglia, receiving an MA degree in Creative Writing. Ian R. McEwan is widely considered to be one of the most important authors writing in English (Matthews, 2002). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (Royal Society of Literature), the Royal Society of Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Matthews, 2002). 3 Appendix 3: Ian McEwan s portrait In 1975 he published his first work - a collection of short stories called First Love, Last Rites. He immediately attracted attention for disturbing storylines and stylistic brilliance. Although his work was drenched in deviant sex, violence, and death, he was never regarded as a mere teller of cheap thrills. Among his other work are titles such as The Cement Garden (1978), The Child in Time (1985), Enduring Love (1997), Amsterdam (1998) etc. He is also the owner of several honours. As his literary style matured, McEwan moved away from unsettling themes like incest, sadism and obsession to discover more introspective and contemplative human dramas (Nagy, 2003). Such ripeness climaxes in his best work of fiction - a masterpiece called Atonement, published in 2001 (Yardley, 2014) Introducing the novel Atonement Atonement (McEwan, 2002) is a novel about a purposeless wrongdoing, irreversible consequences and an attempt for atonement. In three carefully crafted parts, the story starts in an English country mansion in 1935 with domestic events that conclude in a crime story. Part Two takes place five years later in France where the reader is walked through the horrors of World War II which climax in Dunkirk during the British evacuation. Part Three shifts back to London, into a hospital expecting an influx of wounded soldiers. The magic turn comes at the end with an epilogue in present day the late 1990s. The main protagonist addresses the reader directly and indiscriminately changes hitherto understanding of the plot. The all-revealing, naked truth shocks the audience. Part One is, in the book, divided into fourteen chapters, but Part Two, Part Three and the epilogue are chapters on their own. One hot summer s day, the Tallis family (Emily, the mother, Cecilia and Briony, the daughters) await a number of visitors - their son/brother (Leon) with his friend (a chocolate magnate Paul Marshall) and relatives three siblings (Lola and twins Jackson and Pierott) whose parents are going through a divorce. The reader never meets the father (Jack Tallis) as he is off in London at his government job and who is only present through his wife Emily, who is in contact with him. The first hundred pages describe the hottest day of the summer in the day of family reunion, social dialogues and detailed estate description. Emily is incapacitated with her continuous migraine, Cecilia is floating between the mess in her room, smoking cigarettes and arranging flowers in a family valued vase, and Briony, a thirteen-year-old perfectionist obsessed by foreseeing herself as a cutting edge, innovative writer. Then there is Robbie, the lower class family friend, the housekeeper s son, whose studies were financed by the Tallises. He has received his literature degree from Cambridge and is back in the house for the summer, indecisive about the course of his following studies. More importantly, Robbie realizes he is passionately attracted to Cecilia. The vivid calmness stretching throughout the pages impliedly leads to a catastrophe. Inspite of Cecilia s inherited snobbery, she returns Robbie s attraction for her but the couple is immediately torn apart by a lie constructed by Briony s ghastly naivety and immaturity. All three of them must deal with the cost. Unexplained deception results in Robbie s imprisonment and entering WWII Forces. Cecilia leaves home and severs connection with her whole family, moves to London and becomes a nurse. Their unfulfilled relationship is accompanied by the simplest wish: Come back, come back to me which resonates throughout the book. Briony, the main protagonist, matures from naivety and goes about searching for reparation and finally atonement. Atonement was shortlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize for fiction. The piece won for the 2001 James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the 2001 Whitbread Novel Award, the 2004 Santiago Prize for the European Novel and the 2002 WH Smith Literary Award (Ian McEwan Website). It also won the 2002 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction (Los Angeles Times, 2002), the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction (National Book Critics Circle, 2002) and the 2002 Boeke Prize (Goodreads.com, 2002). In its 1000th issue, Entertainment Weekly named the novel number 82 on its list of the 100 best books from The Observer mentions it as one of the 100 greatest novels ever written, calling it a contemporary classic of mesmerising narrative conviction (Behr, 2005). In 2010, the novel was listed by the TIME magazine among hundred greatest Englishlanguage novels since 1923 (Lacayo, 2010). The novel was adapted into an eponymous film, Atonement in The Guardian suggested that Atonement was also being made into an opera (Flood, 2010) but when an enquiry was made about the status of such project, it was stated by McEwan s agency that it had been put on hold (Lewis, 2015) 4. Among the long list of success there is a controversy overshadowing the bestseller. In 2006, romance and historical author Lucilla Andrews condemned that McEwan had misused material on wartime nursing from her autobiography No Time for Romance (1977) 4 Appendix 4: correspondence (Langdon, 2006), however, McEwan claimed innocence of plagiarism and acknowledged his debt to the author(mcewan, 2006). In 2008, Atonement the film won an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score composed by Dario Marianelli and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year (Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster), Best Performance by an Act
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