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Film Into Fiction Essay

In: Novels

Submitted By Metty
Words 2012
Pages 9
1
English 103
Date: May 28th, 2008
Fiction into Film
Even tough the film “Smooth Talk” & Joyce Carol Oates’s short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” are supposed to be the same story, one can only wonder if the same message is actually being presented. Through extensive research on the criticisms of both the story and the film, I have come to the realization that the overall moral & the characters of the story have been changed so much for the film version that at the end it’s questionable at best if the overall message of the story comes across as intended. Beginning with the moral of the story, in an article by Joyce Carol Oates herself entitled "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? & Smooth Talk: Short Story into Film” she discusses how she “deferred in the end to Joyce Chopra's [The Film’s Director] decision to reverse the story's conclusion… [in which] the film ends not with death, not with a sleepwalker's crossing over to her fate, but upon a scene of reconciliation, rejuvenation” (Oates, “Where” para 10). Yet, as this deferral might seem slight, in actuality it changes the whole tone of the story, as critic John Simon put it, “[this] disgraceful ending… turns allegory, Gothic horror, and tragedy into soap opera” (Simon, “Lowering” para 1). Yet, besides the ending Joyce Carol Oates did approve of the film, in the same article she also stated, that “Laura Dern is so dazzlingly right as "my" Connie that I may come to think I modeled the fictitious girl on her” (Oates, “Where” para 9). Before I go on I would briefly like to discuss a bit about the historical background of the story, one other thing this article discusses,

2 as well as a few of the other articles I researched discussed was how the character of Arnold Friend is actually based on a real life killer, “The Pied Piper of Tucson” Charles Schmid. He was a man in...

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