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The Tell Tale Heart Film to Literature

In: English and Literature

Submitted By gwolfert1
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When asked, most people would say the book is better than the movie but film brings a clearer image to a story. The Tell Tale Heart is a story about a man who claims he has a disease but implies that because it has not dulled his senses, he cannot be called mad. He also points out his mental disorder actually caused his senses to become more acute. When he claims that he has heard things from heaven and hell, it gives away that his super human sensory is an illusion. He seems insane, he talks about an old man who he loves, but he can’t stand his eye or his heart beat. Before the end of the story he kills the old man. In the film there are characteristics that add to this story. The visualization, since you don’t have to imagine it, gives a greater impact. Film has the ability to add a lot of emphasis that make certain scenes stick out from the rest. This grabs attention. Some elements in film can’t be put into literature, an obvious one is actual sound. There are many different similarities in film and literature adaptions, but film brings unique qualities to a story that literature cannot. Film adaptation provides a physical visual for the events in the story. The film begins with a scene of the killer standing in a dark room while in a straightjacket. It's an erie start for the film. The killer is breathing heavily and opens his eyes slowly. This scene gives evidence that he is mad mentally and emotionally. This also makes it seem like the killer has objective. The killer arrives at his brothers house at night time. They make a toast. They continue to talk while sitting in their father's library. They talk about their parents noting that their mother was more intelligent than their father with all his books and studies. The killer says he's noticed their father's library, books, desk, chess set, and estranged figures their father was so fond of. The killer's brother states that nothing has changed. The killer responds "no, your wrong. You and I have changed." While doing this he scowls towords his brother pointing toword him and talking while moving his hands. The killer then goes to his room. The film pans to the outside looking to the house. the camera slowly moves toword the left looking at the house.The film then pans to all the things that belonged to his father which the killer stated he noticed. This is a reflection on their conversation. It then switches to a scene where the phone rings. The killer's brother finds out something about his brother. He hangs up then the scene goes to the killer listening to his brother's conversation on the phone. He goes to hang it up, slightly trembleing and gripping the phone tightly before he hangs it up. This indicates there will be some confllict between the two coming up. The film then cuts to a sight of two wine glasses the brothers shared. It then goes to the killer talking to his dead brother who he has already killed. There is blood all over the victims chest and clothes. The killer drops a bloody knife and explains to his dead brother how his heart beat haunted him. His eyes move frantically around the room, as if hes searching for the things he's been hearing. He then states that him and his brother can now rest and contiues to walk in the room looking around in relief. Suddenly he hears a heart beat and his eyes begin moving frantically moving around the room again. He clenches his ears and has a look of terror on his face. Film adaption more easily defines tone and visually seeing the emotion brings a human aspect that literature can not replicate. When the killer approaches his brothers house, he peers up at it, his face displays an expression that shows thats he's been wanting to be there and that he has things he needs to do. As they get ready to drink their glass of wine, the brother makes a toast to the killers recovery. The killer also makes a toast to his brother saying "Thanks to you i will never be the same". The tone in which he says this displays that the killer has some significant feelings toword his brother. His brother goes to drink his wine with a confused expression on his face. Going to the scene where the brothers are talking about their parents, the killers brother states that nothing has cahnged. The killer snaps back and says "No!, nothing has changed". He says this while scowling toword his brother, backing up the fact that he completely disagrees with his brother's statement. His brother, with a face of confusement, asks what he'll do now. The killer replies with "rest, just rest". He says this with his back turned to his brother, his face has an evil looking smile on it. This expression foreshadows some evil doings in the future. When the killer's brother answers the phone call, his face turns to a look of being frightened, and his voice is filled with concern. Near the end of the phone call his voice changes to fearful. When the film is a the scene of after the muder, the killer's voice is very anxious with slight anger. As he goes on to talk about how his brother caused him to become insane his voice gets angrier. His face is in a scowel as he walks around the room his eyes move frantically around the room. This adds to the crazyness of his character. After he states the clock sounds no more, there are no more beats, his face and voice turn to the look and sound of relief. This is like the eye of a storm. Everything is calm for a second after he has just killed his brother. All of a sudden he hears a heart beat, his face then turns to terrified and he begins trembiling and looking all around the room. The film ends with one last look of his face full of terror. Literature can provide some intense imagery, but in this story there are things left out of the written version that the film provides. In the written version there is little told about the setting. There isnt much that tells about what the house looks like. In the film you can see the that the house isnt very modern, alot of the scenes were featured in a very vintage looking ibrary. This indicates the stories setting was some time ago. In the written story there was some physical character description. Such as the old man's eye with film over it. However it did'nt really describe what either of the characters looked like. In the film you can see what their faces look like how they're dressed etc. There are really good elements of imagery in the written version for action. When the killer peers into the old man's bedroom he describes how slowly he opened it. He sates it took him an hour to fully peer into the bedroom. Another good example is when he opens the lantern so slightly that only a small crack of light cuts through into the darkness of the bedroom. One thing that is left out in the literature is facial expressions. The killer describes how the sound of the old man's heart beat makes him feel. The reader can imagine what he would the killer would look like while he was thinking about the heart beat, but won't really know what it looks like. State of mind can affect how one interprets literature more than it can film. Although film can be broken down and analyzed to find more meaning than what is desplayed, literature leaves room for imagination. In the written version of the tell tale heart there is alot of things to think about while reading it. Such as what the house they were in looked like, what the killer looked like etc. Another example is the murder. questions like, how much struggle was there, how much blood was there, what did it look like when the killer chopped the old man into pieces. These are things one can ask him/herself while readin this story. The film however is more concrete. One can see how everything looked after the murder, exactly how reacts after the beating of the heart returns. Film also applies to a larger audience. Someone who's reading level isn't that great might rather watch a film version. When seeing things through their eyes they can be more clear. If a child had to read literature versions of spongebob, it would take away alot of understanding and feelings the child is supposed to have toword the characters and plot. In the Tell Tale Heart, one might not fully understand the reasoning for the killer wanting to kill the old man, other than the fact they know he's insane. If they were to see the film, they can see certain actions, expressions, and hear tones that add to character, therefor creating a better understanding of that character. Literature is limited to the literary elements for attention, but film can grab attention through sound alone. In the Tell Tale Heart music is played in the background. It sets a mood for when the two brothers are remonisoning. The music is played in a major key and is calm. When the mood changes negatively, the music is no longer calm, it is louder and sounds abbrupt. This applies with alot of horror films. When music is sounding erie and quiet it's usually building suspense for something big and scary to happen. When it does happen, the music becomes very loud and violent. Through film stories give a better visualisation and grab more attention for a larger audience. There are many different similarities in film and literature adaptions, but film brings unique qualities to a story that literature cannot. Through a film one can get a better understanding and all around gain more satisfaction from a story in a shorter amount of time.

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