Posted: November 27th, 2013
Hills like Elephants & The Yellow Wallpaper
In Hills like White Elephants, the couple seems to be arguing about whether or not the girl should have an abortion. The American man wants his girlfriend to have the abortion, while the girl wants to keep the baby. The American man pretends to care about Jig, but he feels that having a baby would tie him down, and consume his time and resources. He is selfish and uncaring. He talks to Jig sweetly to manipulate her into to aborting the baby. Jig on the other hand is aware that her boyfriend wants her to terminate the pregnancy for his own selfish reasons and feels powerless since she seems to love him. She is however stronger than the narrator in the Yellow Wallpaper and makes her opinion heard as opposed to simply obeying the man’s wishes. Eventually however, she is overcome by indecision and letting the man make the decision for her.
In both stories, the role of the men as the primary decision-makers in a relationship has kept the women in a state where they are unable to trust their won judgment and power. Thus they appear to be weak and undecided whereas their men appear to be domineering and patronizing. In the Yellow Wallpaper, the husband is not harsh to his wife, but treats her like a child, dictating what she is to do and not to do. He constantly downplays her opinions in order to make his opinions seem more superior. In Hills like White Elephants, the American man appears to be loving and affectionate, but only uses this as a ploy to convince Jig to have the abortion since he believes it will disrupt his life.
In the Yellow wallpaper, John is patronizing towards his wife and cares for her too much such that he treats her like a child and not an adult with wishes of her own. He combines the roles of doctor, caregiver and husband, and this fails since he believes that he knows what is best for his wife, and thus downplays her opinions. The story ends sadly with the narrator’s husband fainting when he realizes that his wife’s mental condition is now much worse than he had imagined. At the end of the story, the narrator begins to comprehend the fact that she has been forced by society to play subordinate roles in society while the men went out and took the positions of high standing. Thus, she understands her predicament but at the cost of her mental wellbeing.
In Hills like White Elephants the American man talks with an air of masculinity, where he expects his girlfriend to obey everything he says unquestioningly and is unsympathetic towards her predicament. He wants her to terminate the pregnancy because it is inconvenient to him. He pushes her to go through with the procedure, often speaking in a patronizing tone. He tells her anything he thinks she would want to hear, so as to encourage her to have the procedure. The girl appears to be assertive sometimes such as when she begs him to stop talking and listen to what she is saying. However, she is also weak and lets the man make most of the decisions in their relationship. At the end of the story, the girl and the American are still not able to communicate their true feelings to each other, and the stability of their relationship seems unstable.
The Raisin in the Sun
The film adaptation of Raisin in the Sun differs from the book in the way the characters are portrayed. In the film, Beneatha seems to be more thoughtful and multi-dimensional, she is aware that she is learning in order to develop herself and not just to gain a higher standing in society. She has a stronger and more likeable character in the film because her high-ambition and interests are clearly illustrated. In the book, she appears to be ignorant and superficial.
The film also adds more depth to Walter’s character because scenes were added where we see his day-to-day activities at his job. This enables one to have a closer glimpse at his emotions and reactions, and therefore it is easier to understand his character. The film also adds an emotional scene where Mama goes to the bar to find Walter, this is important because it shows Mama’s love and concern for her son.
The film version of the raisin in the Sun is easier to relate to because it is more detailed and gives the viewer a closer look at all the character’s personality. The book focuses on the storyline, while the film focuses on bringing emotions to the storyline, and making the story clearer. The book is set around the character’s lives in their small apartment, while the film allows one to see the characters both in the apartment and outside, hence it is more interesting than the book.
If I were directing the movie, I would not delete any scenes but would include them all because every scene plays an important role in enhancing the plot. I also think that the theme of racism was not aptly highlighted in the movie. Thus if I were producing the movie I would enhance the scenes that illustrate the theme of racism. I would also try to make the actor’s performance even , as there are some characters who deliver a sterling performance while others are only average.
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