Tag Archives: adaptation

Multiple: Adaptation

21 Apr

When thinking about adapting the story in terms of maintaining a sense of multiple or multiplicity, I am interpreting it in a literal sense where certain elements are repeated, and not just overly wordy or expressive. I feel as though the “scenes”, or parts of the story when the boy begins to come and go are repetitious and therefore represent the actions of multiplicity. Not only is what happens when the tree invites the boy to come and do what he had done as a child, but the actual wording as it is exact and repeated from before:

“Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in the shade and be happy.”

All of these phrases are exact from what happened when the boy used to partake in these activities. The trees invitation is in itself a repetition because she is remembering something that already happened and she is longing for it to happen again.

Also demonstrated through multiplicity is the tree’s willingness to give and give and give until she can’t give anymore. She gives her leaves, her apples, her branches and her trunk. This unconditional generosity is also a strong example of an element of the story that is represented in a form of multiples. If made into a short film, this series of actions when the tree gives all she can would all be filmed in the same way with the climax when she is all alone with nothing left to give. The resolve when the boy finally returns and is just looking for a place to sit and rest is not only the conclusion but is the final repetition, the final element of multiplicity.

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Exact: Adaptation

21 Apr

If adapted, The Giving Tree would make for an easy set and script. Although filler material would be required, it would be an expansion of what is already available, and simply an execution of what is imagined.

In terms of being exact and using the elements of adaptation from Seger, The Giving Tree has a great deal of direction and dimensionality- two elements she says are essential for making a story dramatic. If it were not for the exact nature of this storyline the sense of drama would be significantly less because of the tensions that is provided. Tension is an essential element to drama, at least in my mind, and the fact that sentences are left open, unanswered on one page until the next is read, it provides for the opportunity to expand on what exactly is happening in an adaptation, or in the case of reading the book first hand, an imaginative experience.

Also evident as a result of this story being exact is its division into three parts: when the boy is young, when he is an adolescent/young adult, and when he becomes a man in his older age. The presentation of his life in these exact stages as well as obvious transitions offer further support for the ability of this story to be adapted to another work of art, such as film. Without exactitude, a film has no definition and makes no sense to the audience.

Finally, The Giving Tree could not be more exact in its theme. Although its title is an obvious implication of what is to be read in the book, one who just reads the cover does not know to what extent or in what way the tree is a giver. With the tree’s explicit allowance and provision encouraged personally by the tree, the audience cannot help but understand that this tree really is a giver in both a physical and unconditional sense. Without exactness, this would not be understood, and this story not as cherished.

Light: Adaptation

21 Apr

My visualization of The Giving Tree is such that it could be adapted to a short film with relatively few edits. When I reflect on the book as a whole in my mind, as one continuous storyline, my imagination fills in the gaps between each scene and the time lapses. I imagine what the characters of the tree and the boy are like outside of their roles and interactions with each other, and develop the characters into fully fleshed-out and primary characters of a rich storyline, to which they do belong.

An adaptation would require the filling in of such parts of the story, but not in a cumbersome way- it would still remain as a light story, for it is only the interactions of the boy and tree that weigh heavily on the audience. The filler components of the story I image as the boy at home with his family, eating dinner, getting ready for bed, cared for by his loving parents. As he gets older, he is coming to and from high school, going on his first date, then getting ready to go to college. His life continues as such in average, every day sequences of events until he goes back to the tree. His returned visits are part of what is fathomable as a “conflict” because of the strained relationship and sense of guilt on the part of the boy and a sense of desperation from the tree. The episodes of the boy returning to tree over time represent story arcs, as discussed by Seger (pg.92). Because they are broken up over time in the boy’s life, but not over many chapters, these story arcs are also one way that this story is light- it is not of great burden to the reader to progress through the passage of time, although the burden is felt as empathy for both the boy and the tree alike. In terms of character motives, this story presents a great deal of intentionality (pg.93). The boy, as he gets older, comes to the tree with specific intentions and desires. As is the tree’s nature, she continues to give and give until she has nothing left but to provide a final resting place for the boy as an old man.

All in all, an adaptation would also present the juxtaposition of lightness with weight because of the story’s capacity to allow for lightheartedness in the frivolity of the boy’s adolescence, while at the same time emphasizing the struggle that is the relationship between the boy and the tree over the years.