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Essay/Term paper: Short story/film analysis

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Society Term Papers

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Short Story/Film Analysis

Aric McDonald
Short Story/Short Film
Comm. 411-35
Spring 1997

The three short stories are similar because they all involve jealousy. This
type of jealousy surrounds the main characters who are envious of the
achievements or the attention that another man receives. The first story is
about an old man who is taking his wife on a second honeymoon when she
encounters an old suitor, creating jealousy for the husband. In the second
story, the jealousy surrounds Smurch who is envious of Charles Lindbergh's fame
and accolades. The jealousy in the final story is the envy of the attention
that any man with fame can receive from a woman. Each person's own insecurity
allows envy to control their actions and creates trouble in their lives. The
three stories all have jealousy, in some it is more clear than others. Jealousy
lead two of the characters to make a fool of themselves, and it cost another
character his life. In the first story, Charley took his wife Lucy on a second
honeymoon, or Golden Honeymoon, as it is titled. While they are in St.
Petersburg Fla., Mother was at the doctors office and began a conversation with
a lady, only to discover that she is Mrs. Frank M. Hartsell, Lucy's ex-fiancee.
This made Charley uncomfortable because he had rivaled Frank for Lucy's hand in
marriage. A story that began as a second honeymoon for Lucy and Charley, became
a jealous contest between two men. This reminds me of the movie, Grumpy Old Men,
because of the unofficial mini contests that the two men have with each other.
Comparing the film and the book, they were very similar except the sequence of
events were different. In the story, The Greatest Man In The World, Smurch was
jealous of the fame and accolades of Charles Lindbergh. Only some members of
congress, the President, and the press knew this information. They felt it
would be a disgrace to the United States if it was known to the public that this
world hero was a man with poor upbringing ,bad manners, and seen as a hooligan.
Smurch was not willing to change these traits, so the few officials that knew
about them, pushed him out the window saying that he fell on accident. The
book and movie had some discrepancies. One was the fuel tanks. In the film,
Smurch dropped the tanks almost on top of his crowd, while in the book, he did
not drop them at that site. Another contarst between them was after the landing.
In the film Smurch was carried off the plane, while in the book he was carried
off the plane and had less recovery time than the film. The major difference in
the film and book, would be the different way the story was told. The book was
a story of Smurch's world spanning flight and a little of his life; while the
film was more of the gathering of his lives' achievements and blunders, and less
of his flight. The film centers more on the young reporter finding the truth
and trying to expose it, even if it means loosing his job. After the
government cover-up, Smurch was seen by the country as a fine, upstanding
citizen who died a tragic death. This was also the only film to portray a
violent death. In the story, I'm A Fool, a boy takes a job working for Harry
Whitehead as a swipe for two race horses with a nigger named Burt. This was
seen by his family as a disgrace. The differences were many between the film
and book. The first difference was that the book started with Andy looking back
at the past summer, while in the beginning of the film, Burt and Andy are
transporting the horses between races. The book physically described Andy as a
"big lumbering fellow", while the film showed him as a small skinny kid. The
film never said anything about the "little chaps" who could get next to people's
sympathies and how Andy wished to injure them. One way that the film improvised
was that the racing carriages were too new. The carriages were obviously made
after 1950 because of the styling and materials shown. The materials were a
newer metal than would have been used in that time period, and was too exact in
symmetry. The racing carriages just looked altogether, too modern. Another way
the film changed the story, was at the race where Andy was a spectator. In this
race, the film had Andy still being a race horse swipe, when the book had him
working at a different job. At this time he was not on the road, so he could
not have had Burt cover for him while he was in the Grandstand. While in the
grand stand, he met a woman. Andy lied to her and said that he was the owner
with one of the horses who was checking out his trainer in secret. They fell in
love and exchanged addresses, but he gave her the address of the real owner of
the horse. His jealousy of rich men was the cause of his lie, this ultimately
made a fool out of Andy. Charley, Smurch and Andy all had the same flaw. The
flaw that they had was insecurity that let jealousy control their actions. This
proved to be an embarrassment for Charley and Andy, but tragic for Smurch. In
the end, jealousy got all three of them into trouble, but left only two a chance
for redemption.


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