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Short Story and Short Films

The two short stories are similar because they both involve love. The stories are and different because they deal with two unique aspects of life. One of the stories was about a young gentleman by the name of Giovanni and his love with the beautiful Beatrice. The other story was about a young boy by the name of Paul and his love with the theater. The existence of love was present in both stories and both times the love lead the characters astray. The existence of love lead both characters in to trouble.

Both characters were warned about the trouble that they were headed for by the people that were looking out for their best interests. In Rappaccinis Daughter, Giovannis professor warned him about a myth of a woman who was fed poison little by little until she was immune to this poison and could kill with her lips or touch. This was a parallel of the situation surrounding Beatrice, Rappaccinis daughters apparent poisonous body. Giovanni disregards his professor, hence ignoring the warnings.

In the story Pauls Case, Pauls father forbids him to go to work as a usher in the theater, because of Pauls trouble in school. His father calls the hall and tells Pauls boss not to employ him anymore. His father even tells all of his friends in theater not to see Paul. Paul, like Giovanni does not listen to his peers. Paul steals money from the print-shop and goes to New York to live the good life like the people that he used to seat at Carnegie Hall. The stories deal with three different types of love. Rappaccinis Daughter, deals with the love of science and the love of a woman.

Today there are scientists, who are doing experiments on people “for the better of human kind”. These scientists are too busy thinking if they could, without thinking if they should. This is just like Rappaccini had done to his daughter, he turned her into a monster with out thinking if it was just to do this even for the sake of science. Another type of love was Pauls passion for theater and the good life. In Pauls Case, Paul is different than every one else. He grew up in the industrial revolution and money was every thing.

Paul loved the theater which made him different from all the other kids. I think that one of Willa Cathers biggest influences for this story was her teaching career. She might have taught a student with similar behavior problems as Paul and built off that personality. And she probably knew kids who were different and were treated like and outcasts. Films adopted from stories often depend on visual aids rather than descriptive language. This is why in Rappaccinis Daughter and in Pauls Case there are differences between the film and the short story.

Although the stories are relatively the same as the books there are minor differences and have a small effect on the ideas they are trying to get across. In Rappaccinis Daughter Giovanni witnesses flowers, butterfly, and a lizard die, at the hands of Beatrice, but in the film we only see the flowers and the butterfly die. The lizard probably does not die in the film because that would cost more money, while not infringing on the potency of her poison. Another time the film was different from the story was when Beatrice came out and hugged the deadly plant.

This is out of order from the books perspective, in the book this happens after he is in the garden. Another cost cut would be Beatrices purple dress was the same one throughout the film. One event that was changed was in the book there he breathes on a spider in his room and it dies; this does not take place in the film, probably because of cost. The film substitutes this with a scene which is not in the story. Giovanni is walking down the street and his class mate gives him flowers, they die almost instantly.

This showed he too had become part of Rappaccinis experiment. In Pauls Case most of the difference was the budget cuts, but some of things were just changed. One way that they kept that they kept the budget low was that they did not use Carnegie Hall. Instead they showed a small concert hall. Also in the film it gives a poor portrayal of Pauls room and of Cordelia Street. The bad room and street was another budget issue, it had to be this way because it would be very costly to film the actual Whaldorf Astoria and the street as it would have been in that time period.

One scene that never took place in the story that is in the film is when Paul saw his father asking the clerk about him in New York. I think that this is shown to let the audience know that it is the end of Pauls rich boy charade. While in the story he just reads about the theft in the newspaper, Then leaves the hotel. Nathaniel Hawthorne and Willa Cather were two writers who were born on the east coast, but schooled at opposite ends of the continent. Even though they were of different sexes and backgrounds they both became respected and famous writers.

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