The Madman Short Story Analysis

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What we cannot help but notice is the apparent simplification of the aspects of the double that Poe set up in his short story. Where the eye doubled with “I”, only the symbolic Evil Eye, reminder of death, remains. Where it was not very clear whether the madman and the old man were two distinct persons, all adaptations choose two actors to play them –the only ones which seem to deviate from this are the spoken words and Lou Reed’s songs, as only one man speaks for the entire tale and thus gives the impression to be all the characters. Simplification, or elision, is an inevitable process which every adapter must apply to their work, otherwise they risk ending up with a film like Erich von Stroheim’s adaptation of Frank Norris’ McTeague. Indeed, when this Austrian-American filmmaker decided to adapt this novel as faithfully as he could, it resulted in a nine-hour film which he eventually had to cut down to two hours of nonsense. Elision is essential so as not to lose the spectator and to comply with the codes of the format of the adaptation. It also helps at bypassing difficulties such as the inner monologue. For instance, how were all these adapters supposed to do when most of the inner divide of the madman happens in his thoughts? The 1928 adaptation being silent, it…show more content…
In a way, this shows how much “The Tell-Tale Heart” is now part of the popular culture, and people can refer to it in anything, from the Simpsons to a very serious essay. It might not have happened if adapters had refrained from showing their work to the world. As a result, more than a medium onto which you transpose the themes of the short story, adaptation is a double of the tale

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