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Fraudulent Interpretation Essay

1648 words - 7 pages

Oprah took a classic literary work and butchered it beyond recognition to where not even Zora Neale Hurston’s main purpose in writing was evident. She altered the story line changing the role of characters which later affected their relationships. She removed scenes and significant symbols changing the meaning of the story all together. The reason behind the novel was very explicit but Oprah managed to annihilate the purpose.
Throughout the story there are multiple key symbols that portray a substantial meaning. The gate represented a momentous modification in Janie’s life but it was not even mentioned in Oprah’s rendition. Instead, Oprah used water to symbolize the alteration in Janie’s life. When Janie first kissed Johnny Taylor over the gate in the book, it signified a significant change for Janie’s life in that her childhood was taken from her. She was officially a woman in Nanny’s eyes. “Yeah, Janie, youse got yo’ womanhood on yuh… Ah wants to see you married right away” (Hurston 15). She was then forced to marry Logan Killicks and from there on the gate played yet another important part in the story. She met Joe Starks by the gate in the book and this meeting placed yet another side to Janie’s life; A life that was better than the present one. The omission of the gate in the movie caused Janie kissing Johnny Taylor, Janie marrying Logan killicks, Janie meeting Joe and other important scenes, to lose their symbolic meaning. When recreating a story from a book to a movie, symbolism is a must keep item or the overall meaning and purpose of the story is no longer indistinguishable. With that being said, Oprah withdrew the most significant sign of every important event that occurred in Janie’s life from the story and took away the ingenious intention of the author.
Oprah’s interpretation of the story depicted the purity of relationships. The very first relationship introduced was Janie and Pheoby Watson’s friendship. In the book, Their bond was the purist of all of the relationships because the best friends never argued or deceived one another. However, Oprah’s version of the story transfigured the pure state of their connection. “You don’t care what I think neither. do you? You left this town running off with that no count and then you got the nerve to come back up in here with no shoes on yo feet and nothing but overalls on yo back making everything we believed in look like dirt” (Dir. Darnell). She altered the strongest and the truest link that Janie had and made it imprecise. The tie between Janie and other supportive characters including Nanny and Tea cake had also been modified. Janie disrespected Nanny more in the movie than in the novel which altered the innocence of their bond and also strengthened Janie’s character. Tea Cake’s character weakened in the movie due to the change in purity of his and Janie’s relationship when the gun scene had been changed. Oprah managed to slaughter the purity between Janie and other...

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