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Language Culture Values Cabaret Essay

1020 words - 4 pages

Goodbye to Berlin/Cabaret EssayIn today's society many film directors attempt to portray their ideas taken from a novel that an author has written. Many audiences may believe that a film accurately portrays a novel and they can directly see the similarities, however when a piece of writing has been appropriated it is fair to say there will always be differences. Is the Bob Fosse's film Cabaret an appropriation of Christopher Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin? Well as we explore the characters, language culture, values and context of both pieces, you will quickly notice the cracks and see that in many aspects it is an appropriation but in many ways it is not.In both Cabaret and Goodbye to Berlin the main characters Christopher Isherwood and Sally Bowles have been portrayed differently. In the film Cabaret Sally Bowles plays a greater and more exaggerated compared to Goodbye to Berlin. This is perfect because she is transformed to the stage. She is extravagant in every way. From the way she dresses to the color she chooses for her fingernails. Also the over-cheery way she talks and the way she constantly flirts with every man around. In Goodbye to Berlin, Sally Bowles fingernails were green emerald but was considered dull and as "a colour unfortunately chosen". However in Cabaret her fingernails were exaggerated to seem beautiful and distinct by using shiny and glow effects on the nails. This effect influences the greater role and exaggeration Sally Bowles plays in her role in Cabaret.In the book Goodbye to Berlin Christopher Isherwood is the narrator. He states himself that he is not the 'real story', that he is mainly an observer who records the instances happening around him but only comments and hints what is going to happen between the stages. As he says himself in the beginning of the book: "I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. His inability to connect meaningfully with any of the polarized characters, despite his open sympathy for them all, mirrors the state of Berlin itself. His personal failure to achieve intimacy is symptomatic of the social disease that blights the city and that culminates in the spiritual death represented by Hitler s triumph. However in the film Cabaret, Brian in which he is known as is beyond a camera. He is a main character. This highlights the atmosphere and beliefs of Pre-Nazi Germany in greater depth. He enlightens the details a camera cannot reveal. But while transferring the book into a play or into a movie, this characteristic of Isherwood becomes a big obstacle. These examples clearly highlight that the main characters have been portrayed differently in both Goodbye to Berlin and Cabaret. Therefore Cabaret isn't an appropriation of Goodbye to Berlin to some extentIn both Cabaret and Goodbye to Berlin the culture and values are similar. The introduction of Nazi power and force and the decline of Post WW1 Bohemian lifestyle is shown through both. . In Goodbye to Berlin...

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