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Sinclair Ross Once A Heifer

1946 words - 8 pages

Often when a story is read followed by the viewing of the live adaptation, the live version pales in comparison. This is mainly because the imagination can create a far more detailed and vivid picture than will ever be created on screen. In the case of Wheeler's teleplay versus the original short story of Ross's "Ones' a Heifer", it is no different than any other, Ross's work is superior in its plot, characters, and theme.It is clearly evident that the plot of the short story by Ross is a superior version compared to Wheeler's, however there are similarities in both the teleplay and the short story. A boy goes searching for two lost cows and after searching the whole day he finally spots them. He watches them as they go into a man's stable; he follows, where the hostile Arthur Vickers greets him. He convinces Vickers to let him search the barn and finds nothing but is certain that they are being hidden in a closed stall. He stays the night and in the morning makes a desperate attempt to break into the closed stall, after a fight with Vickers he returns home. He explains to his uncle and aunt that Vickers has the cows hidden at his place but then he is informed that the cows had returned shortly after he left. It is clear that the two versions of plots have several similarities but it's the differences that make Ross's work superior. In Wheeler's adaptation of the plot she destroys every exciting and mysterious aspect that makes the story so intriguing. When the boy searches the barn and goes to the boarded up stall, he suspects that Vickers is hiding the cows. When he asks what is in there, Vickers replies with a large grin on his face, "Nothing you'd be interested in." Later on when Vickers goes out to bed down the stables, the boy follows him and hears him yell, "Get back in there"¦get!" Then when Vickers returns from the barn he brings in with him a bottle that he didn't have before. When these three parts are put together it is obvious what is going on. Judging by Vickers answer to what was in the stall and the way he replies, it can be assumed that it is not something for a child of thirteen years old. Later on when he goes back to the barn he is heard talking to someone. The boy has already searched the barn and found nothing, therefore, the only possible place that someone could have been hiding is in the boarded up stall. Then when Vickers returns from the barn he has a bottle with him, and after showing the audience the bottle they know that the only place that a bottle could have come from is the stall. These three facts lead the audience to one conclusion; and that is, that behind the boarded up walls of the stall Vickers is keeping a still, the person he was talking to is a woman that is inside the stable tending the still so it doesn't blow up, and the bottle he returns with is alcohol. This is all presented in a straightforward way to the audience. That's not intriguing or mysterious; the audience isn't sitting there...

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