A theory of Adaptation

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Literature ・APA ・2 Sources

The Oxford English dictionary's definition of adaptation suggests that it has a variety of meanings. The majority of definitions relate to modifications made to fit a certain procedure. In terms of biology, it refers to how creatures adjust to fit in a specific environment. Through migration, hibernation, or the development of specific organs, this adaptation is accomplished. We shall only stick to one definition of adaptability in the context that we want to apply it. What is meant by it is an altered or amended version of a text, composed music, and Exeter especially adaptation adjusted for filming, broadcasting, or presentation on the stage. According to Hutcheon adaptation is more of redecorating(Hutcheon Pp.3), she also takes into account almost all sorts of adaptations. She is yearned to save the adaptations from the disparagement that they often come across. People do not need swaying nor convincing that adaptations are ""second without being secondary"" (Hutcheon, Pp.9). However they tend to appreciate the author's urge to bid a lucid account of this phenomenon.

The social setting of man has a long and rich history of adapting texts into diverse forms. For instance, the hibiscus events and spoken logons were an inspiration behind the sculptures, paintings, plays and transcribed tales. Stories were later put in the form of novels. It is worth noting that the cinematic adaptions of fictional and dramaturgical texts are as old as the intermediate of the cinema itself (Makaryk, Pp.23). Adaption has undergone several changes over time. This is to make sure that it blends with the new trends and satisfies the demands of the different classes and followers.

It is a fact that writings can't survive the alteration from one state to another but can prosper in methods that were not formerly possible in their original form. A movie by the name Star Trek should be put to consideration. It began as a failing TV program, but it has survived through adaptation into other media such as comic books, feature films, narratives, and cartoons, before returning to television and beginning the cycle again (Makaryk, Pp.25). Star Trek has capitalized the market niches by venturing into new opportunities through employing new technology since 1966. Hutcheon tries to distinguish between sequels, fanfiction, and adaptations. Fan fiction and Sequels are ways in which producers acclimatize so as to prevent a story from ending. These means cannot be employed while trying to adopt work.

Hutcheon's scope is pervasive. In guarding her task, she is tenaciously comprehensive, asserting on the prevalence of adaptation and exerting her argument to accept a full assortment of categories. She can do this by citing examples which originate from several countries across the globe, lingoes, and ethos. She does not limit herself to looking for adaptation in hidden fissures of reference and illustration.

Theatrical adaptation

This is the adaptation of a literary source such as having a novel, a poem or a short story that is converted to another genre such as a motion picture, video game or stage play. When a particular content experiences adaptation, it is exposed to different forces and dynamics, which are determined by the nature of the text's type, also the reason behind adaption of the text, the medium, the market targeted, and the society into which the content will adopt. Short stories have always required some degree of extension while bulky novels have traditionally undergone a process of compression so that they may fit into a film that goes for one or two hours. A scenario can exist where there can be an existence of a corpus of adaptations. This is where the succeeding works are adaptations of the previous ones, rather than the original adapted text itself. This situation allows for rectification where the previous adaptation contains obsolete elements such as racial discrimination, or the adaption moved is a whole different setting for the tenacities of market relevance. Stories that are adapted into video games may shed off an element such as the storyline flow, but bring on board other new qualities (Hutcheon, Pp.9). For instance, Anderson transcribed a novel adaptation (2004) of Robison (2003) movie adaptation of Moore and Kevin O'Neil's comic book known as 'the liege of extraordinary gentlemen.' He was required to retain the changes made by the movie adaptation, but due to the shortness of the script, he was forced to go back to the original novel to enable him to add descriptions and develop the characters' enthusiasm. This is a technique which is employed by adapters to either shorten a movie or prolong a novel during adaption. This helps in coming up with a vague adaptation that has no oomph.

It is Hutcheon who notes that not all works are adaptable. Some are more adaptable than others, for instance, the stage show is more adaptable into musicals and operas. An individual can extend this argument to define how a film with effects would be adopted into games compared to another that doesn't have the effects. This ability is as a result of the fact that there may exist a conventional genre shared between them.

Hutcheon, one of the most creative critical thinkers and a successful writer in this field, has tried to put forward major theories which are always cited when talking about adaptation. According to her, the mode of engagement in adaptation theories revolve around, firstly, the most common form of adaptation is narrating and showing. It is usually in the form of print to performance. The best example is drawn from the novelization industry which can never be ignored when talking about adaptation. Star Wars, the movie has been converted from film to a novel which can be read by its fans. A hitch that is associated with the showing mode especially when performed is that the actors are not guided on how to bring out emotions by the novels. Instead, it is up to the cast and actors to try and attach gestures, emotions, tones or even expression to the words provided in the scripts (Hutcheon Pp.12). Secondly, Mode of change from narrating to showing, here a performance adaptation must dramatize the depiction, description, and represented points of view and should be converted into speech, activities, and pictures. We also have, adaptation coming up from the conversion of print media to performance. The primary emphasis given here is on the visuals that are used in movies and video. The soundtrack in a film enhances direct audience response to the characters while in a video game they are used to create emotional reactions. The use of music and Irish accent can be seen in the movie 'the dead' (1914) where it was used not only to bring out the responses of the characters but also to bring out the Irish political implications of the story. Finally, we also have, showing versus showing which entails screening of stories in a performance media. Movies can be adapted to stage musicals and turn back into films. An example of such a film is the lion king (1997) (Hutcheon, Pp.3).

For Hutcheon, adaptations are informative and artistic acts that preserve the taste of the adapted text and contain within them a palimpsest doublings. They are ""deliberate, announced and extended re-visitations of preceding works"" (Hutcheon, Pp.9) and not imitations or replicas, but rather repetitions that have a touch of disparity. In accepting the postructuralist redescription of textuality that emphasizes the cherished interpenetration of the adapted text and the adaptation, Hutcheon is adamant in prioritizing an ""original"" and attacks the mode of arranging genres and media into hierarchies. Also, the aims of adaptation are intricate. Hutcheon, therefore, insists that adaptations should be treated as adaptations. Even though some people would find it difficult to make recognition of the modified text, adaptation can still show appreciation of the reworking as a sovereign work. She also argues that adaptation is not only a process of interaction but also a product, and cooperation with the adapted text (Hutcheon Pp.10).

Fidelity criticism

This critic deals with the way creators of an adaption will stick to the book or original works. Adaptation is judged whether or not the film accurately recreates its source. It is important to note that sometimes the creators may decide to scrap out some information to reduce the time or sometimes more information may be added to prolong some films. This may be done when the book is so small or too large. In my opinion, this critic has to be put aside sometimes when adapting since it may encourage distortion of stories. The result of this effect is creating new stories distinct from the source. This can be seen in the wizard of Oz, the movie that has taken considerable independence in its literary sources. This movie has been a great success to the producer and the cast due to its liberty (Makaryk, Pp. 16).


Adaptation will always occur in an ancillary connection with the original, although they are inferior in a way, they will always remain pervasive. Adaptations similarly dictate their media. Adapted works will always be popular among producers because they have already been ""proven"" and ""tested."" They also offer a ready market since there is a fan base already that is more likely to have an interest in the adaptation.
Hutcheon work has tried to bring out ""the pleasure of repetition with variation"" (Hutcheon, Pp. 4) and dual-core philosophies are always retrogressing in this respect. Firstly, the view of adaptation should be freed from judgmental implications of perfidy, replication, and violation. Secondly, adaptation should not be regarded as a meager dualistic interchange sandwiched between literature and film. Instead, it should be a far more complex process that involves, opera, video games, radio plays, stage plays, novelization, e-literature and many other media.

Works Cited

Hutcheon Linda, 'A theory of Adaptation' New York and London: Rout ledge, (2006) Pp.1-17

Makaryk, Irena R. 'Shakespeare and Canada: Essays on Production, Translation, and Adaptation', University Of Toronto Press. (2002) Pp. 3-41.

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