Washington Square Book versus Heiress Film
How fair is it to compare an original novel with its film? Concerning William Wyler’s The Heiress, a film adapted from the Washington Square by Henry James the matter is more than complicated. First, the screenplay directed by Goetz is not grounded on the Novel but extracted from their play, The Heiress produced in 1948 on Broadway. Second, Goetz’s claim in the film’s title sequence and the play script, both the film and its cinematic rendering are merely suggested by the original novel (Raw 243). To summarize, the characters who suffer in the story, find happiness at last in the play. Hence the unpredictable transformation of materials in changing from one medium to another is executed willingly by James himself. A comparison of Washington Square and The Heiress, then should not focus on how the original novel is violated by the film, at the expense of the dominant principle of adaptation, nor must it view one as an interpretation of the other. Instead, the comparison must weigh the unusual twists and transformations concerning their appropriateness to the artistic wholes. The current essay will provide an in-depth comparison of Washington Square novel by Henry James and Wyler’s The Heiress with a primary focus on the main character Catherine.The Heiress was acted in black and white, which did not alter anything in action. Viewers could argue that it aided in bringing out an underlying theme. As the novel and film go on, Catherine becomes almost like an unexpected heroine. The idea of white and black helps to describe the main Character, Catherine’s world (Raw 245). She dearly loves her father, but Morris also does not seem to break away the rules of her father. As the movie continues, Catherine faces different situations that make her lose control of her life. The black and white idea helps in proving Catherine’s feelings before and after standing up and being stood up for by Morris and her father. The black color may also depict the darkness which Catherine was about to dive in while the white color may be a replica of minor shreds of hope and victories experienced by Catherine as she moved on.