Group interpretation : the adaptation of literary work with To kill a mockingbird as an example of the adaptation process
Bonavia, Jill M.
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This thesis studies and promotes the use of group interpretation techniques with adolescents, both in the classroom and in extra-curricular activities. The thesis asserts that the adaptation process involves many cognitive, analytical and creative skills, which develop interest in literature and improve communications skills from reading to writing to speaking. As reading scores are plummeting across the nation, this exercise is a worthy one in encouraging students to read and appreciate lite ra tu re . Once the argument is made for the use of group interpretation, then issues of the adaptation process are explored. This begins with the issues of style, which vary from conventional drama to choral reading. The stylistic decision may not be made in isolation, however. The adapter must evaluate the role of the narrator in the original literary work and determine its best use in the adaptation. Then the interpreters must analyze every element of the original literary work from characters to plot to setting to theme, in order to select the most appropriate material for inclusion in that adaptation. In order to better understand the process of analysis, adaptation and staging, four adaptations of Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird are explored throughout the body of this document. Christopher Sergei wrote two stage adaptations, each employing a different narrator; Horton Foote wrote a screenplay of the novel; and Appendix A of this document includes the fourth adaptation, one utilizing a first-person narrator accompanied by some choric reading. The adaptation in Appendix A is included in this document in its entirety.