Thursday, March 25, 2010


Today in class we had a brief discussion about the omitted section from the book and it seems that even though we can obviously make the connection of what happens, reading the details makes this more scary and real. Professor Campbell agreed that omitting those two paragraphs made the scene more creepy and scary but I disagree. Had this been a movie and we could see the build up of McTeagues last attack and had some sort of cut-away to the end, then the effect is much more intense. But, actually reading the words seems to put the audience in the mind of McTeague at his most violent and dangerous ravaging of Trina. What truly makes scenes scary is twofold; 1. the scene has to be believable and in certain cases less can be more; 2. Being able to see inside the mind of a character as they act out some heinous act of violence gives any medium more power and ultimately more effect.
I understand that this is a morbid thought and probably holds no real academic merit but this does show how much editing and re-writing can really change a text. To be fair to the text, this doesn't change how the it reads or the kind of character McTeague turns out to be. He's bad guy and thats ultimately what we are supposed to get out of him. I just find it interesting that, in the crux of the book during the most intense scene Norris had to cut a big portion of a scene out. Whatever the reasoning for is, in todays world he wouldn't have to do that and I really like that we get the chance to read, in context, the omitted section.