Good afternoon, everyone. Today, I will be

 Good afternoon, everyone. Today, I will be conducting a thorough analysis through the theory on the novel. By studying the novel and film through the theory of formalism, we as the audience are able to determine how certain components such as the themes and symbols, and other aspects are present in both the film and the novel are able to come together to create an effect on its readers and audiences. Along with these elements, I will be connecting both these fictional storylines with the course’s essential question, which is the Relativity of Truth, as well as the philosophical theory of existentialism. Before analysing the similarities and differences between my novel and film, I will be doing a quick summary for each, as well as some insight behind the authors and directors, starting with my text.Summary of AHOTW:A History of the World in 10 & ½ Chapters, in short, is novel filled with a collection of witty stories. The accounts speak of the journey of Noah’s ark from a woodworm’s point of view, as well as a glimpse into what heaven may be like. Along with these are other stories about hijacked ships, an explorer setting out to find Noah’s ark, shipwrecks, and a few others that won’t fail to entertain you. Through this novel, the readers are able to see the way the author, Julian Barnes is able to create a work of art that utilises different writing styles to create different points of views to enforce the ideas of different characters within each chapter. Julian Barnes’ writing style is elegant and playful, which easily embodies the novel. He incorporates aspects of postmodernism within his works through the presence of unreliable, but relatable characters that the readers are able to connect with, somehow, and some way. Summary of Inception:Directed and produced by Christopher Nolan, the film, Inception is a Sci-Fi thriller that revolves around Dominick Cobbs, a professional thief who painstakingly plans a scheme to infiltrate the minds of his targets through dreams, to gain crucial information from them. Within the film, Cobbs has been haunted by the memories of his late wife, which prove to be a hindrance during his attempts in finishing his job. The director, Christopher Nolan is renowned for his works, such as Interstellar, Memento, The Dark Knight Rises and many more. Formalism:Moving on, as mentioned, Formalism literary theory I have chosen to analyse my novel and my film. The areas I will be covering will include the symbol of the sea within the book and the symbol of the top in the movie, as well as the theme of memory in both works of fiction, along with these, other elements of literature will be discussed.In both the film and novel, it begins in medias res.”In medias res” Latin for “in the middle of things”, is used within the text, or film to open in the midst of the action, or a situation.Within the novel, the first chapter portrays this. The narrator begins with “They put the behemoths in the hold along with the rhinos, hippos and the elephants.” (Barnes 3) The first line in the first chapter immediately describes a busy scene. It allows the readers to be introduced to important central characters, or in this case, an unnamed narrator and their point of view on the situation in front of them.This ultimately leads the readers and audience to feel confused and eager to find out what the situation unfolding before them may lead to.In the fifth chapter, titled Shipwreck, it also begins in medias res where “They had doubled Cape Finisterre and were sailing south before a fresh wind when a school of porpoises surrounded the frigate” (Barnes 115)Through this and many more, the author, Julian Barnes is able to demonstrate many different writing styles.Similarly, Inception also displays the use of in medias res right at the beginning of the film as well.Dominick Cobbs, the protagonist, awakens on a beach, only to be taken away by an unknown assailant.Similarly to the novel, the film begins with a scene that the audience is forced to pay attention to, inviting them to focus on the events unfolding on the screen to be able to grasp the situation.Another similarity between History of the World in 10 & ½ Chapters and Inception are the fact that both the film and novel have significant symbols present within their storylines.Within the film, the totem is important throughout the film.The Totem is important as they differentiate between the real world and the dream world. Within the film, Dominick Cobb’s totem, a top, is a symbol of reality.Throughout the film, it is a recurring scene to see Cobbs spinning his top. Some instances, the top spins forever, unless it’s touched, meaning that he’s in the dream world. On others, it wobbles quickly before stopping on its own, showing that he was in the real world.Cobb’s totem used to belong to his late wife. This all the more creates the strong sentiment behind the object, further on demonstrating that by bringing this object with him into the dream world, Dominick Cobbs is able to imagine that the death of his wife never happened in the real world.He uses this object to escape from reality, and this top is used to keep his senses together. Especially when he is constantly being reminded of his wife.But at the end of the film, when he spins his top one last time, he decides not to wait whether it topples over, or continues to spin. At this point, he only wishes to move on and build a new life with his children. He comes to the conclusion that no matter what world he may be in, he will choose to accept it as his reality and live on.Within the novel, the symbol of the sea is ever-present. The sea can symbolise many different things, such as a state of emotion, the subconscious of the mind and the overwhelming darkness of life.The ocean is a constant setting within the novel. The first chapter, The Stowaway takes place on the ocean, and so does the chapter that follows that.Within chapter 2: The Visitors, Frank Hughes, and many others are on board a tourist ship that has been hijacked by terrorists. The meaning of the sea is portrayed effectively here.Frank has been dubbed as speaker of the people on board, acting as the communicator between the terrorists and the passengers.As mentioned, the sea symbolises the overwhelming darkness of life, which the protagonist in the chapter faces. He is caught between making selfish decisions for himself and for his life, but also for the good of the rest of the passengers on board with him on the ship.He is in a constant battle with his emotions, struggling to put on a brave face in front of the others as to not discourage them. To be able to give them hope.His overwhelming emotions mirror that of the state of the seas outside; violent and terrifying.Moving on to themes found in the novel and movie, both of these works of fiction have a theme that they share.Memory is a recurring theme within the novel. In this part of the presentation, I will also be incorporating aspects of our course’s essential question, which is the relativity of truth. The theme of Memory is seen throughout the novel, where the author, Julian Barnes is able to convey his own interpretation of a popular account of history through fiction towards his readers.An example of the text he uses in his first chapter is the first book of The Bible, in the Old Testament, within the book of Genesis Julian Barnes is able to revise the way history is already written into something more interesting and entertaining.This can be seen in the first chapter, where the narrator of the chapter reveals that many different animals were on board the ship as well, only to be eaten or killed during the flood.”What the hell do you think Noah and his family ate in the ark? They ate them of course. … if you look around the animal kingdom nowadays, you don’t think this is all there ever was, do you? A lot of beasts looking more or less the same, and then a gap and another lot of beasts looking more or less the same? I know you’ve got some theory to make sense of it all — something about relationship to the environment and inherited skills or whatever — but there’s a much simpler explanation for the puzzling leaps in the spectrum of creation.” (Barnes 13)As demonstrated in this chapter, the author is able to make a preposterous, but also hilarious take on the classic Bible story.Along with this, the narrator also mentioned a son of Noah that wasn’t within the original account of Genesis.”Still, the worst disaster by far was the loss of Varadi. You’re familiar with Ham and Shem and the other one, who’s name began with a J; but you don’t know about Varadi, do you?” (Barnes 5)Varadi, within the novel, was known as Noah’s youngest and strongest son. He was one of the captains of Noah’s 8 vessels.After his introduction to the book, it is revealed that he vanished from the horizon, his elder brothers blaming his poor navigation skills. With him, he took a fifth of the animal kingdom.But Varadi isn’t the only character within this first chapter that was made knownThe narrator also mentions the presence of other mythical creatures, such as the unicorn and simurgh, which all the more adds to the aspect of the unknown in the book. The presence of the unknown also leads the reader on to stay interested in the novel.Memories are often lost, forgotten, or rewritten into something else. An interesting notion that the protagonist in the fourth chapter of the novel brought up.Kath, a young woman brings forth the idea that “People make up a story to cover the facts they don’t know or can’t accept. They keep a few true facts and spin a new story round them.”Kath suggests that this is simply the way humans work, especially with history. History isn’t something recalled as memory, but instead just written fact.Memory within the novel is presented as an opportunity to try a revision something as something else. This further on enforces the fact that humans are undependable when it comes to recollection, which may lead them to alter and add to the memory. Making the memory itself unreliable.Through this novel, Mr. Barnes is able to demonstrate how simple it is for someone to simply rewrite the history you knew, manipulating others to believe what the writer wants them to believe.This leads the readers to ponder on the idea that since humans tend to be inattentive throughout their own lives, is the history we have now, really accurate to what actually happened?Moving on to the film, memory is also a recurring theme.It is seen in the life of the protagonist, Dominick Cobbs, who is often haunted by the thoughts of his late wife.In one particular scene in the movie, it is revealed that Dominick is not able to dream naturally, due to the fact that he often uses the dream-sharing technology.Because of this, he is able to create a world of his memories within his dreams, keeping them locked up in certain places so that when he decides on it, he is able to experience those memories again at will.In this case, his memories are technically dreamed that he wishes to live over and over.One particular quote from the film, spoken by Dominick himself was that “building a dream from your memory is the easiest way to lose your grasp on what’s real and what isn’t real,” Dominick constantly faces the conflict between dreams and realityHe faces the struggle to accept a life without his wife and is afraid of how the future may turn out to be, raising his children without herBut in the end, he chooses to let those memories go, finally accepting that living through those memories over and over will only cause him pain.Within both the film and novel, the relativity of truth is applicable.Between the two works of fiction, it is a component that they both share.This can be seen through the novel in a way that, the author is able to express.Julian Barnes is able to add in his perspective and his take on history, though it may not be the truth, it is something he wrote to try and make readers understand his thoughts on this certain part of history.Although not everyone may agree with his approach the author still sends his books out into the world, hoping that someone will enjoy reading them.Within Inception, the relativity of truth is also present.Dominick Cobbs struggles to know the difference between real and illusion when it comes to his world, which is why he relies on his totem to tell him.While most may believe that he is a crafty criminal, and the bad guy, in his own eyes, he does not perceive himself that way.Truly because his perception of truth was different.To Cobbs, he was only doing what he felt was right and necessary.Further on proving that one’s perspective, or truth, of something will not always be the same as somebody else.Another example of the relativity of truth from the first chapter of the novel was when the narrator mention “natural selection””What the hell do you think Noah and his family ate in the ark? They ate them of course. … if you look around the animal kingdom nowadays, you don’t think this is all there ever was, do you? A lot of beasts looking more or less the same, and then a gap and another lot of beasts looking more or less the same? I know you’ve got some theory to make sense of it all — something about relationship to the environment and inherited skills or whatever — but there’s a much simpler explanation for the puzzling leaps in the spectrum of creation.” (Barnes 13)The debate of evolution and the story of creation is often a topic that gets many people.This is because some people choose to believe in different thingsPeople believe that the creation of man was God’s doing, and others believe that the lineage of man came from ancient primates.Julian Barnes and Christopher Nolan are both similar in their styles to create their work in the fact that they both focus on perspectives.This can be seen in the novel through the various narrators it has. Julian Barnes creates this to add more interest to the novel. By utilising many different types of characters and having them narrate their respective chapters, the readers are able to get familiar with different personalities and mindsets of the specific narrator.In the film, Christopher Nolan uses the perspective camera angle technique, which allows the audience to see what the character sees as if the audience themselves are walking in the shoes of the character. Moving on to the filming techniques of Inception, much of the scenes are shown using extra wide shots.The use of this filming technique is to show the characters and their surroundingsThese angles are used to show the characters and their surroundings.Example of this would be when Cobbs decides to take a walk around the city to show Ariadne what the world around them looked like while they were in the dream world.This is also an effective technique to use so that the audience can grasp what kind of situation/environment the characters may be in, prompting the audience to try and guess what the character’s next move may beAnother technique used was misdirection.Misdirection allows the filmmakers to focus on certain objects rather than the characters in the scene.Through the use of this method, the audience should make note of those objects, and realise that they may be objects of importance.An example of an object often used for misdirection inInception is Dominick Cobbs’ top, which as mentioned, holds a great significance to the protagonistOver-the-Shoulder shots are also used in the filmThis type of technique is used to make the audience feel as if they are part of the conversation or situation.The camera technique of “tracking” is used within the filmThis is to invoke a feeling that the audience is following the character around, therefore making it seem as if they are taking part in whatever the character is doing.Certain colours used in the film are significant as wellFor example, in Saito’s room, it is a dark red. The colour red symbolises many things, the most relevant one to the movie is power and dangerThe setting of Saito’s room was where the file that Dom and his team needed to retreat. To gain this document, was to gain power over others, but with this risk came danger, which Dominick and his companions often faced.Along with the red are hues of light blue in certain scenes, invoking a feeling of melancholy throughout the filmThis would be due to the fact that the protagonist is constantly struggling with the guilt and loss of his wife.And as shown in the last scene of the film, warm yellows and bright oranges are depicted. This is appropriate as this is the moment Dominick Cobbs is reunited with his children.MusicThe soundtrack of Inception was written by Hans Zimmer, who’s very praised for his talent in creating impacting soundtracksHis music that was used in the film convey strong emotion, much like frustration, panic, and excitementThis type of music is perfect for Inception as it is a film that is constantly filled with action and overwhelming emotions.The last song to be played in the movie was called “Time” and was perfect for the ending sceneIt was a strong piece but was able to impart that sense of relief that all the struggles that the characters faced are over.Outro:By analysing the novel, A History of the World in 10 & ½ Chapters, written by Julian Barnes & the film, Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan through Formalism, we as the readers are able to understand the different meanings as to why the director or the author have decided to create their work of fiction this way. We as the readers and audience are able to see by studying the text and film through formalism, that even just a few simple elements of literature can make two almost completely different works of fiction not so different after all.


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