Last week we analysed some of Adam Elliots early work which included, Human Behavioural Studies part one, Uncle, Cousin and Brother, with reference to Harvey Krumpet to which we have already seen.
Human Behavioural Studies part One.
This short piece contained three or four of what we described as fragments of character, which have recurred in later work, which explore the personalities of youngsters which i think were members of the narrators class. Each describe behaviours which are not directly descriptive of character but are suggestive of their characteristics. They all adopt this approach but the last one has the addition of a linear narrative structure, in that the actions result in reactions. This last character has more said about her situation and emotions than the others. She placed a vacuum cleaner on her dads penis - she now lives with her mom. The lighter humourous tone of the action, present in all, is met with a darker and internal, negative reaction. As Ed Hooks would say, mans limitation meets mans potential (comedy to drama).
Uncle, Cousin and Brother.
Each ends slightly different in terms of a positive ro negative outcome. The fragmented descriptions of what the narrator remembers of each character again say more than being completely unambiguous. Each story builds up to a massively positive moment, before dropping instantly negative. The emotive arc is again comedy into drama, the characters are fun and lively before becoming quite tragic. They all contain factual elements and are all based on real people (uncle based on his eight uncles), and Elliot is quoted saying that 'Truth should never get in the way of a good story'. Brother though, is the most accurate of the series, saying that the brother is 'himself'.
I think he adopts both sympathy and empathy, the sympathy coming from the characters and the empathy from the narrator. This is interesting, because it also links back to how Ed Hooks described Dads No All There Anymore work as being sympathetic to the father and empathic to POV of the author. Having just rewrote the script i have been working on completely from the characters perspective, it has now jumped to 14 pages long. This is to big to complete in a single trimester as i think i have already stated. But the narration approach is an option, as it will allow me to present the character as being crazy, allowing me the flexibility of showing empathy through dialogue which could be quicker than through action.