Seger writes that the most adaptable novels are ones that can be made into a commercial, for entertainment, piece. They can be cut down to fit within the 2-hour time frame of a film or expanded, filling in the gaps. These changes will not hinder the story but work with it. Most of all it should take the focus away from themes, like a novel tends to do, and concentrate on a compelling story-line.
Therefore, I have chosen for my adaptation Weep Not, Child, an novel written by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. I must admit that it’s more of a natural choice for me since I recently finished it in my African literature class. It is fresh on my mind. However, I believe that it works. It’s a powerful story about the effects of the Mau Mau war on the lives of ordinary people, mainly a boy named Njoroge. He is from a poor family who place the future of Kenya on the education of the youth, therefore finding a way to send him to school while his brother fights with the Mau Mau. Njoroge is an idealistic boy who is always looking to the hope tomorrow will bring. Just when everything seems to be perfect, the conflict hits home and drags him away from his dreams. There is a Romeo and Juliet type love story and plenty of dramatic scene possibilities. Always the ethics behind colonizing an unwilling culture weaves its way into the narrative but is obvious through the story, not through the author‘s commentary. There is the omniscient narrator who follows Njoroge but breaks away to scenes without him at times, showing his brother Boro hiding from the white soldiers in the forest and so on. It’s also only around 130 pages, allowing less to need to be cut.
When I read this novel for class I was highly involved. I read it quickly due to my interest in it. I’ve been discussing adaptation for film throughout this page. I know that the adaptations I’m performing are to Bloxes, inspired by Joseph Cornell. But I feel that these collages are essentially the same as a film, only forcing 2 hours worth of frames into 1. In both scenarios words are being transformed into a visual. Weep Not, Child is interesting and adaptable, which is why I chose it for this project.