Identify one area where you think the film adaptation of A Soldier's Play succeeds over the written play. Reflect on which version that you prefer.

It can be argued that the movie adaptation of A Soldier's Play is more successful in managing the nonlinear narrative structure. The flashbacks and scene cuts might make the story easier to understand. The movie is more successful in spotlighting a wider range of music. In the movie there’s blues, jazz, soul, and a hint of gospel music. Lastly, the movie’s inclusion of scenes beyond the base better highlight the extensive nature of racism.

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You could identify the nonlinear structure of the story as more successful in the film than in the play. You might say that the clear flashbacks and scene cuts make the back-and-forth between past and present easier to understand. In the play, time seems to be marked by the presence...

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You could identify the nonlinear structure of the story as more successful in the film than in the play. You might say that the clear flashbacks and scene cuts make the back-and-forth between past and present easier to understand. In the play, time seems to be marked by the presence of the Sergeant. It’s almost as if he imposes himself on the present. In the film, the boundaries seem better defined.

You could also say that the film is more successful in including a greater range of musical genres. The play mainly focuses on “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.” The film brings in soul music, blues, jazz, and some brief gospel music.

You might also argue that the film is more successful in contextualizing the pervasiveness of racism. You could say the film does a better job of detailing the extent of Louisiana’s prejudices. Remember, when Davenport first arrives on the bus, the bus driver refers to him as “boy.” He also receives hateful stares from the white people in town. More so, when Davenport is on the army base, someone writes “welcome snow flake” on a bathroom mirror.

If I had to reflect on which one I’d prefer, I’d choose the play. It struck me as more subtle and ambiguous. Yet that just happens to be my opinion. What matters is which one you prefer.

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