What are the contrasts from the poem "For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf" and the movie "For Colored Girls"?I had to watch the movie by Tyler Perry and read the poem...

What are the contrasts from the poem "For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf" and the movie "For Colored Girls"?

I had to watch the movie by Tyler Perry and read the poem by Nitozake Shange then compare and contrast them. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Asked on by crow15

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The foundational element of comparison between both might be given by Shange, herself: 

When I die, I will not be guilty,' Shange proclaimed in an interview with Claudia Tate in Black Women Writers at Work, 'of having left a generation of girls behind thinking that anyone can tend to their emotional health other than themselves.

Both works seek to articulate the convergent conditions of gender, race, class, and psychology upon one's identity.  In this light, both the choreopoem and the film are similar.  It is important to note that the film had a fairly difficult task in transcribing what Shange created onto film for a couple of reasons.  The first would be that poetry contains a level of the subjective experience and precision that is difficult to transfer over the silver screen.  One of the common critiques of the film was that it added melodrama to what was in the poem.  For example, when an abortion is described with "steel rods," how can this be shown on screen and convey its emotional heat without an effect that repulses?  The choreopoem's ability to bring out emotional and intellectual themes that resonated in both mind and heart is something that was going to challenge the film with a star- studded cast, where one of the two elements could be addressed, while missing the other.  I think that the film is certainly quality in attempting to bring out the condition that the poem brings out, but the poem carries with it a level of depth and experience in its specific, yet anonymous setting that the film narrows down to the specific character.  For example, the poem identifies women through specific color and while the reader/ audience does not know anything about them, Shange is able to bring out everything about them.  The film allows us to know specific characters with specific names, not something in the poem, and this allows us to understand their predicaments, but does not broaden it to others like the choreopoem does.  This might be one specific difference between both works.

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