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The Sound Machine

In: English and Literature

Submitted By littlehouse
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The Sound Machine Analysis:
The written version of The Sound Machine is a more valuable study then the film version.

Katarina Hiebert
October 3, 2014
The sound machine, written by beloved author Roald Dahl, and also now a motion picture, is a unique story filled with depth and feeling. As with most literature made into film, there is controversy about losing context and value while created into movie. Stories as so well thought as this one should be presented and studied in a form that benefits the reader or viewer in the largest way possible. The written version of The Sound Machine is a much more valuable study, because the readers can experience Roald Dahl’s creative writing style, it allows the reader to imagine the characters and supernatural sounds, and preserves the author’s original theme of the story.
Roald Dahl is an author that has written many well-loved stories. Some of his most popular works are short stories, including The Sound Machine. In the way the story is written, readers are able to feel how enamoured the character Klausner is with the world of sound. The way Dahl writes his dialogue, readers feel convicted and a part of it. For example, when Klausner so vehemently speaks to the doctor, “I believe that there is a whole world of sound is around us all the time that we cannot hear. It is possible that up there in those areas where sounds are so high we can't hear them, there is a new exciting music being made, a music so powerful that it would drive us crazy if only our ears were tuned to hear it.” (Dahl, The Sound Machine.1999.) Dahl’s writing style is also very descriptive. When reading his stories, it is easy to be wrapped up in the characters world, because Roald Dahl’s use of words and sentences lures readers in. Right from the beginning readers are fully immersed in the description of Klausners workshop, because it is described so vividly. Also, Roald Dahl bring elements of humour into all of his stories, including The Sound Machine. While a mostly solemn plot, Dahl manages to give readers a laugh when he shares the perspective of Klausner’s female neighbour, and her thoughts of his oddities. All of the elements in Roald Dahl’s stories alone give reason to study the story, rather than watching a recreation in film.
One of the most exciting parts about reading stories is using imagination where authors leave it open. In the story The Sound Machine, readers are given several opportunities to fill in gaps with their imaginations. For example, Klausner, the main character, is never really labeled with an age, but in the film he is cast as a man in his younger years. It changes the way that the viewers look at the story. Also, in the story, there are supernatural sounds, such as roses and trees screaming. The way that the author describes the sound, it would be nearly impossible to recreate in movie, because it is nothing we have heard before. Looking at this phrase in the story, “It was a new noise, unlike any he had heard before — a large, noteless, low, screaming sound, not quick and short like the sound of the roses.” (Dahl, The Sound Machine. 1999), we can see the noise is not something known to man, but readers can imagine, based on the authors descriptive writing. While making the sound into a movie, viewers lose some of the dramatic effect produced by the unknown noise. The story also leaves most of the time and place setting open to the readers. In the movie, Klausner is shown using his machine out in an open field, and wearing certain clothes that would place him in a certain time period. The story does not include many facts that infer a certain place in time or area. Again, it leaves it open to the reader’s imagination, which is a valuable element in any story.
Often in stories, the theme is better portrayed through written versions than on screen. On screen, the only words viewers hear and see are the dialogue of speakers. In print, readers can also have insight to the thoughts of main and other characters. Readers can see and experience their thought process, which usually is used to convey the theme of the story, like in this excerpt: “He tried to imagine what sort of noise a human would make if he had to stand fixed to the ground while someone deliberately swung a small sharp thing at his leg so that the blade cut in deep.” (Dahl, The Sound Machine. 1999.) In The Sound Machine the theme of the story seems to have to do with not overlooking anything’s characteristics or feelings, and always being aware of how actions affect everything around us. This can be better elaborated in print, because the author can use his/her words to explicitly say it within the text. In a film, we have to rely solely on actions, which is difficult when the theme is involving another beings feelings, as in The Time Machine. Another reason that theme is better displayed in a printed format is the distraction of a movie. When watching something onscreen, viewers can be focused on watching the character, viewing the surroundings, or intently listening to sounds. When focusing on these elements, it would be easier to miss a theme that is portrayed on screen.
Overall, The Sound Machine is a very well-written story that should be read in its original print, because of its unique writing style, supernatural elements, and the specific theme of the story. It is a story that has been cherished for many years, and for many years to come, because of Roald Dahl’s creative thoughts and ideas that he brought to this story.

Works Cited:
Dahl, Roald. “The Time Machine.” Penguin Books. 1999.…...

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