Perception in Director Spike Jonze's "Adaptation" Essay

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Perception in Director Spike Jonze's "Adaptation"

The film begins with the voice of Nicholas Cage as Charlie Kaufman berating himself for the image he perceives himself to be, namely, a “fat-ass”, while at the same time, he knows what he needs to be: “Just be real, confident, that’s what women like.” Throughout the film, Charlie struggles with two conflicting views of himself: the poised, confident man he could be and the bumbling, awkward man he sees himself to be. Through the narrative technique of inner monologue, the audience has access to all of Charlie’s thoughts and insecurities. Charlie’s opinion of himself dictates how he functions in the world. He is an extremely talented screenwriter and an extraordinary individual yet
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Life is not perfect and it certainly never plays out how we think it should. Charlie’s perception of “the real world” he wants to capture in his movie was that people don’t change or have opinions and nothing is ever resolved. The man running the film seminar sets Charlie straight: things happen every day. Even the smallest, most overlooked aspects of life are important. The seminar leader told Charlie that if he couldn’t find anything extraordinary about life’s everyday occurrences, then he knew nothing about life at all. Charlie’s characters must change and that change must come them. Up until that point, Charlie was essentially crippling his own existence by his limited view of the world.

In the following scene, we see Charlie has made his own change from within. He calls his brother for help with his script. Previously, Donald was the one who asked Charlie for help and Charlie would have seen it as a waste of time or a sign of weakness (because he was not strictly adhering to his artistic ideals) for him to ask for Donald’s help. Charlie begins to act uncharacteristically and even decides to stalk Susan Orlean at the Orchid Thief’s house, taking Donald’s place. However both Charlie and the audience don’t truly grasp the meaning of the seminar leader’s words until Charlie and Donald have their conversation in the swamp. While

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