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THE SHAPE OF THINGS – CHARACTERS
Adam
Background
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Direct Description
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works two jobs: security guard in a museum & also works in
THE SHAPE OF THINGS – CHARACTERS
Adam
Background
■
■
■
Direct Description
▪
■
■
■
works two jobs: security guard in a museum & also works in
THE SHAPE OF THINGS – CHARACTERS
Adam
Background
■
■
■
Direct Description
▪
■
■
■
works two jobs: security guard in a museum & also works in
THE SHAPE OF THINGS – CHARACTERS
Adam
Background
■
■
■
Direct Description
▪
■
■
■
works two jobs: security guard in a museum & also works in
THE SHAPE OF THINGS – CHARACTERS
Adam
Background
■
■
■
Direct Description
▪
■
■
■
works two jobs: security guard in a museum & also works in

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THE SHAPE OF THINGS – CHARACTERS Adam Background ■ ■ ■ Direct Description ▪ ■ ■ ■ works two jobs: security guard in a museum & also works in a video store he works for one year before he starts an education used to really like Jenny, but never asked her out → too shy, not self-confident In the beginning of the book, he is a nerdy and shy guy ■ When he first meets Evelyn, he has the courage to ask for her number But after they get together he changes his complete life: loses around 20 pounds grows his hair out ■ dresses better, new jacket stopped chewing his nails then he gets more self-confident he doesn't believe that Evelyn likes him he thinks about Evelyn all the time, he loves her but kissed Jenny → he seems to still have some feelings for Jenny Indirect Description ■ I ■ Behavior ■ Throws his principles for Evelyn away = No self-esteem It's the best thing for him what can happen Maybe loves Jenny still a bit First, he is like a side character in his life, but then, he lets Evelyn control his life and starts to be someone and gets more self-confident and starts to live a crazy life. Adam's Change/ Evolvement He changes a lot about his external appearance → the origin of all changes come from Evelyn, she suggests him what to change in...

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a subtle way but in some ways he didn't change: after Adam has operated his nose and Phillip asks him what happened he doesn't tell the truth (p. 45)→ he still avoids confrontations and can't stand up for himself ■ we can conclude that the outside of Adam has changed very fast but the inside didn't do so → this is a rule who stands for most humans, it takes more time to develop/change the personality than some external things → but in the last chapter Adam's personality changes and he is doing a big and painful step → after Evelyn let the bomb explode he goes to her to start the conversation/the fight, he says what he thinks and shows that he is not okay with that he kind of finds and shows his red line(p. 74-81) "A Restaurant Lobby" ■ Adam begins to change: ■ I ■ ■ Goes to the gym, eats healthier, new haircut E: "Plus, the hair" (p.15 1.9) E: "You're running, you're eating better, are you still lifting?" (p.16 II.16-17) does things that he would never have done before he met Evelyn A: ,,I'm not used to that" (p.15 1.28) Adam is under pressure to change, feels obliged to do what Evelyn told him E: "You're running, you're eating better, are you still lifting?" A: "I mean, I didn't today, but..." E: "That's okay." A: "No, I'm gonna ..." (p.16 ll.16-20) does it only for her, not because he wants it himself; he is aware that he shouldn't change for someone else, but he does it anyway E: "Do you like doing it?" A: "Honestly... No. I totally hate it!" (p.16 11.22-23) E: "So why would you ... ?" A: "Because you suggested it. Which is kinda pathetic, but true..." (p.16 ll.25-27) Evelyn manipulates him: ■ Tells him that the changes are great, strengthens his self-esteem and his self- confidence → he feels comfortable with the changes and likes them, thinks he has to change more →➜ he wants Evelyn to like him, wants to make her proud and therefore thinks that he has to change Makes him feel like he's achieved it himself → Adam gets more confident, is proud of himself E: "And you amaze me, you do. Look at you!" (p.16 1.14) A: "I dunno. I think I still look..." E: "You can definitely tell. You can." (p.15 II.6-7)) E: "I gave you a couple ideas and you're changing your entire life. I'm very proud of you." (p.17 Il.1-4) Tells him she likes him and that he can trust her ➜ he gets more comfortable around her and trusts her, believes her that the changes are good → is willing to change more so she likes him E: "I do like you." (p.18 11.22) E: "So, don't you trust me, then, to know how I feel?" (p.18 1.29) E: "Don't worry about why when what is right in front of you." (p.18 1.31) Evelyn Background What she tells Adam during their relationship ■ ■ ▪ Direct Description I ■ ■ ■ Art student in M.F.A, applied theory and crit (p.12) - → starts thesis project (like a big installation thingie) Artist, sculptress (p.18) ■ Is from Illinois near Chicago (p.17) Jewish from her mothers side; her mothers maiden name is Tessman (p.39) Family name: Thompson (p.39) ■ 25 years old (p.17) Gemini, born in June (p.17) ■ Had her nose done at 16 (p.39) Cut herself to get attention when she was a teenager (p.42) Indirect Description Confident (steps over the line; tries to deface the statue; refuses to step back over the line p. 8) Speaks out and tells her opinion directly: fight with Phillip about art (doesn't give up and tells them her opinion, doesn´t tolerate other opinions): stage direction: "Everyone except Evelyn sort of freezes on that one" (p.24) ,,You're cute. I don't like your hair..." p.13 → makes suggestions in how Adam could improve himself: ,, you shouldn't style it so much" p.13 Very interested in art: knows a lot about the statue in the museum (p.11)→ doesn't like art that isn't true Behavior What she tells after the presentation Adam is her installation thingie": Evelyn to Adam: You are my installation thingie" (p.77) Her mothers maiden name: Anderson (p.80) 22 years old (p.80) Not Gemini but Pisces (p.80) No scars --> didn't cut herself --> Evelyn: "I made it all up" (p.80) --> we don't really know if any of what Evelyn tells Adam during their relationship is true Curious ,,I am a curious person" (p.18) Straightforward ,,I'm a very straightforward person" (p.42) She is committed to art: "There is only art" (p.72) Art must be created ,,Whatever the cost" (p.72) Determined: isn't sorry for what she did to Adam (,,I'm not sorry. I mean, not for what I've done (...)" p.75) Not sensitive / empathic: exposes Adam to the audience (...) but this, I'm afraid, was not done out of love or caring or concern (...)" (p.70) oversteps the line in the museum, doesn't step back even after Adam tells her to do so (p.7, 1.10) brave, confident bedroom scene--> Evelyn and Adam film themselves while having sex (p.29: "I think everyone should see themselves doing it, and their friends should see it, too.") --> open, confident and dominant discussion with Jenny and Phillip about art (p.20-26) → she's very opinionated and ignorant, only her own opinion matters ■ Attitude ■ her whole life revolves around art, she is very committed to art and convinced of her own beliefs- ->gets stubborn when others don't agree with her and tries to convince them of her own beliefs (p.23, discussion with Phillip and Jenny) isn't really bothered by what others have to say, she does her own thing and is very strong- minded and determined (p. 75/76: Evelyn: "I'm not sorry. I mean, not for what I've done. (...) What I'd do wrong? Seriously, tell me ....") How Evelyn changes in the course of the play ■ beginning - manipulative (p. 171.3) dominant (p. 7 1. 10) - straightforward (p. 13 1.6) - confident (p. 7 1. 10+ a bedroom) - obsessed with art (a living room) tries to change and form Adam, suggests him to change himself (p.14: "I don't like the way you wear your hair") → bossy and controlling, but in a subtle way knows that she has a lot of power over Adam and can influence him easily--> she uses this weakness of Adam for her own profit, uses him as her "base material" for her art project tries to create extreme art (Adam)--> she even lies about her whole life just to create an extreme and unique art project Evelyn seems to have genuine feelings for Adam and it seems like she really cares for him. ■ ■ Evelyn doesn't really change, but what changes is how the reader perceives her. The scene "an auditorium" is significant for this change of perception. It changes the whole perspective on Evelyn and the reader begins to understand what her true intentions were. I A Doctor's Lounge ▪ Evelyn herself doesn't change in the scene, but she tries to convince Adam doing a nose surgery claims, that she had her nose done with 16 (p.39 1.10) because of the Jewish slope (p.39 1.12) → mother's maiden name is Tessman trivializes the surgery ("it's no big deal" p.39 1.28) polarizes it "lot's of guys do it" and adds some famous male names (p.40 1.6-7) sweet-talking "I think you'll look great.", "good face", "nice shape" (p.40 1.15) demonstrating of similarities →scars (p.42 1.9-10) awaking pity difficult phase as a teenie (p.42 1.15-16)→indicates it as an important experience ("signify experience... Makes us unique" p.43 1.1f) and compares it immediately with the surgery even sleeping with Adam (p.43 1.13) ■ end ■ -toxic (an auditorium + an exhibition gallery) - narcissistic - selfish - heartless/ cold ignorant --> can't accept other opinions The presentation shows her true colors and the reader finds out that she used Adam and didn't care about him or his feelings Jenny direct/indirect description background behavior attitude Middle: ■ ■ ■ ■ End: Inhibited, strict, gets easily uncomfortable Simple-minded Jenny's Change/ Evolvement Beginning: I tries to calm the others down/doesn't want to discuss /fight-> defensive "bold" Is engaged with Phillip (p.20) Adam and Evelyn had a class together comes from a disciplined/inhibited household Jenny asks Adam to meet in the park, because she is worried about her relationship to Phillip. she thinks there is someone else in Phillips's life (another Jenny) Has a different perspective of art than Evelyn Is in a happy relationship--> fiancé of Phillip J:" (whispering) The penis" (p.20) "Can we stop, now, please?! You guys" (p.25)- "We're going to get married underwater" (p.20) "We're going to get married (...)" (p.20) "Adam and I had a class together.." (p.21) P:"Because you don't say 'penis' in Jenny's house" (p.22) A:"So, you guys're still going through with that?" (p.31)/" J:"That's what we're saying..." -->unsure/worried "That sense there's someone else" (p.32) "It was pornography" (p.23) "I love the arts" (p.54)/ "going to the movies and stuff" Is worried about their relationship (another Jenny?)/ does she still love him? "Now, I love him and all, I do, you know that, but that's not the way I'd describe him to people. 'Sweet". Would you?"/ "And that's what's bugging me" (p.31/32)→ insecure She thinks she is not cool enough like Evelyn "Hey...Her middle name's not 'Jenny' or anything, is it?" P.34) "So...sorry I'm not an artsy person or cool enough or, you know, I'm not super smart, sorry about that" (p.61) Jenny is fascinated about all the changes Adam is going through. Cheats on her fiancé with Adam (they kiss). She falls in love with the changed man. Jenny and Phillip are no longer in a relationship → because Jenny was worried about her relationship with Phillip--> falls in love with him →and because of the kiss between Jenny/Adam and Phillip/Evelyn →Jenny broke up with Phillip after she met Evelyn and Adam in a coffee shop. P: "She came over one day, after seeing you, guys, and that was it." (p.65) ■ A park Summary: ■ Jenny asks Adam to meet in the park, because she is anxious/worried about her relationship to Phillip → she thinks there is someone else in Phillips's life (another Jenny) How Jenny creates change in Adam: She is angry at Phillip ("Boy, you just can't keep anything to yourself, can you?" (p.66)) "You never change... That's what." (p.66) ■ → reference to Adam--> because he changed, and she thinks he is "lovely" (p.33) → in contrast to Adam, Phillip doesn't change ("He's...Phil. Six 'things' away from being amazing..." (p.55)) Open ending: relationship between Jenny and Adam or unrequited love? How Jenny creates change in Evelyn: ■ Evelyn uses Jenny and Adam's weakness at the park to her advantage →Adam starts to apologize for his kiss/behaviour →Adam tells her that he loves her "I am so sure. I love you..." (p.64) → Adam is completely under Evelyn's control "So, tell me what to do and I'll do it...I just, I just don't wanna lose you." (p.64) The kiss between Adam and Jenny leads Evelyn to a more provoking and mean behavior → Evelyn and Phillip kiss (to get even) "...I'm sorry, I've confused you. I meant about my kiss. With Phillip...." (p.60), "...That's getting even." (p.60) How Jenny creates change in Phillip: ■ Phillip was pissed off because of the kiss "I was pissed off, but, I mean... No call for that 'eye for an eye' shit" (p.65) Phillip recognizes that he is too young for a marriage because of the kiss "You did me a favor, really... Too young to get hitched" (p.65) → the kiss is his way out of the marriage "I was looking to get out, you know that" (p.65) How the character changes: I ■ Jenny compliments Adam about his new look: "You're, like, this totally hot guy now" J: "Adam, are those contacts?" (p.33) Did you stop biting your nails?" A: Yeah" (p.35) J:"What is that girl doing to you?" (p.33), J:"... I didn't think you'd go in for the makeover thing" Adam feels vindicated in his new look;gains confidence because the girl he used to like thinks he is hot now. He is flattered and incentive to go on Jenny and Adam share a kiss → even though they're both in a relationship She recognizes her feelings for Adam through the kiss. She changes because she falls for him "Right. I've wanted to do that for a long time...Three years..." because he has changed; and became lovely. Philip Direct description ■ I ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Indirect Description I ■ ■ ■ I ■ Background ■ ■ ■ ■ P: "I've got the moves" (20/24) E: "you just can't stand to loose an argument" (23/24) E: He is "obnoxious" (24/14) Attitude ■ E: "I hate that kind of guy" (29/25) A: "You are sick" (45/23) ■ P: "but I'am nice looking" (45/24)→A:"not as much as you think"(45/26) A: "You can be annoying"(46/24) P: "I may have a big fucking mouth" (53/12) ▪ ■ He knows Adam pretty well → immediately spotted the loss of weight (19/9) He has in contrast to Adam confidence → he just went on a date with Jenny (21/23) He is a debater ➜ he had an intense discussion with Evelyn (23) He can't lose a discussion → insisted on his point in the discussion with Evelyn (22/15) He feels offended quickly (24/1); (25/1) He is smart and cunning → tried to outsmart Adam to gather more information on the nose (45) and his affair to Jenny (51/2) He is a good friend he is worried on the metamorphosis Adam does (52) Behavior Stole Jenny away from Adam (p.21/13) He sees somebody else when he went out first with Jenny (p. 32/11ff) Phillip is an undergrad (p.25/23) Phillip and Adam are former roommates (p.21/4) Phillip and Adam are in the same survey course (p.33/1) Went to dates with Adam (p.52/28) Tried to make Adam throwing away his old jacket (p.52/27) He is engaged with Jenny and they want to get married (p.19/6) He is adventurous, wants to do things differently → marriage under water (20/4) He draws the boundaries of art very tightly discussion on the defaced statue (22ff) He hates Evelyn (26/8) He doesn't want to get hitched (in the end) (65/29) He takes life as it comes → isn't sad about the end of the relationship with Jenny (65/25) direct, honest: he asks Adam immediately if he lost weight (p.19/9), he tells Adam what Jenny said to him because of the operation (p.47/5)→ extroverted: he says what he thinks (p.22) attentive: sees the change of Adam (p.50/3ff) (p.51/28ff) cares about Adam: he asks if he is fine (p.48/3) self-confident (P.45/27) ,,don't hate me because I'm beautiful" aggressive and vulgar speaking: when he discusses with Evelyn about the vandalism in the gallery (p.22/27) (p. 25/1ff) (p.26/7ff) convinced of his own opinion (p.24f/22ff) I I Philip's Change/ Evolvement Beginning: ■ ■ End: Middle: ■ ■ I ■ ■ ■ ■ Scene analysis of a lawn a lawn Phil questions the way Adam got his nose bandage → Adam lies (45/10) Phil compares Adam to an abused wife →very appropriate comparison (45/13) Phil confronts Adam with the fact that he had an operation → In doing so, he betrays himself → Adam still sticks to his lie → Adam feels embarrassed (47) Phil gives Adam the chance to confess his affair to Jenny → he didn't confess (48/5) Phil sets a trap to Adam to find out the truth (51/2) ■ manipulative: he tricks Adam to find out the truth (p.51/2) doesn't care much about the break up with Jenny (p.65/25ff) I A restaurant Lobby (end of the scene): direct, open and friendly: he asks Adam directly if he has lost weight and wants to go to his home (p.19/4ff) A living room ■ ■ adventurous: wants to get married young and under water (p.20/4) Convinced of his own opinion and does not allow himself to be influenced by others: he doesn't support the graffiti on the sculpture (p.22/19) He shows Evelyn quite obviously that he doesn't like her: he doesn't want Evelyn to tell him who he is (p.25/1ff) a very strong character who doesn't let others influence him and stands to his own opinion a lawn and a coffee shop Evelyn tells that she and Phillip kissed each other and points out that something more went on between them (the kiss: p.60/9; more:p.60/22) →He is not able to avoid the break up from Jenny because he lets himself getting manipulated by Evelyn an auditorium Doesn't care much about the current situation (p.65/15) He claims he didn't want to get married yet and is happy about the break up (p.65/35ff) He is a victim of Evelyn's manipulation and he has to live with the consequences: he and Jenny broke up Conclusion: Why is Phillip an important character of the drama? He is the only male friend Adam has → He points out all of Adam's changes to the reader + later he also became a major change in Adam's life He is the only one who recognizes Evelyn's evil character (for the time being) → He is a severe danger for Evelyn's plans with Adam (both act antagonistic) Evelyn's manipulation has a more drastic affect: she destroys two relationships (and even an engagement) Despite the fact that Phil hates Evelyn, she was able manipulate him as well Phil questions (all) the changes of Adam → the tone of the dialogue intensifies both reproach one another the friendship ends → displays the changes of Adam to the reader Phil is very dominant in the dialog Adam just responses (prosecutor <-> defendant) The Ambiguity of Belonging Adam Who they want to belong to? To Evelyn ■ Why do they want to belong? He wants to be loved by someone because he doesn't have a high self-esteem P.19/10ff: he feels uncomfortable about the questions because of his hairstyle and his lost weight low self-confidence How/Why do they (not) achieve to belong? ■ ■ Weight loss p.19/10 Gives up his friends p.64/30 What can we learn about the character? ■ ■ p.64/30: He give up his friends, He wants to be loved and accepted by Evelyn and would change everything for her p.42/26f: He loves Evelyn and that's also a reason why he wants to belong to her ■ Evelyn Who does Evelyn want to belong to? Does everything that Evelyn wants from him: Hair p.19/12 Nose surgery p.45 Tattoo p.43/26 She wants to belong to Adam (but only for her art project) →"You are my installation thingie" (p.77) She doesn't want to belong to Jenny/Phillip → no interest in real friendship Evelyn doesn't seem like she wants to belong to anyone but she likes Adam's attention (I meant that. I did" (p.81)) Why do they want to belong to? ■ ■ Don't trust a person too fast Don't give up your values and principals Don't give up your real friend who love for whom you are. Do not the change → look for people who love and support you the way you are Learn to love what you have (your friends and maybe things that make you feel comfortable and safe) Evelyn's only aim is to do art project, therefore she wants to belong to Adam. "(...) but this, I'm afraid, was not done out of love or caring or concern(...)" (p.70) How/Why do they achieve to belong? ■ Beginning: She achieves to belong to Adam She manipulates Adam to change --> he gets attached to her Adam falls in love with her End: When she reveals that Adam is her art project she loses him; Evelyn doesn't realize that her behavior was wrong "(...) but this, I'm afraid, was not done out of love or caring or concern(...)" (p.70) What lessons can be learned for the viewer in the character's need and wish to belong? To constantly belong to somebody you have to be serious about it and also be honest in the relationship Be careful what the intentions of the other persons are Conclusion: Jenny Who do they want to belong to? ■ ■ Why/Who do they (not) achieve to belong: ● ■ Compares herself to Evelyn and thinks that she is not cool enough → low self esteem She is a very insecure and indecisive person and therefore looks for a dominant strong partner (Philip) in her life that can make decisions for her wants to compensate her insecurities In the end she overcame her insecurities and learns how to take decisions (she broke up with Phil) → She feels more attracted to the less dominant Adam During the drama Jenny redefines her identity What lessons can be learned for the viewer in the character's need and wish to belong? ● ■ ● ■ ■ ■ Her aim is to belong to Adam but only to do her art project She doesn't want to belong to Jenny/Phillip However, in the end Evelyn shows kind of attachment to Adam (I meant that. I did" (p.81)) ■ she is very indecisive, doesn't know if she wants Philip or Adam Jenny doesn't know who she belongs to: Philip or Adam Thinks there is someone else in Phil's Life she kisses Adam because she is confused about her own feelings Philip Who do they want to belong to? ■ In the end she is able to express her feelings. ■ Why do they want to belong to? Belonging is difficult. Belonging is not a goal rather than a process. Because they are important to him, loves Jenny likes Adam, know each other for a long time (joking, have fun together, trusts him) How/Why do they (not) achieve to belong? he is arrogant ("but I'm nice-looking, which makes up for a lot" (p.45)) doesn't want to marry Jenny (p.65) ■ Evelyn doesn't like him and does not want Adam to be friends with him You don't need a partner to be 'complete' or to be a strong person you can also be strong being by yourself Adam (friends) and in the beginning also to Jenny (relationship) What lessons can be learned for the viewer in the character's need and wish to belong? Tolerant, friendly healthy relationships (Adam and Jenny) healthy need of belonging