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Composite character

In a work of media adapted from a real or fictional narrative, a composite character is a character based on more than one individual from the preceding story.[1] Two or more fictional characters are often combined into a single character in the course of an adaptation of a work for a different medium, as in adapting a novel in the course of authoring a screenplay for a film.[citation needed] A composite character may be modeled on historical or biographical figures. An amalgamation or amalgam, when used to refer to a fictional character or place, refers to one that was created by combining, or is perceived to be a combination, of several other previously existing characters or locations.[citation needed] To emphasize the origin of their creations, authors or artists may use amalgamated names.[citation needed]

Contents

Use in filmEdit

Use in musicalsEdit

  • The musical version of Les Misérables has the charismatic revolutionary Enjolras die while waving a flag at the top of a barricade; in the original novel by Victor Hugo, a character named Mabeuf dies in such a way.[citation needed]
  • The musical Wicked has the character of Fiyero who fills in the roles of both himself (the love interest of the Wicked With of the West) and another minor character from the novel.
  • In the musical Legally Blonde, the character of Professor Stromwell from the film does not appear. Her storyline is split up between Vivian and Professor Callahan.

Use in televisionEdit

Use in booksEdit

  • The Senator: My Ten Years with Ted Kennedy, a memoir by Richard E. Burke allegedly exposing various activities of U.S. Senator Teddy Kennedy featured several composite characters associated with Kennedy's alleged drug use and sexual dalliances; the inclusion of such became a point of criticism for the book.[18][19]

Use in comicsEdit

Use in journalismEdit

Creating composite characters in journalism is considered a misrepresentation of facts and, without appropriate notice to the reader, unethical.[citation needed] Some writers who are considered journalists or who describe them selves as journalists have on occasion used composite characters.[citation needed]

  • In 1944, The New Yorker ran a series of articles by Joseph Mitchell on New York's Fulton Fish Market that were presented as journalism. Only when the story was published four years later as the book Old Mr. Flood did Mitchell write, "Mr. Flood is not one man; combined in him are aspects of several old men who work or hang out in Fulton Fish Market, or who did in the past."[21] Mitchell assigned his composite character his own birthday and his own love for the Bible and certain authors.[22] In his introduction to Mr. Flood, Mitchell wrote, "I wanted these stories to be truthful rather than factual, but they are solidly based on facts."[23]
  • John Hersey is said to have created a composite character in a Life magazine story as did Alastair Reid for The New Yorker.[23]
  • Vivian Gornick in 2003 said that she used composite characters in some of her articles for the Village Voice.[24]

Amalgamated placesEdit

Places may be amalgamated in fiction by taking districts, landmarks, or characters of existing locations, or previously created locations of another work of fiction. Thus, a sample fictional city could contain the Eiffel Tower a block away from the Forbidden City, where Bill Gates may be living after having bought a nearby clacks tower from Albus Dumbledore. Usually, if the author or artist desires the city to be more believable, he or she will amalgam it only from real places, whereas if the story is more fantastic, fictional places may be better.

An author or artist may choose to amalgamate a city rather than imagining all of its aspects from scratch in order to be humorous by referencing other works and/or real places, or to avoid having to name his or her city altogether, such as when shooting a film in several existing cities, while the city portrayed is supposed not to exist.

ExamplesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Gutkind, Lee; Fletcher, Hattie (2008). Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton. p. 39. ISBN 0393065618.
  2. ^ "House of cards". Boston.com. 6 April 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2013.(subscription required)
  3. ^ Lovell, Jim; Kluger, Jeffrey (1994). Apollo 13. New York: Pocket Books. pp. 118, 209–210, 387. ISBN 0671534645.
  4. ^ Grow, Kory (2016-02-14). "'Silence of the Lambs' at 25: Inside Buffalo Bill". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  5. ^ Alexander, Bryan (20 July 2017). "'Dunkirk': How historically accurate is Christopher Nolan's WWII battle film?". USA TODAY. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  6. ^ Bruemmer, René (2 August 2017). "Inspiration for summer blockbuster Dunkirk an unsung Montreal hero". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  7. ^ Adams, Guy (25 July 2017). "The real hero of Dunkirk: Courage of the pier-master who manned a crucial jetty to organise evacuees for six days and five nights without a break". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Unsung hero of Dunkirk evacuation a former McGill student". McGill Reporter. McGill University. 7 August 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  9. ^ "This war hero was forgotten in Canada and portrayed as a Brit in 'Dunkirk.' Now he's finally getting his due". Washington Post. September 21, 2017.
  10. ^ Broich, John (20 July 2017). "What's Fact and What's Fiction in 'Dunkirk'". Slate. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  11. ^ Kaufman, Michael T. (August 13, 1999). "John D. Lewis, 84, Pilot in 'The Great Escape'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  12. ^ Bishop, Patrick (30 August 2015). "William Ash: The cooler king". BBC Online. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  13. ^ Foley, Brendan (29 April 2014). "Bill Ash obituary". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  14. ^ "William Ash - obituary". The Daily Telegraph. London. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  15. ^ Goodykoontz, Billy (2013-05-28). "25 years later, 'China Beach' earns your respect". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  16. ^ "'China Beach': Cast Reunites, Reflects on Series' Impact". ABC News. 2013-09-30. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  17. ^ Barra, Allen (July 2013). "Dodge Vs. Deadwood". American Heritage. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  18. ^ "Ex-aide's Book Alleges Kennedy Used Drugs The Senator Called Allegations About Orgies, Drugs And Alcohol "Bizarre And Untrue"". The Inquirer. 27 September 1992. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  19. ^ Isaak, Sharon (30 October 1992). "Tales of Ted Kennedy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  20. ^ Shafer, Jack (12 June 2003). "The fabulous fabulists". Slate. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  21. ^ Carduff, Christopher (3 November 1992). "Fish-eating, whiskey, death & rebirth". New Criterion. Archived from the original on 6 March 2001. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  22. ^ a b O'Rourke, Meghan (29 July 2003). "Literary license". Slate. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  23. ^ "Unethical writers love the power of creative non-fiction -". WTOP.com. 13 January 2006. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 13 October 2013.