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Adaptation analysis button,button

Ina Nygaard Kleven

Button, Button


The short story Button, Button never really tell us when the story takes place, but there are cars and elevators, they talk about travelling to Europe, and they also had a phone. These are all thing that indicate that the story is written in the present.

In the film, they say that the plot takes place in Virginia, 1976. So, you get to know it in the film, but in the short story you have to guess your way to it.


The main character in this story is Norma Lewis. The whole story revolves around her and what she is doing, but Aurthur Lewis and Mr. Steward also play an important role in the story.

In the film, Norma is still the main character, but I feel that Arthur’s role extended and has a bigger and more important role, than in the story. Also, Norma and Aurthur has a son in the film, Walter.

The author has described the characters by physical appearance, thoughts and feelings, and interactions (by the way they act towards others), and not through how the way they speak.

Plot and structure

The most important event in this story is when Norma is home alone and decides to push the button to get $50 000 in exchange for having someone she doesn’t know killed.

The most important event in the film, is also when she pushes the button. The difference between when she pushes the button in the film and in the story, is that in the story Aurthur is not home, and in the film, he is.

The plot in this story is in a chronological structure, meaning that the story/plot is written in the correct order that everything happens.

Narrator and point of view

The narrator in this story is detached third person with a he/she point of view. It’s not written in the first person with and I point of view, or with an all-knowing author, because the storyteller does not know about the characters feeling or thoughts, he just tells what they are all doing.


The main conflict in this story is that Norma and Aurthur does not agree whether to open the box or not. She wants to open the box because she gets $50 000, and all she has to pay is that someone she doesn’t know will die. Aurthur doesn’t want to open it because, maybe the neighbor will die or maybe an innocent child will die. No matter who dies, he doesn’t think it’s fair.

The conflict in the film, is the same as in the short story. They do not know whether to push the button or not, because Norma wants to push, but Aurthur doesn’t. In the film

Plot and structure

The turning point in the story is after Norma pushed the button, and she gets the call that her husband had been pushed in front of a train and died, and her realizing that his life insurance for $25 000 would double if he did. In conclusion she realizing that she got $50 000 when pushing the button, but that it had cost her her husband.

The turning point in the film is the same as in the story. It is when she pushes the button, but the consequence is not the same as in the story.

The climax in the story is when Norma is home alone, and decides to push the button, despite what her husband said.

The climax in the film is not the same as in the story. Of course it’s exciting when she pushes the button, but the real climax in the film, is when Aurthur has to decide whether to let Walter live the rest of his life blind and deaf, or to shoot his wife.