I have chosen Bernard Malamud’s The Assistant as my work of fiction.
The Assistant tells the story of a Jewish family that owns a grocery
store. They are robbed one day. And a few days later Morris Bober, the
father, finds a homeless man stealing milk in the morning before he is
able to pick it up. Morris is kind to the man and gives him a job at
the grocery and a place to live. Morris needs this man’s help because
he was injured during the robbery. The reader soon finds out that this
man, Frank Alpine, is one of the men who robbed Morris. The story
follows Frank’s struggle to live a moral life and his interaction with
the Bober family, including their daughter, Helen.

I think this story would make a good transition to film. It has a
strong story with compelling characters. Which is one of the things
Seger mentioned is needed for a good film. The story has on central
incident. This incident is Frank Alpine and his struggle to live
morally. It also has sub-plots like Frank and Helen’s relationship and
Morris Bober’s struggle to keep his small store running. The story
builds to a clear climax of Frank accosting Helen and Morris’ death.
The character of Frank is a complicated and has many layers. I think
this complex character makes for an interesting story. While he is
sympathetic, he can also be frustrating to the reader sometimes. But,
I believe this complex relationship the reader has with Frank adds to
the story. There is also not to much backstoy for this story. All you
need to know at the beginning is that the Bober’s store is struggling
and Frank robs it. This secret Frank holds, adds for strong, ongoing
relationships.

This story was written in the 1950s. I believe that is still relevant
today. The family is struggling economically, and that is obviously a
pertinent subject in our country right now. Helen wants to return to
school, but her family cannot afford it and she feels guilty not
helping with the shop. This character would resonate with the younger
generation who is currently facing those situations. Parents would be
able to relate to the Bobers who want to be able to pay for their
children’s educations but are unable to.
This story is held together with great characters and a good
storyline. I think that this is exactly what many movies are missing
today.

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