Monique La terra

I’m a writer & cat lover striving to tell stories.




Step 1: Selecting Your Text

After reading through the texts and deciding on a few poems from The Spoon River Anthology I went on a much anticipated overseas trip, all the while keeping the poems in mind hoping that the change of scenery would help me choose a poem and bring inspiration. My plan worked and I chose the poem Searcy Foote. I found most of the poems from Spoon River to be very emotive, but it was the frustration in the character that inspired me the most. I believe frustration is a very strong character trait as it can lead to irrational decision making and can bring out the worst in a person.

My adaptation will focus on the time leading up to the murder, the relationship with Delia and the strained relationship with Aunt Persis. I plan to allocate only a small portion of the screenplay to the events that happened afterward the murder.

The screenplay will be set in the 1920s and I hope to incorporate the beliefs of Proudhon into Searcy’s mentality because it seems that he may idolise the man as he is mentioned twice in the poem with the second mention during the murder. Throughout the screenplay I would like to convey a strong sense of being trapped in an unwanted situation.

Searcy Foote

I WANTED to go away to college

But rich Aunt Persis wouldn’t help me.

So I made gardens and raked the lawns

And bought John Alden’s books with my earnings

And toiled for the very means of life.

I wanted to marry Delia Prickett,

But how could I do it with what I earned?

And there was Aunt Persis more than seventy

Who sat in a wheel-chair half alive

With her throat so paralyzed, when she swallowed

The soup ran out of her mouth like a duck—

A gourmand yet, investing her income

In mortgages, fretting all the time

About her notes and rents and papers.

That day I was sawing wood for her,

And reading Proudhon in between.

I went in the house for a drink of water,

And there she sat asleep in her chair,

And Proudhon lying on the table,

And a bottle of chloroform on the book,

She used sometimes for an aching tooth!

I poured the chloroform on a handkerchief

And held it to her nose till she died.—

Oh Delia, Delia, you and Proudhon

Steadied my hand, and the coroner

Said she died of heart failure.

I married Delia and got the money—

A joke on you, Spoon River?

Step 2: Drafting Your Screenplay

Step 3: Writing Your Logline

When a young man eager for an education is deprived of his inheritance by his aunt, he must take radical measures to persue the life he wants.


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