Annette vs. Nancy When taking the time to examine the characters of Annette Reille, from the play, and Nancy Cowan, from Carnage, it is easy to find their likenesses, but there are also some noticeable differences. One of the main reasons for all of these differences is merely different interpretations of the character by different readers. For example, the tone in which certain lines are said or in the way a certain action is portrayed can change the whole personality of a character.
When reading, the reader portrays each of the characters as he/ she believes them to be, but then another reader could have a difference of opinion and change the whole attitude; this was the case if you consider the readers to be myself and Kate Winslet. Although Annette often appears to be conciliatory, her counterpart Nancy seems more invested in ending in the conflict. In the play Annette is trying to work out the situation going on between the boys with no conflict between the parents, and this conciliatory side is shown many times throughout the play.
One of the times we realize Annette is trying to keep the peace is in the beginning when she says to Veronique “We should be thanking you. We should” (Reza1258). Annette says this as a response to Veronique, after she finishes “discretely” bragging about how she and Michel handled the situation. She is very complimentary of Veronique, which is her way of keeping things calm. This line, along with others, shows Annette agreeing with these parents and letting the Vallon’s know she understands her son was the one in the wrong.
An aspect of Annette’s line about being thankful that should be taken into consideration is the amount of body language presented. Nowhere in the reading is it explained whether or not any movement is made or expression shown, but in reading it seemed as though this line didn’t need any and that it isn’t of much importance. Annette seems to be trying to keep up the moods of Bruno’s parents by complimenting the choices they made in handling the situation. For anyone reading this play, this character could be depicted in many different ways.
There is an instance in the movie where this is proven; Nancy says the exact same line but is able to make it completely sarcastic by simply having a certain tone in her voice and a slightly rude facial expression. Another great example of the difference in these characters was later on, in the same scene as mentioned before, when Veronique has explained how she and Michel were able to get Ferdinand’s name. After Veronique states that “if (she and Michel) were the boy’s parents, (they) would want to be told” (Reza1259), Annette has the very simple response of “Absolutely” (Reza1259).
Kate Winslet’s portrayal of this line in particular, was very sarcastic. She included movements in her eyes, a slight shrugging of the shoulders, maybe a nod of her head, and that gave more to this one word than what just reading did. This simple line also shows Nancy’s motives in a great way. While this line was probably more of an agreeable one with Annette, it is not with Nancy. Annette’s response had more of a high pitched tone like she actually agreed. Whereas, in the movie, Nancy’s “Absolutely” is short and to the point.
Nancy’s urge to leave and her lack of desire to be in the discussion is shown as she tries to stay near the door of the apartment and answer questions with the shortest possible responses. Annette’s conciliatory personality shows again later on in the play when the couples decide to eat the clafoutis Veronique has made. After Michel describes how delicious the desert is and insists that everyone has a slice, Veronique shares her secret ingredient. Annette’s reply to discovering that the gingerbread crumbs were the special touch in the clafoutis is “Brilliant” (Reza 1262).
It’s as if Annette is continuing to compliment Veronique to ensure she doesn’t get upset with her and that the meeting continues to go smoothly. As stated before, Kate Winslet portrayed Nancy in such a way she didn’t want to be attending this get together in the first place so each line was full of attitude. When looking at this line, “Brilliant” (Reza1262), from before, the difference is shown wonderfully. In Carnage , Nancy isn’t stating Penelope is really brilliant; she has that “good for you” tone in her voice and could honestly care less about the cobbler.
Kate Winslet uses that tone of voice to show her apathy, but also does one simple gesture that tops it off; she raises her eyebrows. Although it doesn’t sound like much, everyone knows that look of annoyance, and that is exactly the one Nancy gave to Penelope in the movie. Later in the play, after shuffling through Veronique’s art books, Annette once again agrees with what Veronique has to say. After Veronique makes the comment about taking her children to concerts, museums, and making them read and saying “We’re eccentric enough to believe in the pacifying abilities of culture! (Reza1267) about her and her husband; Annette says “And you’re right…” (Reza1267). Once again she is being very agreeable and there is no way to know if this is her actual opinion. Annette is just too busy pleasing Veronique. At the same moment in the play as mentioned before, the movie seems to play out differently. Nancy does shuffle through the table full of magazines but in response to Penelope’s comment like Veronique’s, she gives more of a head nod. Once again the attitude difference is shown between Annette and Nancy in their take on the situation by something very minimal.
This response shows Nancy’s apathy toward these people, she is there to settle the happenings between their sons and wants to be done with it; the extra information isn’t something she necessarily cares for. After all the ruckus from Annette getting sick is over with we see the characters begin to drink and this takes a tole on both Annette and Nancy’s characters. Starting with Annette, she becomes much more open, and starts to give her opinion; still somewhat in a held back manner. She starts to disagree with some of the things being said by Veronique which is unlike her and tells how she truly feels about her husband.
There is also a reaction to one of Alain’s phone calls in which she disposes of the device in the vase of tulips. One of her lines following this event is “His whole life!… ” (Reza1294). Annette is angry with her husband and in this scene shows that in a big way. Now to take a look at Nancy at the same point in the movie, she is also drunk but she has changed character from the uptight woman ready to leave, to this lose and relaxed woman ready to say what’s on her mind. In Carnage, Nancy also takes her husband’s phone and drowns it but her reaction seems to be much different that Annette’s.
For starters, Nancy begins to laugh, almost uncontrollably. She is bursting with laughter and moving around the room poking fun at her husband Allen. After Allen expresses his anger, stating “Everything’s on there, my whole life…” (Reza1294), she has the same line as mentioned before that was said by Annette. Although they share this line, Kate Winslet took it in a different direction; she played with the line as though to mock and laugh at Allen. Although we see these two characters change after they become intoxicated, there is still that small amount of the same character from the beginning.
Annette and Nancy still have the same lines between the play and movie, but Annette still seems more reserved in what she says, and Nancy more sarcastic. While Annette is stating her opinion through the rest of the play, she is still timid as if she thinks that won’t offend the Vallons as much. Nancy, however, says things with an openly sarcastic tone. The alcohol is giving her less control on how to hide her attitude, but she seems pretty care free; this more than likely doesn’t bother her much.
Other than the obvious differences in the way certain lines are portrayed, the body language throughout both the play and the movie shows these two characters as either conciliatory or invested in ending the conflict. In the beginning of the play Annette shuffles magazines but that is about the extent of her described motion until she becomes ill later on and then throws the cell phone into the vase. Nancy, on the other hand, is constantly moving. Throughout the movie we see Nancy sit down, stand up, pace back and forth, she is in the living room, at the door, and in the hallway ready to leave.
There are a couple of moments in the movie where Nancy nods and moves her eyes toward the door as if to say to her husband “let’s go”, and also a few times in the hallway where she shuffles alongside Allen as if to say don’t leave me here alone. As explained, these two characters have differences in their personalities by the way lines are said, the attitudes, and also in the body language used. When comparing it is as if these two were taken from two different stories and were being compared, but they weren’t.
Truthfully, it all depends on the interpretation of the reader, like I said before, which was clearly proven. The way I understood certain lines and the way that Kate Winslet took and portrayed the same ones had a drastic difference. So in looking at Annette and Nancy, two women who are supposed to be the same character, one of them is playing peacemaker and being very agreeable with the Vallons, while the other showed up hoping to end the argument quickly and not stay and listen to all the extra nonsense that had nothing to do with the boys’ argument at the park.
Cite this Comparison of Characters Annette vs. Nancy
Comparison of Characters Annette vs. Nancy. (2016, Oct 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/god-of-carnage/