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Transcript of Chunnel Vision
If your friend had the EXACT
same story as you?
What would you do...
A british man comes to visit New York every few months and every time he does, he visits his friend Duncan McPherson. They are opposites so naturally they attract. Duncan specializes in screenplays and articles and has a new girlfriend every few weeks, while the man is a novelist who has been married for 28 years. When the man phones Duncan, Duncan tells him about his plans for a novel and how he just broke up with his girlfriend, Christabel. The man wraps a copy of his new bestseller for Duncan, and travels to his apartment. Like all of Duncan's other girlfriends, Christabel has fine white hair and a gorgeous figure. There he witness the ex-couple fighting and Christabel manages to appreciate the man's novel, while packing. Soon the trio head out to dinner, even though Christabel wasn't invited. The man is unhappy because it sounds like a pretentious French restaurant and he hates rich food. Still, they settle in at the table and Duncan explains about reporting from Bosnia, as the englishman tries to figure out the cheapest item on the menu. Christabel has ordered quite a bit of wine and champagne and the man fears for Duncan's wallet. Soon the food is ordered and Duncan starts to tell him about his new novel. Duncan starts to explain about the plot of the novel and the man's heart drops. Christabel continues to shamelessly order food. The plot line of the novel is that an eclectic group of people, including an american family, a millionaire and students, are stuck in the Chanel Tunnel when the train is hijacked by terrorists. Duncan gives more and more details as the man becomes more and more horrifies and Christabel orders more and more food. After and second and third dessert, Christabel leaves the restaurant, giving the man a knowing look. After she staggers out, Duncan is presented with the check and he studies it incredulously, as he had no idea of Chrstabel's eating habits. A diner near by loudy tells the Brit her appreciation of the novel and inquires how he thought of saving the family in the train.
Elements of Mystery
"I was trying to work out which would be the cheapest dishes when another glass of champagne was placed at Christabel's side."
Christabel will order a lot of expensive food.
Irony is a special kind of contrast between appearance and reality-usually one in which reality is the opposite from what it seems.
Dramatic irony is when the reader or viewer knows something that a character does not know.
Situational irony is the contrast between what a reader or character expects and what actually exists or happens.
Verbal irony is when someone knowingly exaggerates or says one thing and means another.
Delve deeper into the story of one man's choice:
Real Life Mysteries
In a smaller case, a man once ordered a Starbucks drink costing $23.60 (the most expensive) using a free coffee coupon. Crazy, huh!
tell his friend about their book plot's being the same or tell him his girlfriend is wasting his money?
"I felt a sudden pang of guilt, and wondered if I should say something."
Duncan's plot is identical to the man's new bestseller.
"... trying to work out which would be the cheapest dishes when another glass of champagne was placed at Christabel's side."
"In fact, Duncan and I only have one thing in common: we are both writers."
"The New York Times and the Washington Post have both followed the story up with features on the main culprits- but without bothering to give me any credit for the original research ofcourse."
This is dramatic irony because we know that Christabel is trying to order as many things as she can while Duncan has no idea how large the bill is getting
This is situational irony because we expect that Duncan had done the research for his novel on his own but the man had already done it the first time. He wrote the book first.
"'... more time to take you through plot of my novel... your novel... Number one on the New York Times bestseller list isn't it?" (Duncan)
This is verbal irony because Duncan pretends to not know of the man's bestselling novel.
Has a new girlfriend every few weeks (rugged good looks)
Is very bitter about his expose and credit not being given
Is trying to write a novel (that happens to be the exact same as his best friend)
Is sometimes very poor or very rich
Vengeful (racked up a huge bill at the dinner and didnt tell her boyfriend that the novels were the same)
Very beautiful and gets away with everything (got in without a reservation)
Clever (she could weasel her way into dinner and more)
She seems nice but is very cunning on the inside. (not someone to mess with)
Cares about his friends (gave a gift)
Is not completely attached to his wife (was on the rebound with Christabel)
Is not fond of confrontation (put of telling his friend the truth)
Manhattan, New York City
Duncan's apartment is described as "cannot be decribed as a pent house even by the most imaginative of realtors." I has a feminine touch from all of his girlfriends and wall to wall book shelves.
Le Manior is a pretentious french restaurant with "massive flowered plates... 'Le Manior' painted in crimson everywhere... the maître d' dressed in a black waistcoat..." It is very overly fancy and bright. The diners are business men and such. It's the perfect restaurant... that the man dreads.
Christabel is trying to order as much food as is possible, to rack up the bill that her ex-boyfriend will pay. She's trying to get revenge for making her move out. Since he doesn't notice, it is the perfect crime as she can't be convicted for me.
Duncan has thought up a novel idea that is the exact same as his friend's new bestseller. He doesn't know it yet, but it will cause issues in future.
In Duncan and the man's novel, the characters are stuck in the channel tunnel with terrorist hijacking the train.
Christabel leaves the restaurant before the bill comes and she cannot get in trouble for the bill, as she will move out that day.
Duncan doesn't know about his friend as of the end of the story but I am sure that the man will be forced to tell him as he will get tried for plagiarism if he doesn't.
They do not explicitly state it but I assume the family is aided by the foreign police.
This is dramatic irony because the reader knows that they both have the same novel, and that is a BIG thing to have in common.
In "Chunnel Vision," Duncan unknowingly steals the idea of his novel from his friend. This is yet another case of unknowing plagiarism. What is plagiarism?
Poor, perfect Kaavya Viswanathan. When the first reporter, a kid from the Harvard Crimson, called about the dozens of stolen passages, Kaavya stonewalled. “I have no idea what you are talking about.” Later, it was harder to pity her. McCafferty’s books “spoke to me in a way few other books did . . ." she said, "I can honestly say that any phrasing similarities between her works and mine were completely unintentional and unconscious.” She stole the idea for her novel and now it was coming back to haunt her! To speak in her defense, she may have come up with it or had been steered in this direction by another person. But plagiarism is plagiarism and she lost her book deal. It is said that she did it unknowingly but how can we tell. All we know is that she has a book stunningly similar to a bestseller.
Foreshadowing is a writer's use of hints or clues to indicate events and situations that will occur later in the plot.
"Should I tell him now?" PG. 158
"As I glanced down the list of dishes, Christabel whispered something to the waiter, who nodded and slipped quietly away." PG. 154
'"I felt a sudden pang of guilt, and wondered if I should say something, but at this point a waiter returned with a bottle of white wine, the label of which Christabel studied intently." PG. 157
""I feared we had now passed the point at which I could tell Duncan the truth." PG. 165