A West Side Story versus Romeo and Juliet

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A West Side Story is an adaptation of the play Romeo and Juliet that is set in the late 1950’s in the New York City borough, the Bronx. The details that help to establish this setting are the scenery, characters, and technology. The scenery shows many skyscrapers and a rough street which shows that is New York City, the Bronx to be specific. The characters also help set the place by the way that they act and talk with New York slang. The characters and the technology help set the time by displaying characteristics of the 1950’s. The technology is far less advanced, such as the weapons that are deciding on for the rumble. They are talking about using rocks, cans, and other things of that nature, and while those are still used in rumbles, now it is more common for the use of guns to be employed. The character’s clothes also reflect the time period because most of them are wearing leather jackets, a common article of clothing from that time. The plot of A West Side Story follows along the same basic plot of Romeo and Juliet, but many scenes are omitted or altered but there are a few that are clearly much more important than others. Maria and Tony are never truly married, but they do feel that they are in love with each other. When Maria first hears that Tony killed Bernardo, she is angered at him when he shows up at her window, as opposed to her immediately feeling more upset that Tony will be banished. Chino, who is the closest parallel to Paris, seeks out to kill Romeo because he hears of their love for each other, whereas in Romeo and Juliet, Paris does not even know of the love between the two main characters. This leads to a few other glaring differences in the final scenes. The first is that the message is supposed to be delivered to Tony by Anita, not a Friar John parallel, but that message never reaches him because of Jets, not a plague or
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