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To Kill A Mockingbird - Differences between Movie and Book
There are usually differences in two different versions of something. This can often be seen when a book is made into a movie. There are many similarities and differences in the book and movie versions of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
To begin with, there are many similarities between the book and movie To Kill A Mockingbird. For example, Tom Robinson died in an attempt to escape from prison in both the book and the movie. In my opinion Tom's death was crucial to the original story, and I believe the movie would have been seen as over-sentimental if the scriptwriters had let him live. Another important similarity between the book and movie, is the mutual fascination between Arthur Radley and the children. Arthur, or Boo as the children called him, left them gifts such as dolls, a watch, and chewing gum in the hollow of a tree in his yard. The children made expeditions to the Radley house to look in the window just so they could catch a glimpse of Boo Radley. I believe this captivation was important to the story line because it was the main foundation of the children's imagination. A big part of the story was imagining Boo to be some kind of freak that came out at night to eat cats and squirrels. An additional similarity between the book and movie is the respect showed to Atticus by the African American community of Maycomb. They respected him for his courage, which by his definition meant, "It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."(112). I think the mutual respect between the African Americans and Atticus was important not only to Atticus, but also to his children. Their father and the sad story and memories of Tom Robinson taught them the wrongs of racism. I think if the movie producers had taken out the good relationship between Atticus and the African Americans, it would be taking away one of the most important themes of the story. There are many other significant similarities between the book and the movie.
In comparison with the many similarities in the book and movie versions of To Kill A Mockingbird, there are also many differences. One huge difference that was almost impossible to miss, was the absence of Aunt Alexandra. Atticus' sister, Alexandra, was the thorn in Scout's side throughout the book. She always wanted Scout to act more like a lady. Towards the end, she became more like a mother in soothing Scout and trying to reassure her that Jem was not dead. I think Aunt Alexandra was a huge part of the story, and I think they should have kept her in the movie. Be that as it may, the movie moved along quite well without her. I also found there to be huge differences in the trial. For example, although Mayella Ewell, pretended to be very upset by Atticus' questioning, she did not accuse him of mocking her. I thought that this was somewhat significant because it was one of Mayella's tactics for trying to get pity from the jury. A more minor difference, was the combination of Miss Maudie and Miss Rachel. The two neighbors of the Finches were combined into one person for the movie. I do not think it mattered very much, because they served the same purpose in the end. They were there as comfort to Atticus and the children. A larger difference in the movie pertained to Mrs. Dubose. Mrs. Dubose did make a small appearance in the movie, but her role was cut down quite a bit from what it was originally in the book. Mrs. Dubose, a morphine addict, played a large role in Jem's life. She constantly harassed Scout and Jem, insulted their father, and just made life miserable for them. When Jem lost his temper, he took it out on Mrs. Dubose's flower garden. His punishment was to read to Mrs. Dubose to help her break her addiction. When she died, Atticus gave Jem a lesson in what it is to have courage. That entire segment was cut out of the movie. Atticus' quote on courage was one of the most important things in the book, and although the movie was fine without it, I feel that the Mrs. Dubose scenes would have added a lot to the movie.
In conclusion, different versions of a creation will always have their differences. This is true in the book and movie versions of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
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Although we enjoyed reading To Kill a Mockingbird, we were eager to see the film version. We were somewhat disappointed in the movie because it left out some of the main scenes. On the other hand, the movie is 2 hours and 9 minutes. The movie never leaves you predicting what will happen next. Nevertheless, our opinions are that we favored the book over the movie. Everyone in the class notices many differences between the book and the movie. Provided that the book gives detail that the movie cannot show it is a missing part in itself.
Aunt Alexandra was not even mentioned in the movie. You didn’t see Scout changing from a young and reckless child, into a mature young lady. That is a colossal piece missing from this movie. Also, nothing was ever shown about finding the gum in Boo Radley’s yard. When Scout told Jem that she took the gum from the Radley property, it informed the readers that Boo would be disturbing enough to set up a poisonous trap for the the children. Mrs. Dubose was an iconic character in this book, she gave the fear to the children.
Although the children are terrified of Boo Radley, Boo stays inside, Boo never has never personally given Scout and Jem a reason to be scared of him. In the book, Ms Dubose, was the mean and bitter lady who no one wanted to spend time with. Consequently, when Jem destroyed Mrs. Dubose’s camellia bushes, he had to spend his time with a woman who he could not tolerate. This showed that the children would obey Atticus’s discipline. However, the movie didn’t show Mrs. Dubose but once. When Mrs. Dubose died, the children never knew why Atticus was so nice to her; but they shortly found out that Atticus was talking of Mrs.
Dubose’s will and she was an addict of morphine. The court case between Mayella and Tom Robinson was the longest scene in the movie. In the book, the case took at least a few chapters to come to a complete end. Mr. Ewell tried to be clever and wise with Atticus in the book. Atticus tried many times and the judge also, to cease the cleverness. Mr. Ewell’s wisecracks might of been a way for him to cover up his nervousness. When the reporter sees the children up on the balcony, the children are scared that the reporter would tell Atticus. When Calpurnia alks in the the courtroom and informs Atticus that the children are missing, the reporter finally gave up the whereabouts of the children. The movie does not present Calpurnia telling Atticus about the children missing nor the reporter seeing the children. This would give the average movie watcher, without reading the book, the idea that the children were allowed to be there. When the kids hear about Dolphus Raymond in the book, they think of the man who married a black woman and has mixed children. The children also hear from the adults that he is a heavy drinker.
In between the court case, they meet Dolphus Raymond and shorty find out that he is not a drinker at all. Mr. Raymond wants all the people in Maycomb to think that he is a drunk. In the movie, this scene wasn’t even acknowledged. The consequence for the missing scene was the watcher does not get to see the children learning that they should not judge the book by its cover. It was very interesting to observe how the actors looked and brought the characters to life in the movie. We think there were some weak spots in the movie.
As we told you in the previous paragraphs, these differences took out some of the very important lessons learned in the book. We loved seeing the characters in the movie and relating them to the characters in the book. Although Scout and Jem would usually tell the characters name, most of the time we could recognize the person from what the book said. We loved the contrast from the book to the movie. Overall, the movie and the book together were fantastic, but we prefer the book over the movie. Although, we understand fully how both movie, and book were celebrated in such great praise.
Author: Gene Jeremiah
To Kill a Mockingbird Movie/Book Compare and Contrast
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