Book Comparison Essay, Research Paper
To Kill A Mocking Bird
A Comparison of The Novel and The Film
There are many differences between the movie and the book. First the positive points: This film attaches faces to Scout, Jem, Miss Maudie, and Dill, since no description of their faces is given in the book. Also, the film has some genuinely hilarious moments, particularly the scene where Scout is dressed as a ham and walking through the forest. Another good point is that the acting was superb and a treat to watch. Gregory Peck, who played Atticus, was captivating. The film is cast very well. The novel does not give physical descriptions of Scout, Jem, Miss Maudie, and Dill, but the film characters were believable. The actors look like what we would expect them to look like.
Onto the negative points. Many very important scenes are omitted, this can make the film hard to follow at times. Particularly of the scene in the courthouse, because Jem and Scout still take seats with Reverend Sykes, the black man. In the novel we meet Sykes in the scene where Calpurnia takes the children to her church, and the children befriend him. But in the movie, that scene was not present, therefore there is no reason for the children to know Reverend Sykes because the segregation of the 30 s would normally eliminate all friendly contact with a person of the opposite race. Because of the removal of so many scenes, character development is minimal. Another negative point is that Boo Radley, a major character we hear so much about in both the book and the film, does not say anything. In the book he has one lone line, it would have been interesting to hear his voice. These negative points certainly subtract from the plot.
On the subject of scenes left out, the list is quite big for such an important story. The scene in which it snows, and Miss Maudie s house catches on fire, did not happen, proof is seen when we see that at the end of the film, Miss Maudie has the same house as in the beginning. Also, Dill does not cry in the courtroom scene. There is no Christmas family reunion, where Scout meets her snotty cousin and develops character, Aunt Alexandra never moves in, Ms Dubose is seen for about 30 seconds, which is disappointing because she helped develop Jem s character. In the scene where the mob confronts Atticus, there is no Mr. Underwood covering Atticus with his rifle. We never get to see Scout s famous mess up at the pageant, and Cecil Jacob s never jumps out of the bushes to scare Scout. These scenes are all very important to plot and character development, and it makes the viewer wonder why the editors left all that out and included the minor scene where Atticus shoots a mad dog. Additionally, the order of scenes is switched around, and the time frame is compacted into about one year, compared to the books 3 years.
If I could make any changes, I d colourize the film, add the scenes in which Calpurnia takes the children to church, the pageant (admittedly, its really only so I can laugh at the ham costume again), as well as the Aunt Alexandra fiasco. I d also give Boo his line, and make the scene where Mr. Ewell attacks the children more horrific, like adding in a snap sound effect for when Jem breaks his arm, and having Mr. Ewell attack Scout with his knife.
The most effective scene was the attack of Mr. Ewell and its aftermath, since this riveting scene has a lot of character development and grabs the viewers attention. How could someone not become interested by a mysterious attack, prevented by an even more mysterious man with a heart of gold? Besides, any scene with Scout dressed as the ham is automatically hilarious.
I give the film To Kill A Mocking Bird 2.8 stars out of four, compared to the novel s 3.6. Now I m going to go on the Internet and tell all my friends to rent this film, and then make a screensaver involving a certain giant ham.