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John Irving Essay Research Paper It is

John Irving Essay, Research Paper It is very common to see a movie that has arisen from a famous novel, but there are some major differences seen when the transition from paper to

John Irving Essay, Research Paper

It is very common to see a movie that has arisen from a famous novel, but

there are some major differences seen when the transition from paper to

screen takes place. The director of a movie has to try and fit a complete

novel into an hour an a half to three our movie. Sometimes this adaptation

works very well and the same points can be found if you read the book or

watch the movie, but sometimes it does not work and some very major points

and circumstances can be lost. In the World According to Garp the director

George Roy Hill did a good job in fitting the major parts of the novel into

the big screen adaptation.

The movie, although a flop in the box office, received great reviews.

One reviewer remarks, “The film bombed at the box office but remains an

absorbing, if uneven work filled with intriguing–and eccentric–characters.”

(Jean Oppenheimer). The easiest thing to do when looking at the novel in

comparison to the film is to look at what was left out. In Garp there were

some instances that were changed for time sake, but nothing major was

forgotten. The biggest change that I noticed when watching the movie is

that they leave out all of the novels Garp writes. In the book we get to

read passages from all of his books, but in the movie the only thing we know

is that he is a writer and we never find out what he writes about. One of

the major characters that was changed for the movie was a girl named Ellen

James. Ellen James is a reoccurring character in the novel. She is an

eleven year old girl who is raped by a bunch of men and afterwards they cut

out her tongue so that she can not tell anyone about what they did. After

this happens Ellen James begins to have women followers who cut out their own

tongues in protest of what has happened to the small girl. Throughout the

book we are introduced to many of these protesting women, “the Ellen

Jamsians”. T.S. Garp actually ends up adopting Ellen toward the end of the

novel. When the movie introduces Ellen James it does it through a letter

written from her to Garp and we never actually see who she is. This is a

very common thing to do when transferring the writing to the main screen,

when the director can’t show all characters because of time restraint. If

George Roy Hill had tried to bring in Ellen James as a major character he

would have sacrificed a great amount of valuable time.

Time is not the only limiting factor when making a movie out of a novel.

Another main reason for changing a part of the novel for the movie is income

problems. In the movie version of The World According to Garp the director

chooses to change the setting of a scene from the book. Garp and his mother

travel to Europe in the novel, but when brought to the movie they go to New

York. The one problem with this change is that the main point of going to

Europe is lost. When Garp and his mother choose to travel abroad they do so

for cultural sake. They both plan to write a novel and want to learn more

about the world before doing so. Some of the instances that happened in

Europe where easily changed when brought to America.

The final problem that will arise into any novel to film adaptation is

the problem of filming a thought. In a novel a thought process can be easily

demonstrated through writing, but how do you visually show what a person is

thinking? George Roy Hill solves this problem in one scene by having Garp

open and close a set of Venetian blinds. Every time he opens them there is

something different in the window. This action shows the audience what is

taking place in Garp’s mind at this particular time. Most of the time the

ideas and thoughts of the character are just left out or a use of a narrator

is imperative. When the thoughts of a character are left out you get a

character that is hard to level with because you don’t know what is going

through their mind. When we do get inside of a characters head we can

sympathize with the actions that are taken.

When you make a novel into a movie you must be prepared to change a very

important piece of work. The reasons for changing the work are for time

restraint, income limit, and the problem of bringing thought into a visual

account. In the film the World According to Garp the director George Roy

Hill does a great job in bringing the literature to the screen. There are

very few changes made to the work and the ones that were made were justified

and did not change the story line too much.

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