The Scarlet Letter( Differences Between Book And Movie) Essay, Research Paper
When novels are made into movies, they are often changed to accommodate the
times or the director?s wishes. Story lines, settings, and even mannerisms of the
characters may be changed. The Scarlet Letter is no exception. In the 1995
version starring Demi Moore as Hester Prynne, the story line is changed in
several parts to enhance the emotion and impact of the film. Most of the
similarities between the book and the movie are found toward the middle of the
movie and the majority of the discrepancies were at the beginning and end of the
The beginning of the movie begins very differently from the book. The
movie opens with a discussion between the town?s magistrates and a local
indian tribe. Then we see Hester?s arrival from England. The book, however,
begins much later with Hester?s precession from prison. The movie is told
through the eyes of Pearl, while the book is tells the story in third person. Unlike
the novel, the movie shows how Hester Prynne and Reverend Dimmesdale
meet, fall in love, and their affair. In the movie, but not in the book, Mistress
Hibbins and Hester become friends. Later in the movie we see Hester?s
husband?s progress after being kidnapped by the indians. In the novel, we are
not introduced to Chillingworth until he arrives in the town.
In the middle of the film we see many similarities. Hester?s punishments
were the same. Reverend Dimmesdale punishes himself in both stories. The
mannerisms of the characters are the same. Chillingworth discovers who Pearl?s
father is and attempts to destroy him. Dimmesdale and Hester meet in the
woods to tell of their love for each other.
The film ends with another group of differences. There is a trial in the film
of Mistress Hibbins who is accused of being a witch. This does not occur in the
book. The movie ends with Hester and Dimmesdale run off together, while the
book does not.
Despite all the differences that were present in the movie, the basic idea
of the book was brought through to the audience. The main difference between
the two stories is the amount of time covered. The novel begins with Hester in
prison, while the novel begins long before that with Hester?s arrival. The film
was a good interpretation of Nathaniel Hawthorne?s story.