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Compare and Contrast the book and the movie for To Kill a Mockingbird.  How is the...

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george95 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted March 23, 2010 at 11:26 AM via web

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Compare and Contrast the book and the movie for To Kill a Mockingbird.

 

How is the setting in the movie different or similar to what you pictured in your mind while reading?

For the characters of Scout, Atticus, and Jem how are they different or similar from what you pictured in your mind?

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 23, 2010 at 11:45 AM (Answer #1)

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My personal opinion of the movie vs the novel is that the movie did a pretty good job of capturing the essence of the novel. Obviously, not everything that happens in the novel was able to be recreated on screen, but I thought the screenwriters did a good job of picking and choosing which events to include. 

For example, when Atticus shot the mad dog, I felt the film did a really good job of portraying how scary this actually was. When I read it in the novel, I didn't think it was such a big deal, but when I saw it on film, I realized how this was an epiphany in the lives of Scout and Jem, who thought their dad wasn't really "cool" and couldn't really do much, like the other dads.

I thought the trial scene was good and pretty true to the novel. I also thought the little girl that played Scout was outstanding, as was Atticus (Gregory Peck) and Dill.

The setting is the same in the movie and in the novel - a sleepy little southern town, full of interesting characters, among the bigots. In the novel, the black characters were pretty stereotyped, but when acted on screen, it was more impacting to see the emotion on their faces, which one can only imagine in the novel. The anguish on Tom Robinson's wife's face when Atticus tells her that Tom has been shot is much more vivid on screen, I think.

What did not come across as well in the movie was the excellent irony of Harper Lee's writing. The words she has the characters say in the novel truly reveal her themes of racism, childhood innocence, coming of age, etc., that is perhaps impossible to capture on screen. Her wry sense of humor just did not come through on screen. Some things just have to be read to be appreciated.

What did you think?

Read about the novel here on enotes.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 23, 2010 at 12:06 PM (Answer #2)

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Few movies come to life as realistically as To Kill a Mockingbird did when it was released in 1962. Gregory Peck was an inspiration when cast as Atticus Finch; his performance not only won the Oscar for Best Actor, but it is considered one of the greatest of all film portrayals. The casting of virtually all of the characters was exceptional: Scout was also well played by Mary Badham; and the characters of Boo (Robert Duvall), Bob Ewell (James Anderson) and Tom Robinson (Brock Peters) were particularly superb.

The simple fact that no remake has ever been made solidifies its status as an outstanding film. Naturally, no movie of just over two hours can do complete justice to the original novel. Many scenes were left out, as were several key characters (Aunt Alexandra, Uncle Jack, Dolphus Raymond). I would liked to have seen Miss Caroline's school scene's included, as well as the significant segment of the meeting of the missionary circle. The decision to shoot in black-and-white is also questionable for 1962. But generally, the feel and tone of the novel was intact, and I consider it one of the better transitions from word to film

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