Beloved Questions and Answers
by Toni Morrison

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What are some of the differences and similarities between the movie and the book Beloved?

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One of the problems with adapting a novel like Beloved as a movie is that much of the novel deals with people's traumas and abstract representations of past horrors. For example, Sethe continuously brings her past into the present by relating every event to memories of Sweet Home. The same memories are dredged up repeatedly. The movie isn't able to show in such detail how often she goes back and just how many connections are made; it would likely take too much time. This makes it more difficult for a viewer to understand the trauma that Sethe and others endured.

Paul D and Sethe don't experience the same problems with intimacy that they do in the novel. They're able to consummate their relationship without the same shame and self-loathing they feel in the novel. Part of this may be because the movie didn't flesh out Paul D's past in the same way. (This is also true of characters like Baby Suggs, Stamp Paid, and others.)

These changes make it more difficult for the audience of the film to...

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