Schindler's List Questions and Answers
by Thomas Keneally

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What are some differences between the movie and the book Schindler's List?

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jxcampbell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The narrative in the film Schindler's List differs from the book in three ways: first, the film whittles down the scenes to the present and discards backstory; second, the film puts a priority on visual rather than expository storytelling; and, third, the film shines the spotlight on some of the book's characters.

First, the film deals with current events from the very beginning in its candlelight ceremony opener and doesn't fill in a backstory on any of the characters (except as they tell about their life prior to the war). The book, conversely, provides a fairly standard biography of Schindler's youth in its first few chapters. The book goes into some detail about his early life, growing up in Czechoslovakia, and his years before the war. The film mainly shows Oskar as he is and how he changes due to his internal conflicts over what he observes under Nazi control.

Second, certain scenes in the movie are altered to emphasize visual rather than narrative storytelling. For example, the...

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rivardca | Student

The movie and book Schindler's List are very similar in terms of their plot and overall impact of the characters and story line. However the organization of the film and book are somewhat different- in the book you meet most of the characters at the beginning during a dinner, while in the film you meet the characters throughout the film.