Making a movie based on a book is a good tradition that is popular among many directors, and Robert Mulligan thought so too. â€œTo Kill A Mockingbirdâ€ is known both as a successful book and a great movie for many contemporaries. This impressive novel by Harper Lee and its film adaptation became extremely popular and are discussed till nowadays. Although both the book and the movie gained much success and attention, still there are certain differences between them that make each version unique and worth attention.
The number of similarities between the book and the movie is certainly predominating. It is important to say that the main story line is preserved in the movie, and there are not many changes as compared to the book. The action takes place in Maycomb County both in the movie and in the book. This town is very old and as it is mentioned in the book â€œthere was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb Countyâ€ (Lee 3).Such gloomy atmosphere is closely related with the way author describes the main characters and the difficulties they have to overcome.Â Both the movie and the book touch several vital problems, such as social inequality, racism, and racial injustice. But, as there is always opposition of good and evil, there is a need to have both positive and negative characters in a story. Atticus Finch can be considered to be the main positive character of this story, who is certainly the ideal lawyer, loving father, and brave member of society. He is greatly concerned about such matters as imperfection of law and educational systems, destruction of children’s naive ideas, and other difficulties modern society has to face. The main evil of the story is the cruel world of adults that is shown through the prism of the young girl’s mind. Our society is full of egoism and indifference, intolerance to each other even though all of us have equal rights despite the color of skin or religion one has.
Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, whose alias perfectly fits her character, has very adult questions concerning the surrounding world. The girl not always finds answers, but due to such stylistics device as rhetorical questions, grown-up readers understand the whole tragedy of the social imperfection in a much fuller way. Moreover, some of the answers she received from Atticus, such as, for instance, â€œyou never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of viewâ€.
Although many directors prefer to make a happy ending and change the plot, still Tom’s death is present in both variants. This detail is very important as if Tom Robinson’s death in an attempt to acquire freedom and escape from prison would not be mentioned in the movie, then it would differ a lot from Harper Lee’s book â€œTo Kill A Mockingbirdâ€ and his perception of all the events. Arthur Radley and his relations with the children are also shown in the same way in the book and in the movie. There is a great fascination between these characters, and children liked to hide and secretly watch Boo Radley because of a great interest to him. Such an experience helped children develop and improve their imagination, and the idea of imagining is of a great importance in the novel by Harper Lee. Boo is often imagined to be a kind of freak that has some strange habits, and the image of his character is preserved both in the book and in the movie.
The comparison between the movie and the book â€œTo Kill A Mockingbirdâ€ determined several significant differences. One of the most significant and noticeable changes is the alteration in the character list. It is easy to notice that there is no character of Aunt Alexandra in the movie. This character is quite important in the novel as Alexandra always tries to make Scout act in a better manner and resemble a lady. In the novel â€œTo Kill A Mockingbirdâ€, Aunt Alexandra becomes Scout’s mother in some sense as she constantly tries to calm her down and make her believe that Jem is still alive. Her character helps to understand Scout’s situation and sufferings better, and it is a great loss to delete this personality from the movie version. However, the absence of such a character as Aunt Alexandra in the movie does not cause difficulties in understanding the main storyline.
There are also certain differences in the way the trial is shown. It is possible to notice one of the differences in Mayella Ewell’s behavior. Although she â€œlooked confusedlyâ€ and is quite upset because of Atticus’ questioning, still she has no intention to accuse him of mocking her, and, in my opinion, this differences changes the understanding of Mayella’s tactics in the trial as she tries to get compassion from the jury. The way Mayella Ewell behaves in the trial evokes compassion to her as she â€œmust have been the loneliest person in the world. She was even lonelier than Boo Radley, who had not been out of the house in twenty-five yearsâ€ (Lee 102). However, in the movie To Kill a Mockingbird when Atticus questions Mayella she behaves in a more aggressive way and makes the following statement â€œI got somethin’ to say. And then I ain’t gonna say no more. He took advantage of me. An’ if you fine, fancy gentlemen ain’t gonna do nothin’ about it, then you’re just a bunch of lousy, yella, stinkin’ cowards, the – the whole bunch of ya, and your fancy airs don’t come to nothin’. Your Ma’am’in’ and your Miss Mayellarin’ – it don’t come to nothin’, Mr. Finch, not…noâ€. One more difference is the idea to combine two characters of Miss Maudie and Miss Rachel from the novel â€œTo Kill A Mockingbirdâ€ into one complex character in the movie. In my opinion, this difference is not very significant as both these characters have much in common in the novel, and they follow a similar idea to relieve and reassure Atticus and the children in some way. Although the movie is close to the book, still some of the key events are missed, for instance, such as the Christmas chapter. It is also necessary to mention that the snow day and the idea to make the snowman of Mr. Avery are not shown in the movie â€œTo Kill a Mockingbirdâ€. Besides, it is believed that the book as compared to the movie version is â€œmore objective and less connected to the visual or epistemological viewpoint of any character.
As a conclusion, it should be said that although there are certain differences between the novel â€œTo Kill A Mockingbirdâ€ by Harper Lee and its film adaptation, still the idea and the storyline are the same as both the movie and the novel â€œTo Kill a Mockingbirdâ€ raise relevant and still burning to the present day questions.â€œTo Kill a Mockingbirdâ€ reveals the real nature of certain individuals whose racist stereotypes prevent them from seeing the truth, from making right decisions. This breakthrough novel and the movie make those of us who are afraid to go against the majority and defend their view feel ashamed. Inactivity can also be a crime if innocent people suffer or even die because of it. We should never forget that all of us were born equal in our rights and privileges, and we ought to be honest in our thoughts and deeds. Moreover, there will always be good and evil in the world, and however cruel someone’s deeds are, hopefully, there always be some Atticus Finch to defend the innocence and justice. This book is certainly not an easy task to cope with, and the way it was transformed into a movie is really impressive. The comparison between the movie and novel â€œTo Kill a Mockingbirdâ€ can help better understand the way movie adaptations and changes in the original text can either change the whole idea of a masterpiece or preserve and improve it. It is definitely a difficult task to create a good and true movie based on a particular book, and, in case of â€œTo Kill a Mockingbirdâ€, it is certainly a success.