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Compare And Contrast The Film And The Book "To Kill A Mockingbird" By Harper Lee

2871 words - 11 pages

The different media of film and book mean that with the same story of "To Kill A Mockingbird" different devices can be used to show the meaning of the story. However, the film is compressed and some sections are inevitably omitted. This means that the film director, Robert Mulligan, had to be selective as to which parts were included in the film, which could distort or alter the final impression that you are left with. The book "To Kill A Mockingbird" is concerned with many wider issues such as family, childhood, and Southern customs, but the film focuses mainly on racism and prejudice.The film and the book of "To Kill A Mockingbird" begin differently from each other, yet both retain the original impression that is the same in each.The very first thing that we notice in the book is the epigraph, which is a quote that says: 'Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.' This shows us that everyone has an inner child and that a child's perspective will be very important in the book and is particularly important during the trial.The narrative begins with a flashback, saying: 'When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm broken.' The text goes on to discuss who 'started it all' and points out names that we will recognise later in the book and watch out for those characters, such as the Ewells. It then gives a detailed history of the Finches, starting with their ancestor Simon Finch, This gives the Finch family depth and creates an impression of family roots in the town. We are told about Atticus and his brother being the first generation in their family to become academics and leave the farming industry; one is a lawyer and the other a doctor. This shows that Atticus is not content to follow tradition and do what is expected of him just because everyone else has - this could tie in with his values and moral standards which are not the same as everyone else's. Atticus does not rely on other people; he is a self-made man.The next piece of text we read is the description of Maycomb: 'It was a tired old town....' The impression that we have of Maycomb is that of a town which, with its heat, is sluggish in nature, with people ambling everywhere and not doing a lot There seems to be a great absence of activity, with the exception of ladies bathing three times a day. It seems like you are trying to find things to do to while away the time: 'A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer.'Calpurnia, the Finches' cook, is described as 'all angles and bones', always ordering Scout around. Scout says that Atticus always took her side when they had 'battles'. She is portrayed as the mother figure keeping the children in order and teaching Scout to write.Boo Radley, the 'malevolent phantom' is only described this early on in terms of the rumour and myth surrounding him, for example, the belief that 'Radley pecans would kill you', We can see the prejudice relating to Boo Radley when the incident of the mutilated chickens and pet is mentioned - although...

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