It is very common to see a movie that has arisen from a famous novel, but
there are some major differences seen when the transition from paper to
screen takes place. The director of a movie has to try and fit a complete
novel into an hour an a half to three our movie. Sometimes this adaptation
works very well and the same points can be found if you read the book or
watch the movie, but sometimes it does not work and some very major points
and circumstances can be lost. In the World According to Garp the director
George Roy Hill did a good job in fitting the major parts of the novel into
the big screen adaptation.
The movie, although a flop in the box office, received great reviews.
One reviewer remarks, "The film bombed at the box office but remains an
absorbing, if uneven work filled with intriguing--and eccentric--characters."
(Jean Oppenheimer). The easiest thing to do when looking at the novel in
comparison to the film is to look at what was left out. In Garp there were
some instances that were changed for time sake, but nothing major was
forgotten. The biggest change that I noticed when watching the movie is
that they leave out all of the novels Garp writes. In the book we get to
read passages from all of his books, but in the movie the only thing we know
is that he is a writer and we never find out what he writes about. One of
the major characters that was changed for the movie was a girl named Ellen
James. Ellen James is a reoccurring character in the novel. She is an
eleven year old girl who is raped by a bunch of men and afterwards they cut
out her tongue so that she can not tell anyone about what they did. After
this happens Ellen James begins to have women followers who cut out their own
tongues in protest of what has happened to the small girl. Throughout the
book we are introduced to many of these protesting women, "the Ellen
Jamsians". T.S. Garp actually ends up adopting Ellen toward the end of the
novel. When the movie introduces Ellen James it does it through a letter
written from her to Garp and we never actually see who she is. This is a
very common thing to do when transferring the writing to the main screen,
when the director can't show all characters...