To Kill a Mockingbird is a true classic, the book and the film. The book is written 1960 by the american author Harper Lee and was an instant success. The film version of To Kill a Mockingbird was launched only two years after the release of the book due to its great fame and success. The film was as well a major success and was awarded with 8 Oscar nominations which 3 of them won. The purpose with this essay is to compare the book To Kill a Mockingbird with the film version.
The plot is in general the same in the book and film. The story is about the Finch family living in a lazy alabama town called Maycomb. There are three members of the family, Atticus who is the father, Scout who is the youngest member of the family and at last the big brother named Jem. The story is about growing up under bizarre circumstances in the 1930s southern United States where the black community is treated poorly and racism is something usual.
How is Atticus Finch in the book compared to the movie?
Which are the themes in the book and the movie?
How is the black community in the book compared to the movie?
2.1 Atticus Finch
The character Atticus is the same person in the book and film. He always acts wisley in every situation, due to his calmness and admirabel behaviour. He is respected by everyone, but that changes when he agrees to defend a black man accused of rape, named Tom Robinson. Even though some people are being very cruel to him, he always tends to keep his head up and isn’t ever really provoked by anyone. For example is he called “Nigga lover” in the book and film. In the film Bob Ewell is the one calling him it, because he feels disrespected that Atticus is defending the man that he claims raped and hurt his daughter, Mayella Ewell. In the book he is called nigga lover by the old crazy woman Mrs. Dubose, which he is respected by in the film. One big difference is that he only is disrespected by one person in the film, Bob Ewell. In the book you notice that he isn’t respected in the way he was before taking the Tom Robinson case by the Maycomb society.
Atticus is an very intelligent person, and have three typical quotes in the book and two in the film. He says that you have to “Put yourself in other people’s shoes” to understand them. A quote that is often used when Atticus is talking about the character Boo Radley, who certainly is a very special person. Another quote that he uses is that ” You don’t kill mockingbirds” because the do no harm to anyone or anything, the only sing beautiful music. This quote has an inner meaning that Atticus doesn’t describe inte neither book or film. The inner meaning is that you should not hurt anyone who is weaker than you are. In the book tells Atticus this to his children when he hands them air rifles, but in the film he tells them arounds the kitchen table at dinner. The last quote is just told in the book, and that is that you should “Keep fighting even if you know you will lose”. This is about when Atticus is defending the innocent black man Tom Robinson. He knows that it is impossible to convince a white jury that a black man accused of rape is innocent. He fight as hard as he can and never gives up, but he know he will lose the case. In the film Atticus believes that he can win the case, and therefore isn’t this quote included in the movie.
Atticus way of parenting is very unique. He treats his children like adults in the book and movie by being very open and honest with them, the children’s nightmare question in the book is “Do you really think so?”. In the book is he a very understanding and patient father his children’s mistakes. In the film is he more direct and and strict, but still supportive when the children needs it, for example when Scout rushed out from the dinner when Walter Cunningham was invited.
One theme that is probably one of the most important is racism. Throughout the book you see that racism is a natural thing in the community, people judge and harass just because of someone’s skin colour. There are many examples in the book of colloquial racism, some examples are when Cecil Jacobs says that “Scout Finch’s daddy defended niggers” and the comments from Mrs. Dubose. You don’t notice this everyday racism in the film, the only person who says poor things about black people is Bob Ewell. The part when you truly notice the racism in the film is when the jury finds Tom Robinson guilty. Tom is innocent on every level, and the jury knows that, but find him guilty because of his skin color.
Another theme that is important is the moral of the human being, and if people are good or evil. Throughout the book and film you notice people that are evil creatures, for example Bob Ewell. It is hard to judge if people are good or evil in the book because the story is told from Scout, in a childish perspective, where you think everyone is good. It is easier to notice if people are good or evil in the film because you don’t see it from anyone’s perspective. Even if Jem and Scout sees most of the people as good people, they assume that Boo Radley is evil, especially in the book. Their view of Boo being evil changes after his actions of killing Bob Ewell, a murder changes the children’s view of a person from evil to good. In the book you notice that Scout is growing up from chapter to chapter because of other strange situations. But in this scene in the film and part of the book you notice what she has learned from Atticus teaching about moral questions, especially when she says ” That making a hero of Boo would be like killing a mockingbird”.
2.3 The black community
The black community is mostly introduced by the servant Cal, and the innocent man who is accused of rape, Tom Robinson. In the book Scout is taught that some phrases are offensive and should not be used, but it is hard for her to realize that because of the discrimination of black people in general. The part where you really see how badly the black community is treated is the part in their church, which is used by the white people for gambling.
In the book, the community is as segregated as it can be , the black people aren’t welcome in many public places because of the white majority and racism. This leads to that the black people have their own church, own district, known as the quarters and their own space in the courtroom. The segregation is less noticeable in the film, but it is still segregation on a high level. The segregation is noticed in the courtroom and on the streets where you only see white people.