Movie and Book Comparison Research Paper
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A movie and book comparison project is a comparative paper, either on two different types of genres in a book and in a movie. You can also have the movie/book comparison done, either of The Pianist, the book and movie, or Schindler’s List, the book and movie. This would be the easiest, and other sources are listed below if needed. When comparing the book to the movie please focus on four to five of these topics shown below:
- Ghetto population
- Food supply and smuggling
- The judenrat
- Work /work environment
- Sickness and disease
- Family relations
- The status /plight of children in the ghetto
- Cultural activities
- Women and gender roles
- Quality of life in the ghetto
- Class structure of the ghetto
- Resistance in the ghetto
- Age and class structure in the ghetto
- Were ghetto open or closed?
In this paper on a Movie and Book Comparison compare a book to a movie version of a ghetto, and touch on 4 to 5 of the topics above. So you are comparing these 4 to 5 topics as they are portrayed in the movie and book and how they are different or the same.
This should be a comparative paper. This paper on a Movie and Book Comparison should compare two different ghettos (such as Warsaw and Lodz), or compare different portraits of a single ghetto. For example, you could compare the portrait of the Lodz ghetto in the book you read with the portrait in a film and/or in our textbooks, and/or in a survivor’s testimony, and/or in the US Holocaust museum exhibit, etc.
To make the comparison meaningful (and manageable), it would be wise to select and focus on 4-8 specific topics.
Importance of Citations: you must use citations!
Here are some guidelines regarding citation in a research paper:
- All direct quotes from a book must have a page cite.
- All facts, statistics, dates, and events that are NOT common knowledge should have a source and page citation.
(i.e. if your friends don’t know it, you need a cite.)
- Citation format:
- Because you have listed your sources on the top of the page
- You can cite the LAST NAME of the author and the page in the paper.
- However, if you are referring to an article in an edited book,
include both the author of the article AND the editors of the book.
- You may place this short citation in parentheses ( ) in the text of your paper or at the end of the relevant sentence.
Sample of a Comparison between a Movie and a Book - Mary Reilly
The movie is never as good as the book. It is a standard cliché, with notable exceptions. Most of the time, when a person reads the book first, there are a host of complexities and subplots that cannot be condensed into an hour and a half of film. And if one sees the movie first, it is impossible not to see the actors in the action of the novel. The novel and film adaptation of Mary Reilly (novel by Valerie Martin; adapted screenplay Christopher Hampton, directed by Stephen Frears) present a retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde from the perspective of an Irish housemaid. The question is, which medium presents a stronger version of the title character? It can be safely argued that the film version of Mary is the stronger presentation.
On the surface, Mary Reilly is both a dutiful servant and stereotypical weaker woman of the Victorian age. She knows her place, accepts her position in the hierarchy of the house, and is genuinely shocked and frightened at the unfolding of events around her. However, this meekness hides a very strong person underneath. Considering the childhood trauma of the rat in the closet, in the film Mary admits to being afraid of rats and small places, as well as bad dreams. Although the book opens with this account, Julia Robert’s Mary is brash and inquisitive within the confines of her position. She is not afraid to speak her mind to the Master, even if it means stepping beyond her station, as Mister Poole frequently reminds her.
In the book, the errands and secrecy that Dr. Jekyll put upon Mary directly correlate to her childhood. This only hinted at in the film, but the background is sufficient enough to provide both motivation and strength of character in the film. In the film, these actions only serve to make Mary bolder. The more she learns, the closer she becomes to Dr. Jekyll, giving her the ability to speak her mind to him.
Mary is also brash enough to quickly invent the story of the garden for Mister Poole, who questions why she spends so long in conversation with the Master of the house. This, in fact, opens up the relationship between Jekyll and Mary, leading her to reveal the tale of her scars as a return for the kindness he shows her. In the book, the revelation of the childhood trauma opens the entire tableau, Mary readily agrees to the doctor’s request. In the book she is following the dictates of her gender and societal position. In the film, however, Mary holds this memory deep inside her, and is unwilling to divulge the information. She finally tells Dr. Jekyll of the history of the scars because he has opened up to her in some small way. It is the strength of her character that does not readily acquiesce to the request, even if it is a matter of professional curiosity for the doctor.
In both book and film Mary tells the Doctor that he has been working too hard, and will endanger his health. This is a bold move for a mere servant, and Mister Poole will later scold her for it. In the book, the exchange is:
Do you have an idea what I’m speaking of? […]
“I believe I do,” I said. This surprised him a little, I saw, which pleased me. […] I could feel how much he does not like me, but I kept my eyes down, for I knew if I looked at him my feelings would be in my face and then he would find some way to get rid of me altogether.
The effect of this exchange promotes the idea that Mary is proud and brash, risking her position with Poole because of her place in the Master’s confidence. In the film, Mary meekly accepts Poole’s scolding, apologizing and being submissive. This is not a character defect, but another example of greater strength. This Mary knows the boundaries without having to push at them.
By midpoint in the book, Mary’s motivations are still to serve her Master. “…my head is so full of fear for Master I must do whatever I can to stay calm, so that, when this is all made clear to me, I may find the best way to serve him”. However, in the film, Mary’s motivation becomes one of love. She has fallen in love with Dr. Jekyll (and is consequently sexually attracted to Mr. Hyde) and each step closer to the truth blurs the Master/servant relationship. Upon her return from Mrs. Farraday’s for the second time, in the film, Mary is not afraid to confront Jekyll with the bloody handkerchief. “I wanted to reply, not what she said, but what she showed me!” is Mary’s reaction in the book.
The book runs more like Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, witnessing the swirl of events from a different perspective, so that certain actions are hidden, or out of sight of the main characters. Thus, we do not see the dénouement between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; we are left with the dying Jekyll one night, and news of the dead Hyde. However, the film thrusts Mary into the center of the battle between the two personas. “I always knew you’d be the death of us,” Hyde tells Mary. What prevents him from killing her in the book is that he has forgotten his knife. In the film, it is the love that Jekyll and Mary have for each other that pushes through, and leads to Hyde’s “suicide.”
The film may never be as good as the book, but often they become separate entities for what lives in each medium. When Mary hugs the dead doctor in the book, it is out of a sense of duty; she has always tried to be a good servant. In the film, it is out of love. The compression of the story and the emotion that Julia Roberts injects into the role makes the character of Mary Reilly stronger in the film version than in the original novel.