The Moving Picture

Books are lovely to hold, refreshing to smell and amusing to flip through. Worthwhile reading gives you the chance to imagine the particular world you are put in. 

Whereas a movie has already visually created this world for you, there is no chance to imagine something on your own.

For both movies and books, the purpose of the storyline is the main ingredient. Though both mediums incorporate a theme and a plot that can captivate and entertain an audience, the way they make use of this structure differentiates the two.

  1. “Divergent”

“Divergent” takes place in the city of Chicago, in a dystopian future where people are divided into factions based on human virtues. Beatrice Prior, the main character, receives a warning that she is divergent and will never fit into any of the factions. 

With this shocking yet confusing discovery, she learns about an unpleasant plot that brews in the oh-so-perfect society that involves the rare divergent. 

Although the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” stays constant in its material, there are differences that you may have missed.

  • Character

In the novel, the character Peter is tough, ruthless and has a habit of targeting anyone that outperforms him in the rankings. The rankings not only determine who will get the first pick of jobs after initiation, but also determines if you become a full member of Dauntless or if you will live factionless. 

With this, Peter goes as far as stabbing another trainee in the eye, Edward, to remain at a high ranking in Dauntless. This in which portrays the kind of soldier the dauntless leaders wants to create: insensitive.

In the movie, Peter is still despicable, but adds a tinge of humor that makes him a complicated villain. 

Morgan Thomas, a past Queensborough Community College student, is a major fan of the Divergent series. “The addition and deletion within the Peter character changed him from somebody I hated in the book, to somebody I love watching on the screen,” she said.

As the film removes some of Peter’s cruel moments, this allows the audience to feel a sense of empathy that you surely don’t feel in the book.

  1. “The Hobbit”

“The Hobbit” surrounds the tale of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who is persuaded to join a party of dwarves on their quest to kill a dragon and take back their homeland. Along the way, the characters encounter numerous obstacles and dangers and help the hobbit discover that he is capable of a wide variety of virtues.

As a novel only has about three hundred pages, and there were three films made, we were bound to experience modifications.

  • Narration

In Tolkien’s novel, its narrative structure includes an omniscient narrator, meaning the narrator not only states Bilbo’s thoughts, but also comments on them. Throughout, the anonymous narrator frequently speaks directly to readers and characters humorously.

“The poor little fellow,” chapter 12.

This is an example of a nickname the narrator has for Bilbo, emphasizing the narrator’s humorous descriptions of the characters. Along with this and frequent asides, the narrator tends to speak in a comic voice. With the perspective being told from an outside voice that isn’t involved physically, this playful turn emphasizes the narrator as a storyteller.

In the films, the narrator is Bilbo himself. Bilbo at the age of 81 narrates the tale of how he ended up entangled in a dangerous quest.

Shikira Fisher is a SUNY Plattsburgh senior and watches “The Hobbit” along with “The Lord of the Rings” when in the mood for epic high fantasy.

 “Being that Bilbo is the title character, him voicing his own feelings and thoughts makes it more understanding and accurate. Through the quest Bilbo grows in wisdom and virtue; It’s only right if the expert speaks on the wholeness he has gained,” she said.


“It” follows seven children as they face and are terrorized by an ancient evil entity that emerges from the sewer every few years. 

When Pennywise the Dancing Clown appears to attract and prey on the children of the town, they must overcome their fears and defeat the bloodthirsty clown together.

Since the book’s publication, Stephen King’s story has been adapted for TV and film.

  • Time Period

In King’s “It,” the narrative is split between the period 1957 and 1984. The change in the time period is meant to show how the characters grow up both inside and outside of the city of Derry, Maine.This novel has been adapted twice, but only one of the films is set during the same period as the novel.

The ’80s setting of the film makes you forget the book is set three decades earlier. A modern audience is much more receptive to the movie version due to the trends, technology, clothing and other elements that make up that decade. 

The 1950s is a less approachable decade for this storyline due to the ’50s being a decade where children and teens were less likely to speak or have this level of understanding for the references made.

Maurice Normil, a past Morrisville student, has watched the series countless times.“King seems to make this turn towards the 1980s where it’s not only a popular era for horror media but the perfect period to reflect social change,” he said.

All in all, every scene of a movie and novel intends for people to explore another dimension, and get lost in it. These two different artistic mediums lead to constant conversations about the successes and failures of adaptations among films and leaves it up to us to discover them.

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