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Of Mice and Men - The differences between the book and the film.

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Introduction

By Ollie Wright This essay will tell you the differences between the film and the novel, with reasons. I have read the book and watched the film 'Of Mice and Men'. The novel starts with Lennie and George walking towards a ranch a few miles south of Soledad in America. Lennie is described as large man of simple intelligence: " He walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws." George, however, is just the opposite, clever and alert: "The first man was small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features." George promised to take care of Lennie when his Aunt Clara died. The film starts with a young woman in her twenties in a red dress that is ripped; she is crying. This gives the viewer the impression that she has been attacked and possibly raped. Lennie and George are hiding in a water-filled ditch. Weed ranch men on horseback, with guns, appear to be hunting them. The director of the film has started with this scene because it feels sinister and makes you want to know what happens to Lennie and George. In the book, there is a discussion between George and Lennie about the bus journey "Jes a little stretch down the road. ...read more.

Middle

Lennie was told off by George and sent to take it back to the barn. In the film we see Lennie pretending to bring in second pup. This makes Lennie much more intelligent compared to the novel where he doesn't seem bright enough to play such a trick. In both the film and the novel, Candy's faithful old dog is shot by Carlson, but Candy's emotions are portrayed completely differently. In the novel, Candy just looks at the ceiling and doesn't react to anything around him, "Only Candy continued to stare at the ceiling," but in the film we see and hear Candy crying openly. I believe Garry Sinise makes us empathetic towards Candy and this shows how George could feel if he lost Lennie as Candy's dog was his only friend. There were a number of additional scenes in the film, such as: the men at work, the incident at Weed and scenes that bring George closer to Curley's wife. Garry Sinise has done this to make Curley's wife less of a tart and makes us feel warmer towards her. The film has missed out the scene where Crooks, Lennie, Candy and Curley's wife are altogether in the barn and Curley's wife says that she could get Crooks hung by the click of her fingers. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the novel, the ranch hands find George standing over Lennie's body after shooting him. George has done this out of love for Lennie and made his departure painless as possible. As George is going to shoot him he tells Lennie their dream about owning their private ranch. He had to kill him first to stop the ranch men slaughtering him: "The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied." In the novel, when the ranch men find George they congratulate him on killing Lennie. This is missed out in the film, I believe that director did this so the ranch hands wouldn't appear unsympathetic towards the George. It could be that the director was trying to show that most people aren't consciously cruel, only ignorant. In the concluding scene, of the film, George is shown in a railway carriage remembering Lennie. This is effective because it makes you grieve with him, about Lennie's death. This scene doesn't appear in the book. After studying "Of Mice and Men", I found the ending was unexpected and it surprised me that George killed Lennie. Of the two versions, I preferred the film because of the visual impact and the music, which the novel could not portray. I feel this added tension and impact. Oliver Wright 7236 Cranbourne School Basingstoke 24/02/2002 58421 ...read more.

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