Monday, August 8, 2011

Books Vs. Movies--Gone With the Wind

Last week, I finished reading Gone With the Wind. Last night, I finished watching the movie for the first time. It took me about 3 days. I love watching the movie version of books that I have just read--it is so interesting to me what makes it into the movie and how other people interpret the story.
The film version of GWTW was actually pretty well done, and almost every line was directly from the book. Being that the movie was made in 1939, they left out some stronger words that are used in the book. However, they also left out some extremely important facts!

Continue reading if you don't mind plot revelations...

--Scarlett has 2 children from her first 2 marriages, but they completely leave this out! In the book, she is bothered by her son and thinks her daughter is ugly. So, I can see why her bad mothering would have been left out of the movie, but I think it's revealing of her character.

--Scarlett's 2nd husband is the local leader of the KKK and ends up being killed while setting negro homes on fire. I'd say that was a pretty important detail, but once again, that topic is probably too upsetting.

--Rhett Butler never says that he loves Scarlett. He refuses to tell her anything that would give her power over him. In the movie, he is saying it left and right and even asking for forgiveness. I guess this it to make him more likeable.

--And hello--the movie completely left out that the Yankees lit Tara on fire while there were woman and children in the home!!! Why was this left out?

So, I guess you can say I liked the book much better than the movie. I loved the book, even though it was really disturbing and has made me sad all week. Just thinking about it, I want to cry.

There is a quote I copied down years ago that talks about these kinds of books:

"We need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief."
— Franz Kafka

I don't think reading these kinds of books all the time is healthy, but sometimes you read them and a purpose is served or a lesson is taught or it just makes you think. The only other book that has had this affect on me was "The Dive from Clausen's Pier" by Ann Packer, and interestingly, the main character in that book is very similar to Scarlett O'Hara. I think the draw for me is drama, but the sadness is the resulting trainwreck of the character when you were hoping to read about redemption, which never occurs.

Now I need something really fun to get over this :)

And P.S. Has anyone read and watched Water for Elephants? Thoughts?


Christine said...

Dang, I totally forgot to talk about the book with you the last time we skyped! Next time...I love that it had such an impact on you...I watched the movie like 3 times. I'm not sure why, I think the Scarlett character has this ability to draw you in...

Helena said...

Yes yes yes- on all counts. I watched the movie first, and was shocked when I read the book. How could they leave out her 2 older kids??

And Rhett and Scarlett's relationship made so much more sense when you had all the details. When you saw all the cruelty and all the strength on both sides.

It's all about the details. The complicated, wonderful, terrible details.

(I loved both the book and the movie, but I can only read it once every 4 or 5 years. It's so overwhelming, and it takes me that long to recover.)

Heatherlady said...

When I read the book in high school I was so infuriated with Scarlet I threw it across my room and told my mom I wasn't going to read it any more. Ten minutes later I had my nose in it again. I love the movie but they TOTALLY got Rhett wrong-- sorry but clark gable just doesn't do it for me at all.

Also, if you like Scarlet like character you might really like "The House of Mirth" by Edith Warton. She is another character you hate to love.


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