The characters of a book or movie bring a story to life by creating the plot. To Kill a Mockingbird is an example of this, having some of the most acclaimed characters in novel and film history. This includes, Scout Finch, also known as Jean Louise, Atticus Finch, Jem Finch, Calpernia, Tom Robinson, Ms. Dubose, and Miss. Maudie Atkinson. These characters play a significant role in the story, which affects key details in the plot, overall moral, and help the readers visualize the meaning behind the story. The characters are also significant because the majority of them go against what society thinks, like racism and segregation, and do what they believe in, and spread kindness throughout Maycomb, Alabama where the story takes place. The movie was released two years after the book in 1962, directed by Robert Mulligan. The movie is also as much as a classic as the novel because of their portrayal and interpretations of the characters and famous scenes from the novel. However, the characters from To Kill A Mockingbird have many differences and similarities from the movie and book including significance in the story, they’re development, and their impact on the reader.
The novel To Kill A Mockingbird, has many similarities and differences with character significance. For example some characters that have little significance in the movie, but have leading roles in the novel are Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose and Calpurnia. In the movie, Ms. Dubose is in one quick scene that lasts only two minutes. In this quick scene, Mrs. Dubose was attacking Jem and Scout on how impolite they are, with Atticus then complementing Ms. Dubose on how lovely she looks. From this, she had no effect from the plot in the movie, and is thought to have little importance. However, in the book, chapter ten was dedicated to Mrs. Dubose, having important plots that were not included in the movie. This includes the kids being forced to read to her because Jem cut all of camellia flowers, out of anger from her taunting them about their their father, defending Tom Robinson. They later found out about her recent death, and learned she was a morphine addict. According to Scout from the novel, “Jem and I hated her. If she was on the porch when we passed, we would be raked by her wrathful gaze, subjected to ruthless interrogation regarding our behavior, and given a melancholy prediction on what we would amount to when we grew up, which was always nothing.” This also shows how much of an effect Mrs. Dubose had on the children, and proves that she was significant in the book. Calpernia is another example of an insignificant character in the film, who had a huge role in the book. Calpernia is the maid and cook in the Finch household and can be described as family. She is also seen as a mother figure towards Jem and Scout only in the book, and can be described as proper, stubborn, and wise. In the novel, you learn and get to see Cal’s double life when she took the kids to the First Purchase Church. From this, you got to learn more about Cal, and how much she loves the kids by speaking up for them when they were criticized by Lula. However, in the film, Calpernia is just seen as a maid and is only featured in a few scenes, given few times to speak. A character that has equal importance in the novel and film is Tom Robinson. In both the book and movie, Tom was convicted for raping Mayella Ewell, a white young woman. In the novel and book, Tom was a mockingbird in the story, but his conviction, cross examination, and subsequent death are reasons that make To Kill A Mockingbird such a classic, even today. This is because it deals with the idea of racism and segregation, and how Tom’s conviction was still a close step to equal rights for African Americans. All in all, the To Kill A Mockingbird movie and book not only have similarities and differences in character significance, but also character development.
The To Kill A Mockingbird movie and book have many similarities and differences on character development. Ms. Maudie Atkinson is an example of a character who had a different development from the movie and book. In the novel, Scout described her as, ” A widow, a chameleon lady who worked in her flower beds in an old straw and men’s coveralls, but after her five o’clock bath she would appear on the porch and reign over the streets in magisterial beauty,” (Lee 56). This means that she demostenes both feminine and boyish features. Scout was especially close friends with Ms. Maudie, going over to her house during the Summertime, and talking and gossiping about the neighbors. Ms. Maudie also developed importance in the novel during the scene when her house was on fire. She was also also a supporter of Tom Robinson, believing that he was unjustly convicted. In the novel, Ms. Maude could be described as clever, gentle, and respectful. However, in the movie, Ms. Maudie was in few scenes with few lines, and was only seen wearing proper clothing like dresses and skirts. Her burning house scene was never in the movie, and she was never seen gossiping or talking with Scout. In the movie she can be described as proper, ladylike, and irrelevant. A character who had the same development in the novel and movie is Scout Finch. “Scout is the narrator in both the book and novel, and can be described as judgemental and naive in the beginning of story,” (Gradesaver). She is judgemental and naive because she did not not know or understand racism during the time, and she was not very opening to those who weren’t like her, like the Cunningham’s. In the middle of the story, she is able to open up and try to understand people by putting herself in their own shoes, advice she was given from Atticus. This helped her understand the Cunningham’s and how they make an effort to get jobs and make money, and understand Boo Radley, and why he hides in his house. “At the end of the novel, Scout becomes understanding and accepting of those different like her,” (Gradesaver). These traits Scout had throughout the story, were all shown throughout the book and film. All in all, not only does To Kill A Mockingbird have similarities and differences from the book and movie in character development, but also impact on the reader.
In To Kill A Mockingbird, there are many variations of the characters impact on the reader from the book and movie. A films character interpretation will most likely not have a greater effect on a reader because it has less time to tell the story, menang less time to grow, learn, and care for the character. An example of a character who created a greater impact in the novel than in the movie is Jem Finch. In the novel, we read about Jem’s life from the age of ten to thirteen, and watched him mature, and grow into a young man. Some features that impacted the reader’s perception of Jem in the novel were his courage, his voice, and empathy towards others. However, in the movie, we weren’t able to experience all of these features like we did in the book. Jem showed bravery in the novel when he protected Scout when Miss. Maudie’s house was on fire. He took control despite the circumstances, and matured more as he grew. According to Scout, ” In all his life, Jem never declined a dare.” This quote also proves how brave Jem is. He also had a voice in the novel when he stood up to his father, demonstrating that he stands up for what he believes in. He finally demonstrated empathy for Tom Robinson by knowing his conviction was unfair, and trying to do as much as he could. These specific traits made me care for the character Jem in the novel, and made me have sympathy for him when he was injured by Mr. Ewell. However, Jem wasn’t able to demonstrate all of these traits in the film. In the film, I found Jem to be more stubborn and mature. From this, I didn’t feel any empathy for him when he injured his arm, and never really grew into caring him. Atticus Finch was a character who had a great impact in both the novel and movie. Gregory Peck played Atticus Finch in the movie, and did an amazing job portraying Atticus’ braveness, respectfulness, and love. From this, he later won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1963 for his performance. When reading Atticus’ speech to the jury about the court system, and how they should be fair during the trial, I experienced goosebumps, because of its message and how powerful it was portrayed. When watching the movie, and listening to Peck’s interpretation of the speech, I became very emotional on how much power and concern he put into the speech. According to Thane Rosenbaum, a writer for Slate Magazine, students aspiring to become lawyers, are often inspired by Atticus Finch from the novel and movie interpretation from Atticus’ speech. Peck depicted Atticus just as you would have imagined from the novel because of his father like attitude towards his kids. In conclusion, the characters from book and movie of To Kill a Mockingbird each had a different impact on the reader.
In conclusion, the movie and book version of To Kill A Mockingbird have many character similarities and differences including importance, development, and impact on the reader. To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the most acclaimed novel and film stories of all time. The movie won three Academy Awards and the novel has won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The story would have never won these awards if it wasn’t for the characters who demonstrated leadership, courage, and maturity.


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