2001: A Space Odyssey Compare and Contrast Essay

2001: A Space Odyssey Compare and Contrast Essay

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Recently, our class read the book and watched the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The book is written by Arthur C. Clarke and the movie was directed by Stanley Kubrick. The book was written as a framework for the movie, so the two are mostly the same. But, while there were similarities, there were also some major differences.
The story started with pre-historic ‘humans’ called man-apes. The man-apes were very primitive and on the brink of survival. One day, a huge monolith showed up and started messing with their minds and teaching them new concepts. In the book, each of the man-apes became ‘possessed’ by the monolith and forced to try new things, like tying knots and throwing rocks. Moon-Watcher was one of the chosen ones because he learned quickly, so the monolith continued to work with him until he made his entire pack of man-apes function better. Once Moon-Watcher learned how to kill other animals for food, his entire species was saved from extinction, and could now evolve into the humans we are today.
In the movie, the monolith showed up next to the man-apes and didn’t interact with them at all. Moon-Watcher was showed killing a creature, but there was nothing leading up to that moment. Though both ended with the same result, I prefer the book’s version of this spectacle better because it gave more details. The movie was very confusing and hard to keep up with because it jumped around so quickly. I also think it would have been more entertaining as an audience member if Stanley Kubrick could have made the man-apes possessed.
The initial destination of Discovery is another major difference between the book and the movie of 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the book, Bowman and Poole both think that they are going to S...


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...eal food to eat and other drinks besides water. I definitely preferred the books portrayal of the food because it would have been so interesting to see someone eating blue goo.
Overall I am glad that I read 2001: A Space Odyssey before I watched the movie. Both were very well made, though the movie would have been terribly confusing without the book as a guide. As opposed to choosing one or the other as my favorite, I think the two complement each other very nicely. The ending wasn’t exactly satisfying, though it left a conclusion up to the creative mind of the audience, which could definitely be taken advantage of. After reading this book, us as humans should feel humbled in knowing that we might not be as great as we think we are. Stories like this one should also encourage us to travel through space so we can find out what the meaning of life really is.

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