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Book vs Movie, Disappointment in the Difference of Gone with the Wind

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The first time I saw the film adaptation of a book I had read, I was appalled at the changes that had been made to the story. Both “Gone With the Wind”, the movie, and “Gone With the Wind”, the book, tell an epic story of life in Georgia at the time of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era and the effect of the war on the life of a spoiled Southern belle, Scarlett O’Hara. But there are significant differences in the characters, events and perspectives that made me realize that a screen adaptation will never be able to capture the details and background stories that are included in a novel.
Characters
. For those who have never read the book, the characters are defined by the actors who portrayed them and not necessarily by the way they were described by the author. One advantage of reading a book is the ability to use one’s imagination to envision the characters and scenes. The first sentence of the book begins, “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful”. However, the first scene of the movie shows the very beautiful Vivian Leigh portraying Scarlett. Scarlett was sixteen years old at the beginning of the book but portrayed to be older in the movie. In an effort to help the reader understand Scarlett’s personality and determination, the book gives a lot of background about her family, which is not included in the movie version.
In addition to a difference in the depiction of the characters, there were also characters that were completely excluded from the movie version. For example, in the book Scarlett had three children, but in the movie she only had one child. The children are significant in that they give the reader an insight into Scarlett’s terrible parenting skills and make her character even more unlikeable. In th...

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...n and in the movie it is a white man. In addition, there is no mention of the Ku Klux Klan in the movie, but in the book Scarlett’s second husband, Frank Kennedy, is a member of the Klan. Some of the sexual aspects of in the book such as Rhett’s relationship with the prostitute, Belle Whatling and the scene where a drunken Rhett takes Scarlett to the bedroom were not as explicit in the movie as they were in the book.
I enjoyed both the movie and the book. Obviously, there are aspects of the movie that could not be duplicated in the book. For example, the score, written by Max Steiner, adds an element of drama and emotion that a book cannot capture. It is difficult to visualize the enormity of war in a book and the movie did an excellent job of that. However, like most avid readers, I will probably always enjoy the book version of the story more than the mo
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