Jaws, the Story of The Great White

analytical Essay
1090 words
1090 words

We are still learning from the Great White and in 1973 we knew less. “Jaws” by Peter Benchley is the first fiction novel written about the Great White and is inspiration for the book comes from an actually incident in early 1900’s. In 1913, four people were killed off the Jersey Shore by sharks. Sharks will mistake a human for food but will release once it realizes it. Peter Benchley creates a monster from realism and brilliantly describes the great fish in scientific terms is his book. He speaks of it small primitive brain, the dorsal fin, and the fishes need to keep water rushing over its gills. He never specifically names the fish and allows the reader to form a picture of the fish. In doing so we are forced to believe the possibilities that there is a shark who is just hunting for survival, and the fish does not possess some extraordinary power. The book first published in 1974 by Doubleday. The book was a success and made The Book of the Month Club, and was given many praises in newspapers such as The New York Times. While this is going on, Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown, at Universal Studios was contemplating the possibilities of creating the movie. Neither, Zanuck or Brown knew that the book would be such a hit, and will later state “if either of us actually understood the difficulties in actually creating the movie it never would have happened”. The film originally slated with Director Dick Richards, and when he dropped out the film was assigned to a young protégé Stephen Spielberg. Stephen Spielberg early in his career with only two other movies out was intrigued by the story and jumped on it. He would later say “We were either naïve or stupid”, and the movie production would go over budget, miss deadlines, and it seemed that nothing went right. The movie production will begin without an intact screenplay, without the completed mechanical shark, but Spielberg knew how he wanted to direct it. “I want to develop it from the raw material” (Brode), and would eliminate the sub plots in the book. He will eliminate the internal struggles within the characters Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), and Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gray); with the aid of sound and a theme song written by John Williams keep the great fish intact, add explosive special effects and camera angles; and the direction Spielberg takes with the final act is aesthetically pleasing for the audience.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that peter benchley's "jaws" is the first fiction novel written about the great white. the book was a success and made the book of the month club.
  • Opines that neither zanuck nor brown knew that the book would be such a hit. stephen spielberg was intrigued by the story and jumped on it.
  • Analyzes how mayor vaughn is pressured by his business partners to keep a lid on the death of chrissie. in the movie, he is interested in not losing the summer tourists who come to amity.
  • Analyzes how ellen doesn't have an affair with matt hooper and sets up the final act of the film. this elimination allows chief brody and matt to form a bond that is rewarding for cinematic purposes.
  • Analyzes how benchley uses chrissie's growing fear to build up the fear within the reader.
  • Analyzes how the final act in the novel and the movie isn't as rewarding as the film. quint, chief brody, and matt hooper form a bond that's missing in both.
  • Analyzes how the novel's ending fizzles, as quint gets stuck in the rope and drowns and the shark merely sinks to the bottom of the ocean.
  • Analyzes how peter benchley's mechanically brilliant words play on our imagination with the realistic man eating fish to create horror and thrilling the reader.
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