One of the most significant and influential differences between the film and the book is the choice of narrator. In the book, Krakauer narrates most of the story. However, in the movie, Penn chooses to use Carine over Krakauer as the narrator. With Carine’s narration, Penn is able to take the insight into the relationship between McCandless and his sister to even greater detail. The audience is able to, in e...
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...cCandless reminisces on the past, the first image in his mind is a photo of his sister. It is only in these dying moments that McCandless is able to realize that “Happiness is only real when shared.”
While both Krakauer and Penn detail the life of Christopher McCandless, the two mediums used have produced some differences in their respective retellings of his life’s story. Krakauer keeps Carine’s role in the book relatively reserved, although she was heavily consulted with by Krakauer in writing the book. In contrast, Penn expands the role of Carine in the film by using her as the narrator and with this role, and her permission, is able to incorporate additional scenes and details to emphasize this central brother-sister relationship. Despite the differences, at the core of both film and book, the fundamental relationship still stands: just a brother and his sister.
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