Comparing & Contrasting - in the Heat of the Night

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Nathan Christianson November 19, 2009

Comparing and Contrasting
In the Heat of the Night
The novel, In the Heat of the Night, and the movie based on the novel, had a lot of differences and some similarities which changed the effect of the movie if you read the novel. The theme of this story is racism and was portrayed in different ways in the movie and the novel, but both had the same idea. The main conflict in both the movie and story is a murder, but they are totally different. Different people, place and victim from the story, which changes what the plot is about. In the Heat of the Night has some big conflicts, not only dealing with racism, prejudice and stereotypes.

The characters in the novel and movie differ, yet have some similarities. There are the officers, Sam, Virgil and Bill, who are the same people in the novel and movie but have many differences. Some people in the book aren’t even in the movie or have different names which makes quite a difference, especially if they had relationships with people in the movie. For example, in the novel, Chief Gillespie is tall and well built, and in the movie he is short, chubby, and always chewing gum really loudly. Another example is Virgil Tibbs, he is humble and rarely talks back in the novel, “Sam took immediate command. ‘On your feet, black boy,’ he ordered, and crossed the room in five quick steps.”(15) But in the movie, Virgil talks back almost every single time someone talks rude to him, and he is also rude in the movie about some things. Sam Wood and Virgil Tibbs become good friends in the novel, but in the movie Sam and Virgil don’t even become friends, but Virgil and Chief Gillespie became good friends. In the novel the victim’s name is Enrico Mantoli and in the movie he is called Cobert. “Ten minutes later, the body of Maestro Enrico Mantoli was brought in.”(24) In the...
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