James Baldwin's Go Tell It on The Mountain is the story of a 14-year-old boy, John Grime, coming of age in Harlem under very difficult situations and little guidance. Through the course of the story John grows from a young boy struggling against himself and his wicked father that refuses to accept him, into a saved man of God who is able to go against what is out in the world. The story weaves in an out of the past and present, telling the stories behind the characters: Florence, John’s Aunt, Gabriel, John’s stepfather, and Elizabeth, John’s mother. This story is told through both a movie and a book and though they both have the same story line, there are also many differences. The movie at times strays away from some important topics that were discussed in the book.
One topic the movie does not include in the story was that of John seeing his father naked. In the last chapter of the story, when John was bring saved he recalls that he had once seen Gabriel naked before, just as Noah’s son, Ham had seen his father naked. This makes John wonder if he too is cursed just as Ham was cursed.
Another topic that is altered in the movie is after John has been saved Florence does not give Gabriel the letter from Deborah, Gabriel’s deceased wife. This letter is significant because it showed how much Florence has been feeding her anger against Gabriel and how much she detests him, and waited for his downfall. In the movie, Florence is not as hateful as the book’s Florence was. Through this change, the movie’s story was not as intense as the book has been because Florence’s character was mellowed down.
Lastly, at the end of the movie Gabriel in a way almost accepts John and tells him he will help John get through the hard mountains of being a saved man. This is a complete reverse turn from the book’s storyline. In the book, Gabriel never in any way accepts John when he is saved because he feels Roy, John’s half brother, was the one who should have been saved. Gabriel...
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