Literature V/S Films

Topics: Literature, Novel, Fiction Pages: 5 (1475 words) Published: July 4, 2013
Literature vs. Film
Literature can, at times, have a fascinating connection with film. In some cases, it is evident that the two are intertwined in many more ways than the average person may realize. Whether it is a film or a piece of literature, both are written by someone that wants to impact readers or a viewing audience. With that being said, it is always a question of whether or not the author accomplished his or her goal and if the audience was impacted in the way he or she wanted. Is this intent prevalent to the audience and is the author’s intent predetermined before the film or book is taken in by the audience? How the author can shape the reader or viewer and whether or not they can interpret things for themselves is another factor that must be examined when trying to answer this question. Another question that is often thought of is how power is depicted through film or literature in terms of not only sex and gender, but in class, race, nationality, etc. In again both film and literature power is a very important factor in most good story lines. In seems to be that reality does not have much intervention when it comes to characterizations of the leading roles. Although at times the true reality of who these characters would really be 


For a long time, there has existed an interrelationship and mutual influence between literature and other forms of artistic expressions. This has resulted in painting and music based on works of fiction, drama and poetry, as well as literary works emulating pictorial styles and musical structures. The creative exchange between literature and film was initiated in the last decade of the 19th Century. Initially, film was most related to photography and painting.

Literature shares with film the ability to employ the structures and devices of narrative. Sequence of images on screen told a story and this is equivalent to the sequence of words on page. The use of language in film established firmly the connections to literature.

Films, just like in literature, present i) action ii) images iii) words replicating life. Literary works also have a stylistic and thematic basis in a realistic presentation of characters and incidents. Theatre, initially, seemed nearest to film because of the common use of actors and sets. Critics agree that films have a stronger affinity with fiction, especially with the pronounced emphasis on narrative. However, whereas the primary thrust of literature is linguistic, the thrust of film is imagistic/ visual and immediate.

Film draws from the tradition of live theatre which includes techniques of staging, lighting, movement and gestures. From the novel, film draws from structure, characterization, theme and point of view.

From poetry it draws from an understanding of metaphor, symbolism and other literary tropes. Film can extend into areas of the innermost privacy and consciousness just like poetry does.

From music film draws from rhythm, repetition and counterpoint.

From painting it draws from sensitivity to shape, form, visual textures and colour.

Popular film developed with the emergence of the 18th Century novel. Both the 18th Century novel and film relied heavily upon realism as a technique. Early films were concerned, just like with realism in literature, daily lives of ordinary people. The subject matter and audiences were people of low social standing.

An analogy stands out for film and literature. The basic structural units of the novel were replicated in film. In the novel we have: the word, sentence, paragraph, chapter and the entire novel. In film we have the frame, shot scene and sequence. The word in literature and the image in film were similar in so far as they are visual phenomena, both perceived with the eye.

Despite different degrees of explication, both writers and filmmakers use language or languages. Some differences may exist however. For instance, whereas the...
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