Paul's Case the Movie vs. Paul's Case the Short Story

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Sometimes in movie production a film is developed from a piece of literature. Directors will use the plot of a book either to create a unique movie, or to give the audience a chance to see what their favorite book is like when acted out on the screen. Willa Cather's "Paul's Case" is a good example of a work adapted to video. The movie has slight differences from the book, but the director Lamont Johnson follows the original closely. Most movies that are inspired by books hold some relation to the author's version, but are changed to fit the director's vision and perhaps make the movie more presentable. "Paul's Case" the movie, beginning to the end, is basically the same, but slight differences were found in the characters' physical traits, setting, some symbolism, and the plot. However, these changes were not significant enough to change the story as a whole.

The character's appearance plays a key role in a story. It can suggest his personality and his motives. Paul's physical appearance would be considered a key issue for this story. The text describes him as "very thin, with high, cramped shoulders and a narrow chest" (Cather 154). This is key because Paul wants to be something he is not. He desires to be part of a life he was not born into, and really he has no background in the arts, and hardly any knowledge of it. Stereotypically, a person that fits his physical description is considered weak, ignorant, and rather pathetic. So, the portrayal of an awkward-looking Paul is important for the reader to know what kind of person he is. The movie, on the other hand, casts Eric Roberts who does not fit this description at all. He is tall, good-looking, and his well-developed body is inconsistent with Cather's Paul. His age does not even to appear to be appropriate, because he is supposed to be a boy the age of seventeen. Roberts looks to be more in his twenties. These discrepancies will confuse the watcher of the movie. If he did not read the...
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