A Separate Peace Movie and Novel Comparison
The first noted difference between the movie and book is that and the novel, before the flashback while Gene is revisiting Devon he remarks that he wants to visit two places, the tree and the marble stairs. This is a fairly important scene and gets the reader interested through foreshadowing early on in the story but was left out of the film. The book was told in first-person from Gene’s point of view in the novel while the movie was told by a third-person narrator. I thought that the book’s first-person approach was a better idea and made the story more personal whereas the third-person narration didn’t bring you as far into Gene’s head as the book. Having Gene tell his own story added a lot more to the story in my opinion, because you were able to see for yourself what made him tick, what went on in his head, and what drove him to do the things that he did. For example, Gene's intense emotional battle before pushing Finny off the tree had to be left out of the film, making him seem more simple-minded than he came off in the book. Also, many of the confrontations and dialogs in novel were downplayed in the film Another difference between the book and the novel is Gene’s confrontation with Leper, in the novel Leper goes home after he is discharged from the army and confronts Gene there. In the movie version however, Leper flees to the woods outside Devon after he is discharged but is eventually spotted by Gene who follows him into the woods where the confrontation occurs. His fragile state after his experience in the army, was a huge point of interest for me in the book. The movie, I feel, was unable to capture his essence.
In general, I think that reading the book is always better than watching the movie and A Separate Peace definitely proved that. I thought that the drawback of the movie was that it was less personal than the novel. Although there were some things in the movie that I thought were better...
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