The more one watch movies and read books, the more one learns the differences of the two. Literary works and movies are two different art forms and both evoke different types of enjoyment and pleasure. …
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It is no surprise that a film adaptation of a literary work has some differences from the way it is delivered in the book and this is due to a number of factors: collaboration of ideas, different perspectives, artistic direction, etc. Although a direct translation of a literary work may not really work with a film adaptation, the literary essence of it should be captured. This paper scrutinizes a film adaptation of the literary work of Tobias Wolff, This Boy’s Life, based on his memoirs of his youth. This tackles the important parts of the literary work and examines whether it is portrayed in the film the way it should be delivered. The Bond of a Mother and Son This Boy’s Life is the author’s recollection of his youth. It is a book written in 1989 and adapted in film under Warner Brothers Picture. Tobias Wolff, or better known as Jack in both the book and the film, has an incredible bonding with his mother, Rosemary. His relationship with his mother is shown brilliantly in the film, although, his mother’s name in the book is different in the Last Name 3 film, which is Caroline. In the book, both Jack and his mother travel quite a lot due to his mother’s search for a better life for the both of them. Being left by his father, Jack, together with his mother, struggles hard in order to put an end to their unhappiness and money issues. At the onset of the film, Jack and his mother are in search of uranium, heading towards Salt Lake in their Nash. This scene is an important part in establishing the kind of relationship the two has, which is very well portrayed in the film. In the book, Chapters One and Two of Part I, it is explained that Jack’s travelling with his mother gives him an early exposure to the realities of life, which becomes the foundation of his aspirations to give his mother a good life and put an end their misery, (Wolff, Part I Chapters One and Two) which is delivered well in the film through its wonderful direction. Father Figure In both the film and the book, it is evident that Jack has terrible father figures. Roy, for instance, is a boyfriend of his mother who follows her from Florida to Utah and tries to get her by befriending Jack. He gives Jack a Winchester 22 rifle as a gift and takes Jack to spy on his mom at work. He makes it seem like a game and through this; he is able to get Jack’s friendship. In the scene where Jack is playing with his new gift from Roy, the rifle, he hears the creaking of the bed in the other room, realizing that Roy and his mother are making out. The musical scoring supports Jack’s realization that Roy only tries to befriend him to get to his mother without having to narrate his thoughts unlike in the book. Although in the film, some scenes like the ‘spying’ and other not-so-major things Roy does in the book are not seen. Overall, the film still does a great portrayal of a terrible father figure in Roy. Immediately after that, they leave Utah for Seattle to Last Name 4 escape Roy. The film is able to adapt well from the book in portraying an image of a mother who is always ready to fall for a relationship for the sake of giving her son a father figure he needs. She falls for the gifts and the company a man gives to her son but when she notices that it is all just to get her, she immediately escapes. “My mom had her own way of solving problems, she left them behind. That’s what she did with the Nash. She just left it there.” (Wolff, Part I Chapter Two) In the film, Jack’s mother throws the uranium detector in the trash right after she talks to a man who tells her that there is no uranium in Salt Lake. The arrival of Dwight, Jack’s new father figure whom his mother eventually gets married with, is an interesting event in both the book and
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