Tom Sawyer Book vs Movie
The Tom Sawyer movie is very different than the book itself. One way isit had different scenes than the book. One new scene is when Tom and Beckyare in the cave. Injun Joe sees them and starts to chase them. That wasnever in the book. The movie also has different dialog. One example is that Tom tells Becky that the greatest water in all Missouri is in the cave. Then Tom talks her into going in there. In the book, however, Becky has a partyand everyone goes exploring in the cave.
As popular as the novel is, there has never been a commercially successful film made from it. Furthermore, no movie version of Tom Sawyer has ever captured the essence of the novel. Many TV films have attempted to capture the unique qualities of the novel but have, for the most part, failed, partly because the novel appeals on two such different levels--that of the adult and that of the child. Perhaps the most successful (and most easily obtained) version is Tom Sawyer, produced by Panavision Films in 1973, which stars Johnny Whitaker as Tom Sawyer, Jodie Foster as Becky Thatcher, and Celeste Holm as Aunt Polly. The purpose of comparing two such different approaches to a single work is that by doing so, we can more easily see the problems of transferring a story from one medium to another, and in evaluating the changes from one medium to another, we come to a better understanding of the original work. Like a Broadway musical comedy, the movie begins with an overture and then shows a still picture of the Mississippi River. This shot is accompanied by a musical overture composed by the famous John Williams, winner of many awards for best musical score.
In addition, Stephen Railton (32) theorized Mark Twain creatively inserted the characters of the King and the Duke to bring entertainment to its fullest. Mark Twain includes the two evil characters to ensure the success of the Huckleberry Finn novel during its stage performance. The two characters make a living on taking advantage of their victims. The two would manipulate the people’s appetites. The people’s appetites included religious trimmings. Likewise, the two took advantage of the sadacious desires of the male audiences at nonesuch, or the sentimental needs of Peter Wilk’s neighbors. The Huckleberry Finn novel includes an ambivalent setting to entertain the followers of the Huckleberry Finn story. The Huckleberry Finn novel includes some tinges of democratic character when it brings the issue of slavery to the people, the judges of democratic ideals. To bring the creativity process to it highest levels, Mark Twain characterized Tom Sawyer, a poor boy, and Huckleberry Finn, an African American slave, into the story. Michael Kiskis (113) mentioned Mark Twain’s creative writing process includes imagination dominated by memory with sprinklings of creating details to unfold the realities of racism to the novel readers. Mark Twain’s penchant for details presents the unvarnished harshness of racial discrimination on a literary level.
In essence, it’s not surprising that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has become a beloved children’s novel, because the novel contrasts the intelligence and good humor of children with the poor judgment of adults. Twain conceals his subversive message within the familiar structure of a bildungsroman, in which a boy gets into trouble and redeems himself before his superiors. But Tom does not turn into the obedient citizen the adults want him to be: At the end of the novel, he still dreams of causing chaos in a robbers’ gang. His story celebrates the freedom, mischief, and excitement of youth, and suggests that children shouldn’t hurry to grow up and become adults.
Kiskis, Michael. Constructing Mark Twain. New York: University Press, 2001. Print
Railton, Stephen. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Broadway Press, 2011. Print.