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”The Body” vs. “Stand By Me” Essay Sample

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”The Body” vs. “Stand By Me” Essay Sample

This is a comparison between the book The Body, by Stephen King, and the movie made based on it, Stand By Me. It talks about whether or not the movie captures the essence of the book.

Have you ever tried to interpret or describe another person’s dream they have told you about? Oppositely, has anyone ever tried to interpret or describe one of your dreams to another person after you have told them? If so, how did it turn out? More than likely, their description and/or interpretation of how they viewed the occurrences in your dream were far different than the actual visions that you had in your head. For that reason, only you yourself can describe and interpret something that has happened to or is personal to you most accurately when sharing it with others. We see a good example of this in the movie the “Stand By Me” based on the book, The Body by Stephen King. While capturing most of the sentiments that Stephan King bestowed upon us as readers, the director did not successfully capture the most important aspects in certain and important scenes of the movie. In essence, the movie does not successfully capture the story’s soul in depth when covering the three themes of friendship, growing up and social status.

First and foremost, we will take a look at the theme of friendship in comparison to the book and the movie. In the movie, there seems to be a major focus on the value of friendship. I don’t believe the value of friendship is as notarized in the novel as it is in the movie. For instance, while Chris and Gordie (two main characters) are walking together without the companionship of Vern and Teddy (the other two), Chris asserts powerful and yet realistic words to Gordie. ” ‘And you know what Gordie? By next June, we’ll all be quits.’?’It’s asshole if your friends can drag you down.'(p380-p381) ” This basically says it all right here. However, if that is not enough evidence, King once again shows that friendship is not that important in this next quote: “‘Teddy and Vern slowly became two more faces in three-thirty detention. We nodded and said hi. That was all.'(p432)” They went from being the best of friend to nearly unfamiliar faces and forgotten memories. Friendship was clearly not in the air here. In opposition, the movie portrays the theme friendship to be so very valued like when Chris cries in front of Gordie. Chris would not have been that soft to cry. The
movie portrays the idea of “What are friends for?” Stephen King just focuses more on the matter of growing up and how your social status affects your life where the movie’s main theme is friendship, completely missing the heart of the book in that particular subject matter.

Subsequently, we are brought to the theme of growing up. This is one of the true themes of the book and yet the theme that is not well represented in the movie. King gives many examples of the route of growing up in his writing of this book. One example being, ” ‘Me? I’m a writer now?A lot of critics think what I write is shit. A lot of them are right?but it still freaks me out to put out those words, “Freelance Writer,” down in the Occupation blank of the forms you have to fill out?'(p435) ” This quote is at the end of the book. He introduced us to Gordie when he was a child and left us with Gordie as a man. We were able to see detailed changes in the way Gordie thought and looked at life then and now all by the brilliant writings of King, unlike the vague directing of the movie. Second we were able to see how Chris was able to mature into an adult and what exactly he went through to get there. We had a better understanding of the pain Gordie felt when he found out that Chris had died by reading the book. On a sadder note we really wee ale to get a god sense of what a crappy life Vern and Teddy and made for them selves. The movie did not really give us a feel of how each of these boys’ lives changed or stayed the same as they grew up into manhood. Once again, nothing can top the description of the story that Stephen King so greatly wrote for his fans and readers.

Last but definitely not least, the theme of the character’s social status is the most dominate of all three. However, once again, the movie lacks apt portrayal in this most pertinent impression, as where the book gives you sincere sympathy for the characters. For example: ” ‘Its there,’ she said cautiously. Best not to mix in too much with the Chamberses. Poor white trash; shanty Irish (p431).” My heart goes out to Chris. She doesn’t even know him and yet she is judging him because of the social status he was born into. It’s not Chris’s fault, but King let’s us know that that doesn’t matter. What matters is the invisible label he will forever have on his forehead because of his family. The movie does not depict it so seem so bad.
The movie shows scenes in which they (the boys) are judged because of their social label and then quickly moves on to the next scene, forgetting about the prior. Viewers do not get to experience the significance of the element. In the book, we are able to understand the intensity of the importance of a social status or label. Like in this quote, ” ‘Then maybe I was sorry and I tried to give it back?So just say that I stole the milk money but then the old lady stole it from me. Just suppose I told that story. Me, Chris Chambers?You think anybody would have believed it?'(p383) ” The answer of is, No they wouldn’t have. They would have labeled him liar. On the other hand if it were a rich kid, the teacher would have overlooked it. The movie didn’t make you feel Chris’s pain, anger and frustration. The book did. King gets to the heart of the matter. The movie simply doesn’t.

Overall, as I hoped I have proved, the movie fails to capture the true essence of the book so precisely written by Stephen King. The movie, just giving a basic overall visual on the book lacks the most important keys to understanding the key concepts of the story that King wrote. The movie exaggerates on the theme of friendship and underestimates the themes growing up and social status. Basically, if you want to get into the depths of the real meaning of the story, you must read the book. The movie will leave you hanging without you even knowing it. You’ll be missing out on something so great. The book leaves you sincerely thinking about the major themes in the book and the affects that they have on you and other people, while the movie leaves nothing but a mere memory of the movie and a clearer vision of dead boy in the back of your mind. No one can ever truly release and image or story from their head but the beholder himself; in this case, Stephen King.

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