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Grila Bytyqi, 3 year English/Geography

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Differences between the Novel and Movie Treasure Island

The adventure novel Treasure Island is a novel based on which a movie has also been made. There are many differences between them and bellow I have stated, in my opinion, the two most prominent ones. By reading the book and watching the movie, the very first thing that it is probably noticed is the way the story is told. Meaning, the narrator is different in each case. The book starts with Jim Hawkinss some kind of introductory, stating the main facts and slowly ushering into the story, as he were writing a diary. Well, as a matter of fact, the story starts by Jim telling the reader that he was asked to write down the whole experience he is about to reveal us. Basically, the story is told from the Jims perspective. However, there are three chapters somewhere in the middle of the book, where the narrator is changed and the one telling a part of the story is Dr. Livesey. These three chapters are right after Jim meets a pirate named Ben Gunn who has been living on the island for some time and Dr. Livesey is telling the readers what was happening in the meantime with the others and how the first fight took place. I guess, even though it is quite confusing and difficult to get used to the new person telling the story, the switch of the narrators was clearly noted in the titles of these chapters. Furthermore, I think it was a good idea to include this part of the story, which Jim cannot personally transmit to us as he was not the part of it, but without it we would be missing an important part of the events that took place. Comparing the movie to the book, we can see the movie has a whole different way of bringing the story to us. The movie starts with a few lines or a quote of someone mentioning buried gold and at the background there is the sea; two things that indicate the movie is going to be something about a treasure and everything else commonly accompanied with it: probably pirates. We can see that the setting is on a coast, but where and when exactly it is shown in written form. So in the case of a movie, just like this one, we usually do not have a narrator. We do not have someone telling us the happenings, because we are actually watching everything as it where happening right at that very moment. The communication between the characters is brought to us by the actors, but the rest is all what we can perceive with eyes and not by reading it. Two things that are worth mentioning are: firstly, the surrounding, the clothes and every movement of these actors are all the things that can be seen. Secondly, in a video most of the time (unless they do some special effects) you cannot know what the characters are thinking or feeling and so you have to rely on their mimics, on how well have the actors done their job and how good you are at reading peoples body language. For example, the character Long John Silver is not that great of a man and in the movie we can see it clearly and immediately right from the start by his cunning eyes, while in the book we have to wait till the narrator decides to tell us about him not being that great. In the book you only read and imagine, however, with the movie you perceive everything by sound and moving pictures. The second thing that it is very obvious is the differences of the plot. Sometimes it is changed, sometimes something else is added and in many cases let out which is quite understandable, since the movie is timed and not everything can be included. At the beginning of the movie there is only a little 1

Grila Bytyqi, 3 year English/Geography

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shown in comparison to all what is written in the book and also a little bit different. On the screen we do not see when captain Bones arrived, neither how much has he stayed at Jims home. They show us he was an alcoholic, but not the nights he would get very drunk and tell scary stories to the costumers and sometimes threaten them. Also, we do not get to see the death of Jims father. His mother never appears, even though she is mentioned. Dr. Livesey was supposed to come to Jims house many times, but in the movie he does it only when he comes with Trelawney. Captain Bones was supposed to die and then Jim and his mother would find his money and the map. Instead, captain before dying he gives the map to Jim personally. Jim, in the book, goes and finds the doctor and Trelawney, but in the movie they come to him. Finally, they ship and on board there is an alcoholic person (Mr. Arrow) who no one likes and which Silver gets rid of. In the book this is something that is only mentioned and it actually stays like some kind of a mystery, but in the movie there is a scene added that shows Silver killing him. The crew finally arrives at the island and Silver decides to go on the shore. In the book Jim sneaks to the boat and in the movie he asks their captain Smollett for permission. They immediately start their fights when they were actually supposed to go on the shore in peace. Silver also threatens to kill Jim if the crew on the ship does not let them go to the shore of the island. When Jim runs away he meets with Ben Gunn. Ben wants some help from Jim, so he offers him his boat he has built. In the book he only describes the place where this boat is hidden and where can he find it, but in the movie he personally takes Jim to see the hiding place. There is also the difference between the book and the movie in what way Silver gets the treasure map. In the book Dr. Livesey hands the map to him personally, because they make an agreement and he also knows the map is useless since Ben Gunn has already found another place to hide the treasure. In the movie the map is with Jim all the time, even when he goes to save their ship Hispaniola. There a pirate tries to kill him and he gets injured. It was supposed to be an innocent wound, but in the movie it is much more serious. When Jim returns to the stockade he faints because of his injury and Silver gets the map that he founds under his shirt, when he was trying to help him. At the end, Silver once again tries to escape. He was supposed to get home and then disappear with his share. But in the movie he takes a small boat and his share and sails alone into the open sea. In the movie they did not leave any men behind on the island and neither was shown the struggle of getting the gold on the ship. Silver, again, was about to kill Jim, but he dropped his gun as he could not do it. I guess he really liked and respected Jim. I must say that I personally liked reading the book much more than watching the movie. The reasons are probably, because the movie is quite old and not that appealing in comparison with nowadays quality of the movies and because of all the differences that have been made to the original story.

Grila Bytyqi, 3 year English/Geography

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Works Cited

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island. Leicester: Galley Press, 1987. Print. Haskin, Byron, dir. Treasure Island. Walt Disney Productions,1950. Film.

Newby Maursey, Margaret. Treasure Trove for Treasure Island readers The English Journal Vol. 24, 8 (1935): 667-668. Print. L. Reed, Sharon. Treasure Island: Treasured Literature The Reading Teacher Vol. 40, 4 (1987): 480-481. Print. Bryant, W. M. Off for Treasure Island The English Journal Vol. 21, 2 (1932): 137-139. Print.