Prose and Mixed Media The Case of “Fahrenheit 451

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Prose and Mixed Media The Case of “Fahrenheit 451

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DATE @ “d MMMM yyyy” 22 August 2013

Prose and Mixed Media: The Case of “Fahrenheit 451”

It has often been seen that popular novels and short stories have been cinematized primarily due to the influence of the prose piece on the minds of the creative people. But along with such issue it has also been observed that due to some reasons or other the movie version of the prose pieces are not always depicted in the same way in which the original authors of the concerned pieces would have liked. On several occasions it has been noticed that for time constraint or budget constraint or merely due to the wish of the director of the movie, from the cinematic version of the prose piece some major events or characters (present in the original text) have been omitted. So, it can be stated that it is not always the case that the cinematic version of a prose piece is going to depict each and everything that has been infused within the original prose piece. And adhering to this principle the primary endeavor in this paper will be to justify the claim by comparing and contrasting the novel “Fahrenheit 451” with its cinematic version so that it can be revealed how along with some similarities, some dissimilarities can also be observed between the two.

In 1966 the cinematic version of the novel “Fahrenheit 451” by novelist Ray Bradbury was released while the original novel was published in 1951 (“Fahrenheit 451 (1966)”). So, the primary difference between the novel and its cinematic reproduction can be observed in terms of the time period in which both of them came in front of the common public. Moreover, it must be said that the difference between the novel and its cinematic depiction can be explained through stating the fact that the screenplay of the movie although being the product of the creativity of the original writer of the novel itself, was the outcome of the collaborative effort of Bradbury, Truffaut and Jean-Louis Richard (“Full cast and crew for Fahrenheit 451 (1966)”), and as this was so, it must be stated that apart from Bradbury’s point of view some additional viewpoints of his assistants might have flowed into the screenplay contributing to the addition of several extra features in the movie which were not present in the original novel. Director Francois Truffaut might have thought differently about projecting the original novel through the cinematic version and this might have been the reason behind some differences that could be found between the original novel and its movie version.

But it will be folly on our end to think that there are lack of similarities between the novel and its cinematic version. This is not possible at all. The cinematic version of the novel is composed of several basic aspects that have been utilized by the novelist to complete the narration. For an example, in the novel, Bradbury has projected one of the central characters, Guy Montag, as a “firefighter who lives in a lonely, isolated society where books have been outlawed by a government fearing an independent-thinking public” (Rathjen). And the same projection is also to be found in the cinematic version of the novel “Fahrenheit 451”. Again, just like in the novel, in the cinematic version too, the life of Guy Montag and his wife is enshrouded with obscurities, complexities, and complications and adding to all these, their relationship is cursed with monotony and detachment. In the novel, Guy Montag has a different perspective of life and his wife possess a different one and this causes alienation of both of them from one another. Moreover, if thoroughly observed, then it can be found that just like in the novel, in the movie version of the novel too, the distance between Montag and his wife is eventually widened by the coming of the character of Clarisse, a woman who loves books just like the central protagonist of the movie (Rathjen). Furthermore, it must be noted that both in the novel and in its cinematic version Clarisse has been considered as one of the central protagonists responsible for changing the course of the entire story (Rathjen).

It is interesting that in spite of the aforesaid similarities between the novel and its cinematic version in respect of characterization, it is the same aspect which demarcates the novel and the novel’s movie version to a great extent. For an instance, the characterization of one of the central protagonists, Clarisse, is responsible for the differences between the novel and its cinematic version in a considerable way. An avid reader of the novel “Fahrenheit 451” can identify a basic difference in the characterization of Clarisse. In the novel this central protagonist is faced with death and her ill-fate in the novel is ensured by her eventual death. But this has not happened in the movie version of the novel. In the cinematic version, Clarisse escapes death by getting out of the shackles of the ruthless firefighters who were sent to destroy her house along with her cherished books. So, such a different is undoubtedly noteworthy because this difference has contributed a lot in shaping the movie to a considerable extent. And such difference has made the movie more positive in approach than the original novel version. Furthermore, difference can also be observed in the fact that unlike in the novel, in the cinematic version of the novel the character of Faber has been omitted and instead Clarisse has been attributed with some of the primary roles that Faber has played in the original novel (“Professor Faber”). Also, it must be noted, that to ensure the dystopian image of the movie and to prevent it being too much unbelievable the director, unlike the novelist, has indulged in omitting the character of the mechanical hound that plays a vital role in the original prose version of the movie (“Mechanical Hound: An eight-legged robotic “hound” with hypodermic poison fangs”).

In conclusion, although some basic similarities can be found between the novel “Fahrenheit 451” and its cinematic version, the movie version of the novel differs from Bradbury’s version to a considerable degree, and such differences can be thoroughly observed by first reading the novel and then watching its cinematic version.

(1,027 words)

Works Cited

“Fahrenheit 451 (1966).” IMDb. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2013. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060390/>.

“Full cast and crew for Fahrenheit 451 (1966).” IMDb. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2013. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060390/fullcredits#writers>.

“Mechanical Hound Mechanical Hound: An eight-legged robotic “hound” with hypodermic poison fangs.” Technovelgy.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2013. <http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/content.asp?bnum=454>.

Rathjen, Brian. “Storyline.” IMDb. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2013. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060390/>.

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