Essay on Book vs. Movie – We Have Always Lived in the Castle


When turning a book into a movie it can be a challenge. Books have so many details that can be hard to fit into a movie. When watching the film version of, We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, I felt completely engrossed by the movie. Reading the book and using one's imagination is one thing. However, having the book come alive in a film can really make you excited. It can be hard to make a movie live up to fans’ expectations. Some fail and some succeed. In my opinion they very much succeeded. 

There will always be differences between the book and the film. I personally liked the book's ending. Now, that’s not to say that the film ending wasn’t good, I just prefer the least violent version. Both in the book and in the movie Charles begs to be let back into the house. In the film despite being ignored he breaks the door down and proceeds to enter. He is then killed by Merricat with a snow globe. While in the book, he doesn’t force his way in and instead leaves forever.  Also, in the film the children at the end are portrayed much more aggressive and more remorseful. They showed this remorse by leaving a basket of eggs at the doorstep as an  apology. 

All in all, the book and the film are fairly similar. They made sure all of the main and supporting characters were present, i.e. Merricat, Constance, Charles, Uncle Julian. Another similarity they kept was the fact that the Blackwood family are outcasts in their neighborhood, even feared by some. They live their lives in isolation and only join society for needs. They also had their differences. One obvious one and already talked about, the ending. The ending wasn’t the only changes they made when creating the movie. In the novel, Constance and Charles' romance isn’t portrayed much if at all. In the movie, they seem to be dating in a way. They act almost as a married couple. All things considered, both the movie and novel are great and capture the reader’s/viewer’s attention all the way through. 

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