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Pride and Prejudice, Differences between the movie and the novel

With this study, the aim I have is to find and clarify the differences in the movie from the original book of Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice which is a mirror for the time it belongs. A question puzzling everyone may be that whether there have to be a difference or more between a book and its movie version. The answer comes with, “Yes, there are heart-breaking omissions, as must be necessary in any 2-hour version.” told in a review.[1]

Through the past years, many books that have a literary value was transformed into movies and many had bad influence on the fans of the books because they had almost no relation to the original story in details. However, everybody may think that a movie version of a good book is necessary after reading it and may say, “Wow, the movie of that book might be fantastic.” And with a similarity to the beginning of the “Pride and Prejudice”, here is a support for it: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that the best romantic novel in the English language must perpetually be in need of a remake.”[1]

First of all, movies always move a bit quicker than the books. Thus the books have the opportunity to give more details about the actions, movements of the characters and the thoughts of them. Releasing these is much easier in the books for the writers for they have the right to make the explanations of any action or thought of a character longer enough for their satisfaction than in the movies since the movie writers or directors have not chance for releasing the details. Let’s come to the examples for these.

The characteristic of Elizabeth in the movie written by Deborah Moggach, is different than it is in the original book. Elizabeth is presented in the movie as being rude, huffy, ill-tempered and grumpy in contrast in the book Jane Austen presents her as having good humor and being an intelligent woman with a sweet manner.[2]

In addition, the family relations are very different in the movie. For example, the sisters Jane and Elizabeth in the novel have almost no secrets among them and share everything they have in their mind and plan about their futures, hopes and dreams. But in the movie they keep secrets and they are reserved with one another.[3]


In the movie, moreover Elizabeth in the first ball had an eye contact with Mr. Darcy which makes us think something is going to happen between them. Thus it is understood that Elizabeth is affected by Mr. Darcy and makes that affection apparent to the audience with her face expression in the movie. But in the book this kind of thing never happened between them.

Other differences between the book and movie exist in the visiting scenes of Elizabeth to Pemberley, Rosings Park and Hunsford Parsonage. The most apparent difference in these scenes is the time that is compressed in the movie while these visits have much more details in the book. The difference is not just the time for these. Also, the thoughts of Elizabeth in the book like

“And of this place I might have been mistress! With these rooms I might now have been familiarly acquainted! Instead of viewing them as a stranger, I might have rejoiced in them as my own, and welcomed to them as visitors my uncle and aunt. -- But no,"[4]

which is very important are not presented or couldn’t be expressed in the movie which might be difficult to do it.

Another one while Elizabeth is still in Pemberley, the places of some scenes are different in the movie. For example, firstly the servant told Elizabeth, her aunt and her uncle that Mr. Darcy was not at home and he would come the following day. Elizabeth met Mr. Darcy and his sister the same day in the house in the movie but in the book she met him outdoors when the gardener was showing around the garden. Elizabeth met Mr. Darcy’s sister the other day in the book but in the movie as told she met her in the house the same day which is not a very important detail. But in the book there are much more conversations between the visitors, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner and Elizabeth, and the servant about Mr. Darcy which put them in doubt about what they know before their leaving the house. But in the movie these conversations do not occur so longer to make them doubt what only Elizabeth know about Mr. Darcy. Here also in the movie her aunt and her uncle have no knowledge about Mr. Darcy as they have some about what he had done to Mr. Wickham in the book.

The movie also lacks some supporting characters like Louisa Hurst, Mr. Hurst, Maria Lucas, Mr. and Mrs. Phillips, the Gardiners' children and some officers with townspeople.

As a final point, this movie version as it is shortened to just two hours of screenplay according to reviews it is a really good adaptation to movie from the original book despite the major differences in it. The differences in characterizations, actions of them and the places of some scenes must be of course different because the movie watchers would want more seeable or worth watching things in theatres than the book itself presents.


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[1] http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808657001/parentsguide
[2] http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=ApwBLbL36B_Wh8s0byxTXgMjzKIX;_ylv=3?qid=20070927174 750AAFRWde
[3] http://heartkeepercommonroom.blogspot.com/2005/11/pride-and-prejudice.html
[4] Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, P.235

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