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The Watsons Go to Birmingham Movie Vs Book

Essay by   •  December 21, 2017  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,352 Words (6 Pages)  •  7,111 Views

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A novel and a movie about the novel can be so different yet so similar. The novel might have someone blind in it who is a major character, but the movie might not have someone blind or they might not have this character at all, these changes even though they might be as small as a dime? The Watsons go to Birmingham 1963 is a novel and the Watsons go to Birmingham 1963 is the movie about the novel, they're somewhat similar but VERY different, different to the point where almost 50% of the book was not in the move. The Watsons are a family of five, Joetta, Kenney, Bryon, Momma, and Dad. Kenny is the protagonist of the story; he is very smart and relatively quiet. Byron is something of a juvenile delinquent and possesses a knack for breaking the rules, and Joey is a sensitive child and a strict rule-follower. They went to Alabama so they could leave Byron their oldest son, to spend some time down South with Grandma Sands because of his behavior and nonsense. As we've said before the Watsons go to Birmingham because of Byron behavior but in the movie, they go to Birmingham because Momma whose name is Wilona goes so she could spend some time with her mother. That’s one of many differences in the movie but if you need another one it's that in the book it says Joetta who is the younger sister is six but in the movie, she looks like she's twelve.

One Major difference between the book and the movie is Kenny's lazy eye in the book it notes that Kenny was born with a lazy eye yet in the movie Kenny has average eyes which impacted the plot greatly. On page 26 in the book Byron help Kenny by giving him good advice about standing the right way so people couldn’t see his lazy eye. In the book Byron always crossed his eyes to make fun of Kenny but he wouldn’t be able to do that in the movie because of Kenny's lazy eye not being lazy. But the biggest impact of all is that without Kenny’s lazy eye he wot get as bullied as much and if he doesn’t get bullied as much it means Larry Dunn who’s a bully won’t get to tease Kenny about his lazy eye and that means we see less of Larry Dunn, meaning there’s a chance he won’t steal Kenny’s gloves like he did in chapter 4, which takes us to the prime example without this, more than 50% of the chapter “Froze Up Southern Folks” wouldn’t have come true which was a very important chapter.

In chapter “The Swedish Cremes and Welfare Cheese” there’s this somewhat emotional moment where Byron points to a bird on a telephone wire and tells Kenny it's a mourning dove. He says nothing shakes up a mourning dove, and to prove it, he starts throwing cookies at the bird. The bird looks around, but doesn't move. Byron throws a fourth cookie hard at the bird, and it hits the bird smack in the chest. The bird sticks its wings straight out to the side, then slowly falls backward off the wire and crashes to the ground. Kenny can't believe what just happened he says he's seen a million people throw things at birds and no one ever comes close to ever hitting one. Kenny becomes very enthusiastic but not Byron. Byron then runs up to the bird to sweep the frosting off its chest, he then starts to vomit. Kenny was stunned that his brother was crying over a dead bird. Kenny tries to console his brother but Byron punches Kenny and tells him to leave. When Kenny comes back to the Alleyway later he sees a little grave with two popsicle sticks on top that show a cross. Kenny becomes dumbfounded after seeing what Byron made for the bird, but he was even more astonished about the fact that his brother torments kids daily at school but felt sympathy towards a bird that he killed and yet in the movie they mention none of this. We never got to see Byron’s soft side, we never got to see that type of character development in him, we just thought of him as that one good-delinquent kid that becomes better throughout the story, which not only is so cliched, but it greatly affected the plot of the movie.

So far many of the things we’ve talked about have been negative things about the movie or how the movie should’ve included the major chapters in the book, but one interesting thing that the movie did that was mind- boggling



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