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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Compare and Contrast

            The purpose of this paper is to compare a classic literary literature and a modern film that both discuss the same topic. It will specifically compare and contrast the book “Robinson Crusoe” and the film starring  entitled “Castaway”

            The book “Robinson Crusoe” written by  and the film “Castaway starring  and directed by fully discusses the same subject which is a story of a man who is left alone in an island and had to find ways and other means to survive and to be rescued. The first comparison that can be made between the film and the book is the topic with regards to spirituality and the presence of God and a divine being. The book discusses the development of spirituality of the main character not by listening to sermons and going to church but by reading the Bible while Robinson is in the island (1988). Because of this routine he was able to find God and to spiritually search and scrutinize his soul.

This concept of reading the Bible makes Robinson a new person applying what he reads from the bible with the present conditions that he is enduring and believing that God will eventually rescue him from the island. While this issue was fully developed in the   book, the film made no mention of this issue and in fact did not bother to touch it. If Robinson Crusoe was content on reading the Bible and perceiving that God is watching him, Chuck Noland, played by  is equally contented in talking to an volleyball he named Wilson. The film does not even touch the contemplation and reflection that pertains to God during extremes situations a human would naturally have when exposed to an extreme condition. Chuck Noland did not launched a verbal attack on God blaming him for the conditions that he is suffering and he equally did not turn to God for help. On this subject both the film and the both advocates two equally distinct but different positions. The books forwards the idea to its readers that man cannot survive without the grace of God and that God is the Supreme Being and the last entity that must be approached by man in times of sufferings, hardships and distress while the film promotes the opinion that against harsh environments and the harsh and cruel laws of nature, man will eventually triumph and succeed not thru the intervention of a divine being but thru the sole effort and sturdiness and strength of the human spirit and the human mind.

Another area that can be compared between the film and the book is the nature of the plot. Both the film and the book have different plots and scenarios that are worth mentioning. The book discusses the life of the main character, his occupation, his desires and his nature. We can read from the book that Robinson is a runaway, slave and eventually a plantation owner in Brazil before signing up for an ill fated expedition to bring slaves from Africa (1988). After the episode on being marooned and rescued from the island we can further read Robinson’s adventures while returning to England like fending off an attack of vicious wolves (1988).

On the film we are just treated to a certain snapshot on the mind and life of the main character. The film presents him as a globe trotting employee of the FedEx company having a girlfriend played by , his rescue and the eventual discovery that his girlfriend had married someone in the belief that he was dead. The film therefore lacks the deepness as promoted by the book. The treatment of the plot is lacking and is neglected since a small portion of the main character is exposed to the viewers. A specific aspect of the life of the Chuck Noland is permitted to be viewed and scrutinized by the public. In the book, the whole life of the main character is firmly discussed and the holistic treatment on the individuality and uniqueness of Robinson is clearly established.

Another aspect that can be compared between the film and the book is the characteristics that are present in the island where the two main characters are marooned. The book states that Robinson is not alone in the island since there are cannibals and prisoners that are present. In the book, Robinson interacts with these characters by dealing with them, fighting against them and working for them (2002). The story then has a human nature to it where man is not a “lonely island” separated from other individuals by the environment. The book reiterates that man cannot survive alone and that man must seek the help of other person to accomplish something. We can see this hypothesis when Robinson captured one of the prisoners naming him Friday, teaching him English and converting him to Christianity (2002). Robinson and Friday also found a Spaniard and the father of Friday (2002). These situations clearly reinforce the idea that men must have constant interaction with his fellow men.

The film does not state this particular aspect that is largely present in the book. The film was totally devoid of other characters except the woman in the main character’s heart. Unlike the book which had personalities that are living in the island interacting and socializing with Robinson, the “island” in the film is totally devoid of any characters and personalities (except Chuck Noland). The entire length of the film is focused and devoted to the actions, thoughts and feeling of the main character. Although he longs for human companionship like Robinson, Chuck finds solace in the person of a volleyball. This aspect of the film evidently advocates a position that is vastly different from the position forwarded by the novel. This position largely contradicts the view that is expressed by the book. The film plainly states that man in the face of adversity and hardship must solely rely on his individual strength and wits in order to survive.














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