Essay on Being There: Comparison of Book and Movie

Being There: Comparison of Book and Movie

The book, “Being There,” is about a man named Chance, who is forced to move out of the house he lived in his whole life and his experience in the outside world. Based on the success of the book, the movie, “Being There,” was made. The author of the book, Jerzy Kosinski, also wrote the screenplay for the movie. I think the major difference between the book and the movie is that in the book, we get to read what Chance is feeling and thinking, but in the movie, we only get to see his actions.

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Since we can only see Chance’s actions in the movie, Chance appears to be even more innocent and clueless than in the book. For example, in the beginning of the book, Chance is working on the garden and the narrator explains Chance’s feelings on the garden. In the movie, we can only see Chance working on the garden, as if he was a robot with no feelings or emotions. Since Chance shows no facial expression or emotion, we can’t even tell if he is tired, sad, happy, or anything.

Another example is when Chance watches television. In the book, the narrator explains that when Chance changes the channel, he feels like he is changing himself. As he changes the channel, he gets caught up in all the different images he sees. In the movie, all you see is a man watching television, which doesn’t explain too much. In the movie, the only time we find out what Chance thinks of television is when he is talking to someone else.

It seems as if Chance represents a God-like character in the movie, but he is given some human qualities in the book. From watching the movie, I think that Chance represented God or some type of heavenly body. The way everyone felt good about themselves when he was around and the pure innocence he possessed shows that he was full of good intentions. Chance was even there when Ben died, which I think shows that God was with him to make him feel comfortable when his time was up. At Ben’s funeral, Chance is shown wandering around the woods and then he walks on water. Nothing on earth can walk on water, except God.

In the book, Chance is given some human qualities such as having the ability to think and feel for something. The ending of the book could be interpreted to mean that Chance dies. The last sentence says that, “peace filled his chest.” If this is true than C…

…f to EE or Eve, he is misunderstood as Chauncey Gardiner instead of Chance the Gardener. In the movie, when Eve calls him Chauncey, Chance just accepts it but in the book, we find out why he lets everyone call him that. From watching television, he knows that the actors have different names than there real ones, so he thinks that Chauncey Gardiner is just a new name for him. Also, in the book, the limousine stops short and Chance blacks out. When he wakes up he is in a bed in the Rand’s mansion.

From reading the book and watching the movie, I think the book was more insightful, but the movie was more entertaining. The only problem with the movie is that you don’t know what is going through Chance’s mind and his background information. The movie does help make some things clearer by seeing it, instead of just picturing it in your mind. The added scenes in the movie helps to put some humor into the story and make it more entertaining. By just watching the movie, some people could be confused if they don’t know some background on Chance. I think that by reading the book, you can understand the story better and by watching the movie you can enjoy the story better.


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