Many novels are so successful that producers can’t wait to adapt the story into a film. The majority of times, however, the original novel is much stronger than the movie because it is able to capture the emotions of each character, all the symbols and meaningful events. Due to the novel’s flexibility, readers are able to extend the use of their imagination. Similarly, this was the case with William Golding’s masterpiece, “The Lord of the Flies.” Overall, the novel is far superior to the film because it has thorough descriptions of a character’s feelings and depictions of symbolic meaning concerning the objects and important happenings.
First of all, the movie version of the classic, “The Lord of the Flies,” seems to be lacking in detail involving the characters. Mainly due to the limited length of the movie, a character’s role and his feeling are non existent. In the novel, readers can clearly notice how Piggy feels and that he is being treated as an “Outsider” but, in the film version it restricts the audience’s comprehension of Piggy’s emotions. Similarly, other characters such as Simon and Roger are so unclear in the movie that they may puzzle viewers because the movie fails to distinguish their role. The cinema is unsuccessful in establishing Simon as a “Christ” figure and Roger’s murderous nature. On the other hand, the novel installs all these ideas and allows the reader to use their creativity. Therefore, due to the film’s inability to give audiences more information about the characters, their role and their emotions, the novel is much more informative.
Secondly, the novel is capable of giving readers more insight into the story with the use of symbols and hidden meanings. The novel is able to do this because it depicts important underlying messages and critical incidents. For instance, Piggy’s glasses represent civilization, reality and reason but once they are destroyed it demonstrates that the boys aren’t finding reason in their actions and civilization is becoming a thing of the past. Another meaningful symbol is the dead parachutist because this suggests that some of the boys have evil within themselves and those boys are gradually becoming the “Beast.” The boys are steadily turning devilish and savage like but they don’t realize the consequences of their actions. One particular event which plays a significant role in the novel is Simon’s death. Simon’s annihilation implies that the boys have tipped the boundaries of civilization to such an extent that they can no longer recognize each other and they are killing viciously, like savages. In the novel, all these symbols and events assist in the developing of the plot but in the film version they are all very vague and leaves more to be desired.
In conclusion, details involving the characters and meanings related to objects and events are the decisive factors which make the novel considerably better than the film. In addition, leaving out several aspects of the novel also limits the viewer’s appreciation for the story. As long as novels continue to flourish, producers and directors will proceed to make them into movies but they should include essential elements of the story so, they too, can be successful. No wonder the novel generated more interest than the film!