After reading the novella The Body and watching the movie Stand by Me, it is very hard for me to extract specific values from either one of them since they both make emphasis on the same values; friendship, the losing of the main characters innocence, their transition to maturity from their childhood, the sharing of their fears and so many other valuable experiences are relatively the same in the movie as in the novella. However, I was able to appreciate the different areas where the author Stephen King made emphasis on, but were somewhat vanished in the film adaptation of the book.
In the novella we are given the story of four boys who leave their town on a quest to find the corpse of Ray Brower, a kid who was about their same age. In the novella as well as the film all the characters fulfill a specific role, for example we have Gordie, who is the smartest out of the four, Chris who is the peacemaker, Teddy the funny and adventurous one, and finally Vern the loner of the group. The novella is very descriptive about the boys, so descriptive that the characters are very tangible, something that was not perceived as much in the film.
A clear example of this would be when in the book, the old guy who owns the scrapyard makes fun of Teddy’s dad, Teddy then breaks down crying and is comforted by Chris defining his role as the peacemaker and the sensible one of the group but this role is diminished by the film when Teddy is comforted by the entire group. Besides some group interactions the novella also tries to give us a grimmer setting. For instance in the book as well as in the film tell us when Gordie had to go get food for everyone else, but what the film does not shows is that when Gordie arrived to Mr.
Dussets store, he attempted several times to shortchange Gordie by placing his finger on the meat scale to raise the price of the beef or when he improperly added the price of the items to charge Gordie more for the food. In the other hand the film portrays Mr. Dusset to be a very nice person almost seeming to care about Gordie and his family and what he is going through due to the recent loss of his older brother. The novella and the film have the same plot but developed in different ways.
In the movie the experience of embarking on the search of Ray’s body is almost like an exciting adventure, but on the book is more like a sad and depressing journey taking place in Castle Rock, Maine in 1960 instead of Castle Rock, Oregon in 1959. The movie also fails to illustrate Teddy’s anger. He is much more violent in the book than in the film which changes a little bit the way the story develops. The novella also makes emphasis on the boys’ friendship, something that is attempted to be recreated in the film, but fails miserably.
The bond between Gordie and Chris vanishes in the film as well as the death of Teddy and Vern. The only way that the movie pictured a bond between Chris and Gordie is when Gordie mourned about Chris’ death. Finally to conclude this discussion about the contrast between the two movies and the values a captured from both of them I do not want to leave aside the death of Gordie’s brother. The character was overlook because he is not alive, but he played an important role in Gordie’s life.
The standard that he must meet so he can be taken into consideration by his parents. Denny was the special child, the football player, the popular guy. By the time Gordie was born Danny was ten, but unlike his brother, Gordie was not a miracle child, he was more of a burden to the family. This hate towards Gordy is not portrayed in depth in the movie. The brothers did not share a special bond but the movie illustrated it that way.
The movie pictures the brothers as closed loving brothers and with Denny’s dead brought sadness to Gordie’s parents and Gordie himself, which is not true in the book. The stories are profoundly different from start to finish but they deliver the same values of friendship, courage and trust but their illustration and delivery change throughout the movie and book, but did not make either one of the pieces less entertaining educational nor interesting.