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Should books be adapted into movies? Show more Show less

We’ve seen many of our favourite stories rise to the silver screen. From childhood favourites like Harry Potter to remakes of classics like Little Women, many books have been adapted into screenplays and made into movies. The big dilemma: read the book, or watch the movie? Should the movie adaptation even exist at all?

Books should be adapted into movies Show more Show less

Some people prefer watching movies over reading, and some enjoy having two ways of experiencing a story.
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Movies give the book a visual, artistic representation

It helps readers visualise the story and take the experience a step further beyond words on a page.
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The Argument

Visual and auditory elements of movies enrich one’s imagination as they interpret the story. Elements such as music, props, and actors give the viewer something tangible to remember and access in the future to "relive" the story. Watching the movie is an elevated experience to reading the book because the fantasy world is created and shown physically; scenes that are hard to picture can be conveniently depicted through movies. The Harry Potter series is a good example. J.K. Rowling was a master of crafting her wizarding world through her books - the success of the films came from the filmmakers' ability to draw that world out onto the screen for audiences to experience.

Counter arguments

The argument here is that movies provide a visual representation of the book to aid the experience of the enjoying the story or the plot. However, this also has a downside, as it prevents the imagination from flourishing. Take for example, a character like Poirot drawn out by Agatha Christie. Captain Hastings' first description of the detective was that of a man about 5'4" with an egg-shaped head often tilted to one side, and a stiff military mustache. Such a vivid description allows the reader to form his/her own idea of Poirot that is unique to him/her. Yet when brought alive through the sliver screen, this freedom is taken away from the reader and is instead spoon-fed to them. Furthermore, books that are adapted into movies, are often those that are extremely popular. Thus iconic characters have to be accurately cast so as to not do a disservice to characters that readers have come to love and adore. An incorrect casting will not only ruin the movie, but also the experience of reading the book again, as the argument clearly states, visual representations leave lasting impressions.



[P1] Physical depictions of fictional worlds help viewers picture the story clearly. [P2] One's experience of the story is elevated with visual and auditory elements provided.

Rejecting the premises


Further Reading


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    This page was last edited on Sunday, 24 May 2020 at 06:04 UTC