Tom Brown's Schooldays

Schooldays Different Interpretations Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes was first published in 1857, yet it is still currently used in several literature classes. The book is a phenomenal piece of literature that has motivated several people into creating their own adaptations in a media format. The main protagonist in the story is Tom Brown, a young thirteen year old boy with great Christian morals before attending Rugy School. The antagonist and bully of the story is Harry Flashman who is corrupted by the power he receives from his father’s influential role in funding the school.

The Story follows Brown’s transformation from a kind and gentle young man into a cruel boy with no remorse. The main influence on Brown’s metamorphosis was Flashman’s constant harsh treatment of weaker and younger students attending Rugby. At the end of the story Brown takes a look back at the time he spent at Rugby and is forced to question his morals. The 2005 movie adaptation was very well scripted and contained most of the basic themes that were portrayed in the book. After doing an acceptable amount of research about the movie I discovered that it was filmed at the actual Rugby School described in the book.

I was surprised to see that most of the cast members fit my description of what the characters should look like from reading the book. Watching the movie and reading the book were similar in the way of developing an emotional bond between the characters and the audience. An example of this would be my hatred toward Flashman because of his harsh treatments on the weaker children that couldn’t defend themselves. Although the movie was quiet of an emotional thrill ride there were significant differences from the original story.

It is an extremely difficult task to depict the same story in a novel onto a movie or TV screen, and Tom Browns Schooldays directed by Dave Moore was no exception. The movie had left out two significant parts of the story that were crucial to the introduction and conclusion of the novel. The beginning of the movie started off with Brown’s father talking to him about not loosing his Christian morals and sending him to Rugby. In the novel it begins with Brown’s pleasant life before Rugby School, this helps the reader establish Tom’s personality and experiences. I was disappointed when I idn’t see this in movie because it helps the reader develop a sense of Brown’s past and compare it to his life at Rugby. The conclusion of the movie ends with Brown as one of Arthur’s pallbearers at his funeral. It was interesting to see this in the movie because in the original novel Arthur never died and actually helps the other students realize their harsh methods, inevitably changing their ways. There was also an added scene in the movie that never occurred in the book. The sex scene involving Flashman and Sally which I found quite pointless to include in the movie.

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After comparing the novel and movie it is hard not to notice the differences but the main theme of a young man realizing his moral obligation is still portrayed. I enjoyed reading and watching the story but overall I have to say the novel was much better because the movie kept on straying away form the original story. I understand that Dave Moore was trying to make the movie original because of the previous movies before, but it felt like a different story in the introduction and conclusion of the movie. Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes is a wonderful work of literature that will still be widely used in future.

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