To Kill A Mockinbird: From Novel to Motion Picture

Creating a motion picture from a novel and conveying the authors intended message is a difficult task. Some film makers gracefully meet the challenge, while others fail, warping the original meaning of the novel in order to appeal to he general movie going population. Harper Lees To Kill A Mockingbird novel to movie transition is a mid-ground between the two extremes. Lees theme of tolerance is neither completely destroyed nor completely expressed. The absence of characters Dolphus Raymond and Link Deas, along with the change in Dills personality in the movie contributes to the deterioration of Lees original theme of tolerance.


Dolphus Raymond is a white man who lives among the black community and is with a white woman. The Negroes sat quietly in the sun, dining on sardines, crackers, and the more vivid flavors or Nehi Cola. Mr. Dolphus Raymond sat with them. (163) Mr Raymonds ability to look past the racial prejudices of the time and live with the black community displays his personal integrity and helps to convey the theme of racial tolerance, showing that a white man can live peacefully alongside Negroes.

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Link Deas is a plantation owner who treats his black employees kindly. For example, when Bob Ewell gave Mrs. Robinson trouble when she passed by his house on the way to work, Link Deas threatened to take Mr. Ewell to court if he ever did it again. Mr. Deas also stood up for Tom in the courtroom. Link Deass show of tolerance and kindness towards blacks is essential to Harper Lees theme of tolerance and his absence takes away from the theme.


In the novel Dill is portrayed as an innocent and caring person, while in the movie he doesnt have any personality at all. Dills sympathetic nature in the novel helps to portray Lees theme of tolerance by showing that people are born with compassion and only change as a result of their environment. The Dill in the motion picture is only a paper cutout of the real Dill. Dills missing personality greatly takes away from Harper Lees theme of tolerance.
In the change from novel to motion picture of To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lees theme of racial tolerance is deteriorated. The absence of characters Dolphus Raymond and Link Deas, along with the change in Dills personality in the motion picture water down the authors original message.