Literature vs. Cinema: Compare and Contrast Essay

Subject: Art
Pages: 3
Words: 649
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

Humanity has always been drawn to art – it is known from history that even ancient people showed signs of creativity. This is evidenced by rock paintings or images of animals and people on clay tablets. With the development of humankind, art has also evolved – speech, writing, and music were added to the drawings. Due to the symbiosis of technology and creativity, the stories described on the pages of books were embodied in the form of a celluloid version, which can be imagined and even seen. People have always argued whether a literary original is better than its embodiment on the screen. This essay aims to show the differences and similarities between literature and cinema.

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Both cinema and literature obey almost the same laws. Each film or book has a plot, the structure of its development, characters, an idea that the author wants to convey. That is why making films based on books or even writing books based on film may be considered a more logical idea than writing musical works inspired by movies. Additionally, literature and cinema are a pleasant way to spend one’s free time, relax after a hard day at work, and forget about al; problems. They help individuals experience different feelings: fun, fear, tension, or even sadness. Movies and literature allow a person to explore a new world and discover the problems of other people. Films and books are a great way to escape from routine and have a good rest. Finally, both films and literature help develop a personality: when reading books or watching movies, a person becomes more spiritually developed and can acquire useful information for themselves, learning something new about life. Cinema and literature provide a person with the opportunity to avoid mistakes while learning from others.

However, books and movies may differ from each other. In cinema, the director has many techniques to impress a person by influencing their senses: editing, music, special effects, acting. Nevertheless, the writer has only a word, thus, they must be able to form words into sentences in such a way that the person would read their story to the very end without putting the book down. When reading a book, a person imagines and fantasizes as they want, using the story as a basis for imagination, unlike cinema, in which every audio and visual effect are carefully considered from the beginning.

Speaking about the fact that cinema and literature are a way to spend time, it should be underlined that content in both cases is consumed differently. Reading a book can be a long process, though it can be read in one sitting. The heroes, who received more attention from the author, live completely different lives, unlike their film versions, where every minute counts, and the viewer clearly understands when their screen life will end.

Indeed, both literature and cinema help develop a personality, but this development occurs in different ways. With regard to the former, this is primarily an increase in vocabulary, literacy, and personality development in general. Reading a book reminds a conversation with an educated person who has lived a fascinating life and now shares their experience. Cinema develops the visual component of a person’s aesthetic education. It also allows human being to expand their imagination, only from a different angle, as it makes it possible to see new horizons of human activity. Thus, cinema and literature develop a person in different ways; therefore, both are necessary.

Considering all the listed similarities and differences, the following verdict can be announced: there is no winner. Art akin to nature does not tolerate straight lines and always strives for maximum diversity in form, content, and meaning. Consequently, the final decision strongly depends on the personal preferences of an individual and their vision of the world. Both literature and cinema have their own advantages; thus, everyone should decide for themselves what they like best.