Sophie's Choice

Brett Van Patten

Major differences between the film, and movie

1. “Both of her parents were professors, and Sophie herself was married at a young age

to a mathematics scholar. One day, the Germans came and took Sophie's father and

husband away to a concentration camp and shot them on New Year's Day. Sophie fled to

America after the war ended.” In the movie Sophie tells Stingo that she married an assistant to her father, not a mathematics scholar. Also in the movie she tells Stingo that she "heard" her father and husband were shot, she never said anything about New Year's Day, and was not even sure that they had actually been shot.


2. “Stingo's father visits Stingo in New York. Stingo recalls a mistake he made as a child

involving his ailing mother." This was never even shown in the movie, it was completely cut out.


3.“The next morning, it is as if no such fight occurred. The two lovers invite Stingo to

Sophie's room for some beer and conversation. Everything seems to be going well

until Nathan's mood suddenly changes and he becomes violent towards Stingo.

They quarrel, but then Nathan suddenly becomes apologetic and the three go on an

excursion to Coney Island.” In the movie they never invite Stingo in for beer and conversation. They do invite him to have breakfast with them, and they do go to Coney Island, but Stingo and Nathan never get into a fight.


4. “All of Stingo's money is gone from its hiding place, the medicine chest. Sophie talks

about Jozef. Sophie attempts to drown herself while at the beach with Stingo, but Stingo

saves her, much to her dismay. More of Sophie's story and the impossible choice she had

to make between her children.” Stingo's money was stored in a Band-Aid container and it was only in one scene of the movie. It never showed it being stolen, and he never talked about it getting stolen so the book and movie had two different stories involving the money. Also Sophie never tried to drown herself at the beach, the only beach scene was when Stingo met Leslie.


5. “Sophie tries to get her son transported from the Children's Camp to Lebensborn

but does not succeed. She received a message stating that Jan was gone from the

Children's Camp and could only assume he died.” She did attempt to get her son out of the children's camp, but she never received a message saying that Jan was gone from the camp. That part was left completely out of the movie


6. In the book Sophie told Stingo that she was raped on a subway, and in chapter 4 Stingo finds out that she had lied to him. Sophie also told him that Nathan "was the only man she had ever loved." And this was not said at all in the movie.

How these changes affected the meaning

These changes were all relatively minor with how long the book was. There was so much detail within the novel that it would be extremely difficult to have included every single bit of detail the author wrote. Overall the meaning of the book was captured quite well with the movie, and all that really changed was some information that was not necessarily needed to keep the book fans happy. Also the book was more centered around Sophie actually making the choice of which child to keep, while the movie seemed a little more focused on the love triangle that was occurring between Nathan, Stingo, and Sophie. But overall the meaning between the film and movie were very similar.