Push v. Precious

By: Emily Woodby

Difference: Her Thoughts

In the novel the reader is constantly in the mind of Precious. We know every thought that occurs to her and are sharing each situation with her. In the movie we are not able to be in her head the entire time, which causes the movie to incorporate more of reality and what is happening around her rather than on what's going on inside her brain. Due to this it is easier for the reader to connect with and understand Precious in the novel.

Difference: Aggressive Persona

When Precious finds out she has been suspended from her high school towards the beginning, her attitude is revealed. She "reached over the desk," with intentions of threatening Mrs. Lichenstein and then jumped up and ran out of the school (Sapphire, 8). These actions portrayed her as aggressive and reiterated her interest in her math class that she loved so much. In the movie when Mrs. Lichenstein tells her she is suspended she does not put up a fight like she does in the book. This loss cause a loss of Precious' passion for her math class and lessons her aggressive persona that is known so well in the book.

Difference: Presence of her Father

In Push the father is more evident. He has abused Precious and she is who she is -in a lot of ways- because of him. As an audience we are with Precious during every single flashback (there are a lot more in the novel v. the movie) and almost every one is a memory including her father abusing her either verbally or sexually. This sexual abuse that she has grown up with has caused her to view herself as unloved and dirty.

Difference: The Transformation

In the movie the transformation is very quick v. the novel where it is more incorporated throughout the journey. This is due to the point of view in the novel and the audience understanding how Precious is feeling every step of the way. In the novel we see each gradual change in her view of herself. She goes from feeling useless and dumb to comprehending why and in the end growing confidence.

Similarity: The Journal

In the book and movie alike, Precious keeps a journal along with her new classmates. The journal represents her learning and growing confidence. As she learns more and more her self worth increases. She sees that she has potential and begins to imagine the possibilities of her life.

Similarity: Ms. Rain

Due to the absence of a mother figure in her life, Precious has never had a role model so the introduction of her new teacher serves as a milestone. Ms. Rain is very special to Precious simply because she has never had someone take so much interest in her life and the love that she receives begins to change her. She is also inspired by her teacher's encouraging attitude and belief in her student's success. "I want to cry. I want to laugh. I want to hug kiss Miz Rain. She make me feel good." (Sapphire, 54-55)

Similarity: The Abuse

In both the movie and book Precious is raised in a hostile environment. She has to live with her mother who is continuously verbally abuses her and tolerate her father who stops by to sexually abuse her from time to time. Precious has no self worth at the beginning of her journey because of her parents. She has had no uplifting mother or father figure in her life up until the transfer to alternative school. Her negative attitude comes from this life-long struggle.