by Emma Donoghue
Major Differences in Characters
Paul- Ma's brother, Paul, is completely eliminated from the movie, removing the first real sense of reality Jack is hit with in the novel. Paul and his wife and daughter serve as a model of a modern family and give Jack a taste of how children his age are brought up, and draw attention to how stark the differences are in between his own childhood and that of his cousin's.
Grandma- Joy (Ma)'s mother is softened up in the movie's telling of the story. Her character in the book is far more selfish and incompetent, rather than purely loving and nurturing as she is shown in the movie. This, again, eliminates another opportunity Jack has to understand the world and it's reality of ungiving family members and such thing as conditional love. Grandma is present and loving to her best ability in the novel, but is only seen as warmhearted and nurturing in the movie.
Major Differences in details
Minor differences and their significance
Breastfeeding-In the book breastfeeding is a major role in the connection between Jack and Ma, but in the movie it only shows Jack breastfeeding one time, which to a first time viewer could even be mistakenly missed.
Age When She Was Abducted-
In the book, Joy (Ma) was abducted at 19, but the movie moved back the age 2 years to 17. This had no major change on the plot, but allowed the case to be investigated by the FBI due to the fact she was younger than 18.
What Happened To Nick-
In the book, what happened to Nick was explained, but in the movie, the only closer the audience got was a news broadcast played on the TV at the hospital. Neither scenario affected the plot of the movie, mainly because Nick, and the abduction was not what the story was about, it was about the relationship between Ma and Jack, so either way Nick was out of the story once they escaped room.
In the book, Joy attempted to commit suicide while she was still in the hospital, but in the movie she was already back at her parents house.This was a major change in the plot because it was more of a surprise to the audience, Joy seemed adjusted to her new life and seemed as though everything was going the right way. In the book she was still at the hospital and still getting adjusted to the world outside, so the suicide was more understanded.