Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
Preston Rutherford- 4th period Henson
What is this book about?
The book Me And Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews is book about a socially awkward 17yr old boy named Greg who is suddenly forced to throw away his insanely low profile that he has worked to build up through this life due to one of his childhood friends, a girl named Rachel being diagnosed with cancer. Despite not being close to her at all, he and his "co-worker" Earl who make terrible short films and movies as a hobby, decide to make one for her and end up spending a majority of their senior year with her. As time goes on she continues to get worse but what Greg has done for her has made her last days alive unforgettable.
What the Book Focuses on
The book itself try's to focus on all of the character's history with one another as well as show a deeper meaning to Greg, Rachel, and Earls relationships with each other. The book also try's to show what an actually high school friendship is between two teenage boys by going into detail with Greg and Earl's conversations and incorporating it from more of a humorous stand point.
What the Movie Focuses on
The movie, unlike the book tries to captivate the viewer by having a more humorous appeal and emphasizing Greg's obnoxious sarcasm and teen angst. It also try's to build up Rachel and Greg's relationship and causes you to fear her death and his reaction to this even more than you already were. Rather than giving a backstory as to everyone's history with each other, the movie jumps into the story full throttle by bringing up Rachel's illness in the very beginning.
The Rhtorical Situation of the Book and Movie
The speaker in both the movie and book is the main character Greg Gaines. The way he narrorates the book and movie is by telling this story in the form of an essay that he sends to the University of Pittsburg after the event of Rachel's death, in hopes to be re-accepted into their school after having academic troubles.
The Audiance is directed towards the board of administrations at the University of Pittsburg.
The reason for this story being told in both the movie and book is because emphasized how important college was in her last days. She was the reason Greg ended up applying and to his surprise he was accepted. But, shortly after this happened, his grades be can to suffer due to him not doing any school work at all while Rachel was on chemo therapy. As a result, the university revoked his acceptance and now he is writing this in order to get back in and keep his promise to Rachel to go to college.
Simularities: Book vs. Movie
Both the film and book used anecdotes show the characters past and refer back to specific times such as when the characters met or things that have happened to the characters that have made them who they are.
Rachel's death is constantly shadowed but then distracted by a small glimpse of hope that she may pull through and beat cancer. This causes the reader or viewer to stay more captivated until the very end where her fate is shown.
Symbolism is consistently shown throughout both the film and movie. Greg and Earl's friendship is symbolized by the movies that they make since Greg considers their friendship as a "partnership" and making films is their job.
When getting to know the character Greg, you instantly realize that he is as sarcastic as possible. This is because it is a way for him to avoid showing any true emotion and to give the story some humor.
As in any story, the main character has a love interest at some point of the story. In this story, Greg compares his crush as a deer and himself as a squirrel that is minding his own business until the deer comes along and accedintally steps all over him and his life without even realizing.
Differences Book vs. Movie
Rachel's Death in the Book
Rachel's death in the book is quite different than her death in the movie. In the book she is in the hospital and off of her chemo therapy when Greg comes to visit her. She is sleeping and almost lifeless. Greg then sits next to her hospital bed for an hour thinking about how different things would be without her before being asked to leave with his mother. Rachel then passes away 10hrs later.
Rachel's death in the movie
Greg visits Rachel while on his way to prom in order to show her the finished movie that he made for her. She doesn't say anything as she is very ill and they begin to watch the movie together in her hospital bed. While they are watching it, Rachel seems to be deeply touched and begins to start crying. A few minutes in and she starts having trouble breathing has a seizure. Greg purging s to panic and is forced to leave in tears and devistated. Rachel then goes into a coma and dies 10hrs later.
The satirical effect of Gregs Dad
Gregs dad in the book is described as a lazy professor who tends to be very calm and rather strange. He is always with his pet cat and wears a hippie robe. In the movie, Gregs dad is much like this but has a twist to his personality when it comes to him being a complete tree hugger. This only further demonstrates Gregs reasons for not enjoying his company.
Earl in the book is stereotyped in order to bring contradictory of Greg and his friendship to light, seeing as they are polar opposites.
Earl in the movie is similar to his character in the book but is also much more insightful and a more supportive person.
Rachel on the book is described as a quiet and geeky type of person. She is not attractive as Greg states but does have a good sense of humor.
In the movie however, Rachel looks as though she could model and is much more of a monotoned person.
Reasons for similarities and differences
Both the book and movie had very similar rhetorical strategies, devices, and appeals in order to make a great enough impact on both audiences while staying true to one another. The reason for the many similarities between the book and movie was instilled in order to create the imagery that was depicted thought the book into a movie. The reason for both being such a success was due to the book's imagery, emotion, and message being conveyed in a physical product that brought to life what the reader had invisioned while reading the book. On the other hand, the differences that were made to the movie from the book were made in order to cause a greater emotional effect from different aspects of the story. In the book Rachel's described as a below average looking girl, but when you replace that description with an attractive woman, the viewers of the film are more than likely to feel worse and sympathize her situation more. Also when Rachel dies in the book, it is expected and there is less of a meaningful connection between her and Greg since she is asleep when she dies. But when the director of the movie changed this to Greg being present, her being awake, them sharing a moment of friendly compassion, and a visual to Greg's sadness and devastation, the audiences reaction is much more effected. When all is said and done, both the movie and film's rhetorical strategies got the story across in a heart felt way through the events that were told. The minor adjustments that were made to the film were made to cause a better reaction from viewers who were watching it rather than reading it.