In “The Greatest Gift” a considerate and nurturing man named George Pratt h s some significant problems that cause him to spiral down into depression. He believ es his life is unworthy and his perception of himself is very low. He hasn’t been able to see the good in life. He has been a “cup half empty’ person for too long and he makes the hor rible decision to commit suicide. He is walking in the streets at night until he comes to a bridge and he stands there to think. Just when he begins to lean closer to the edge a complete stra nger quietly speaks, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. George resentfully turns around to s ee the stranger and asks him, “Wouldn’t do what? The stranger responds, “What you were thi nking of doing. ” George asks how he knows what he was thinking and the stranger rep lys, “Oh, we make it our business to know a lot of things. ” By this time I assumed that he w as some kind Of guardian angel. George continues to speak to the stranger, and in a rant of h ow unworthy his life is he blurted out, “In fact, I wish I’d never been born! ” The angelic stanger proceeded to grant the wish George didn’t really want, but it was too late. George didn’t exis t.
So the stranger gave him a satchel of brushes each with a blue handle and varicolore bristles to “give out”. However, the brushes were really the key for George being able to get inside peoples houses. How else was he supposed to talk to his friends and family w ithout an excuse to get into their houses? So George walked around the little town talking to hi s family and friends. He realized that everyones lives went completely downhill without hi m. He begged the stranger to undo the wish. George went home to his family realizing peopl e need and Want him in their lives.
After he embraced each member of his family in a warm hu g he sat down with his wife to tell her the “crazy dream. When George sat down he felt som ething and he knew when he would look at it, it would have a blue handle and varicolored br istles. Between “Its A Wonderful Life” the movie and the short story “The Greatest Gift’ there were some changes in the plot. The stranger from the short Story beca me an angel named Clarence. Clarence took the job of helping George in order to receive his wing s. George also changed a little from the short story.
Instead of the last name Pratt his last name became Bailey . In the movie it started out with a flashback to explain exactly why George ha d felt so depressed and wanted to end his life. The angel and the narrator went over al I of the major events that took place in George’s life. Clarence was then ready to go help hi m. The movie switched over to present tense where George was standing by the bridge. Thi s time someone jumped into the freezing cold water and George jumped in to save the perso n which turned out to be Clarence.
They have the same argument as they did in the short story w here Clarence grants George’s wish to never have been born. He takes George through the t own until George realizes he is needed and Clarence grants his wish to go back to his life. Georg e finds a whole ew passion and want for his life. He continues his life but with more optimis m and he solves all his problems with help from his family and friends. Some things also staye d the same such as George feeling like he was worthless, or how the stories ended happily.
Ge orges thought process didn’t change much and his stubbornness toward the stranger/ angel actually payed off in the end both times. The plot stayed the same enough in the movie so you c ould still the correspondence with the story. Between the movie and the book there is a huge difference in the amount of characters, and their personalities. In the short story there is significantly less characters t han in the movie, also the characters that are in both the short story and the movie have different personalities.
George Pratt in the short story is more vague and he is conveye d as more unhappy than in the movie where you can see more Of what his life is like and why he should be happy. Normally you get to see more of a characters life and their persona lity in a movie. The angel or stranger who only appeared twice in the story, was actually in m ost of the movie. They gave him more of a meaning in the movie. His name went from “strange ” to Clarence and you really got to understand his intent in helping George. However some characters didn’t really change such as his wife and children.
The way they were portrayed thro ughout the movie didnt really differ from the story. Overall the characters changed and s tayed the same between the two stories to fit the plot. The point of view for both of the plots is 3rd person omniscient. I think the PO V of 3rd person omniscient helps convey the lives of each character and it helps make the story move on but still stay interesting because you know the thought process and feeling of each character. The point of view is explained different ways between the stories. the movie it is obvious because it starts out with a “supreme being” in the sky who knows ev erything about everyone. In the book its a little less obvious and you have to think about it a ittle more. I believe it’s easier to understand the lesson when you have a 3rd person omni scient POV. In both the short story and the movie the lesson stands out. The greatest gift is f amily and love and you shouldn’t take that for granted. In conclusion, between the story and the movie there were a lot of difference and similarities that brought them together and made them what they are.