hi - i've been asking to write a paper contrasting the book with the movie. the problem is that i haven't read the book! can any one help point out some of the differences to me.?!?
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The Bonfire of the Vanities, Wolfe's novel about McCoy, was brutal and decisive, especially in the way it pulled a part the motives of each and every scharacter. The movie, by Brian DePalma lacks both of those qualities. The movie has no perniciousness and no perspective; it's dialog holds none of the nuances that we love so much in the novel.
Wolfe portrays each of his characters as selfish, greedy opportunists, and the novel provides us with the opportunity to make our own judgements about their actions. The movie gives us none of that. It treats all of the characters the same with no sense that they have any individualism in their personalities at all. In other words, they're nice to look at, but they're just there. They occupy space, nothing more.
The novel allows us a glimpse inside of the characters' minds and lifestyles, showing how they think and what they value. The movie is like a blank wall; we only see the outside. On the whole, it's not a bad movie, and it is quite entertaining, but you need to read the book. You're cheating yourself if you don't take the time to absorb the 'better' of the two, and that would be the novel, the way Wolfe wrote it, and the way he intended it to be consumed.