In the book “The Diving Bell And The Butterfly,” we are introduced to a man named Jean Bauby. In this incredible story, we find out that he has had a stroke and in-turn has been left paralyzed, only able to move his left eye for communication, resulting in what is known as “locked-in syndrome.” The story of how this book was created is just as mind boggling as the story itself. In the book, we learn about Jean and what life is like for him.
We learn how he interacts, what he likes and dislikes, and even nicknames only he knows for certain people. As the book goes on, we understand more about him, such as his hatred of Sundays, his frustrations with the blinking system, the patients he refers to as “tourist” and even about his children. He is writing about what he thinks because he has a lot of time to do so. The chapters in this book act like diary pages, saying what is on his mind about each and any topic he chooses.
This makes for a very interesting and personal read.
In the film adaption of this book, the focus is on the process of his writing and what is on the author’s mind while he is writing. In contrast, the book is more of short chapters that explain what is happening around him. It is an absorbing film adaption because they film it through “his eyes”. That itself, in the first few minutes, said more than the book ever could.
It gives the whole story a new meaning and makes it much more realistic. It takes sentences that were short and not very detailed in the book and turned them into experiences that are very real to the viewers, such as getting his eye sewn shut. In the book, we can understand his frustration with the process and his confusion, but in the movie, we feel his frustration, and confusion by putting us right in his position.
One of the main differences between the book and the film adaption is the detail. In the book, I did not feel as if I was truly getting to know Bauby as a person the same way I d…