Girl, Interrupted: Book vs. Movie
"So it was that in December, when I joined Georgina and some other people going to the cafeteria for dinner, I discovered the tunnels" (Kaysen 119).
Girl, Interrupted, written in 1993 by Susanna Kaysen, is about a girl (the author herself) who admits herself into a mental institution for thoughts of suicide and trying to kill herself with 50 aspirin. The book is a personal narrative about her life in the hospital, and all of her experiences as a "crazy" person. This book was later made into a film in 1999 which, as good as it is, has some significant differences from the book. The differences range from missing characters to completely different scenes, but there is one difference in particular that caught my attention. In the book, Kaysen talks about these tunnels that she stumbles upon and goes into detail describing every fiber of their being. This passage in the book is not only missing from the film, but an entirely different scene is put in its place. I grew a particular fondness for that part in the book and I was a little disappointed to find that it had been changed.
"First their wonderful smell: They smelled of laundry, clean and hot and slightly electrified, like warmed wiring" (Kaysen 120). She then continues on to talk about the tunnel's temperature, lighting, wall color, ceiling, forks, twists, openings, and signs, all in great detail. Kaysen talks about how she felt as if she had "conjured [the tunnels] into being" (Kaysen 120) and how she felt a kind of connection with the tunnels. She would find herself asking everyday if any of the nurses were free to take her down there to walk around. I thought this was a really big part in the book because it was kind of a secret thing that mostly only the nurses knew about and not many of the patients did. Not only did these tunnels lead to a bunch of different places, Susanna felt a connection to the tunnels and they were significant to her.
In the movie, there is...