Don’t put that book down, just yet!


In the book “Age of Innocence” we see the main character Ellen, resemble the main character from the show “Gossip Girl”, Serena. In many the shows we watch today, resemble characters from historical books.

We often find it difficult to relate to the novels assigned as part of our school’s curriculum. However, if we can acknowledge the fact that many of the subjects in the books assigned may actually have some relevance to our own lives, we may find the books a little more intriguing and actually be inspired to read with more interest. As some of you may have realized, many movies and television shows are based on some of the most famous classic pieces and modern literature that we have had to read as part of our school curriculum. Some of the most popular movies and TV shows that are based on books are helping to bring the gap between the past and the present.

Many of the TV shows and movies we watch on a regular basis are based on or have very similar aspects to classic books that we have read, which we might overlook if we do not take the time to make that correlation. Shakespeare, forever a man to be known for his famous and dramatic pieces of literature, is still very present in modern television and movies such as “She’s the Man” and “10 Things I Hate About You.” The well-known movie “She’s the Man” starring Amanda Bynes is a spin off from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or What You Will.

The popular show, “Dexter” which has drawn great attention and also won the 2005 Dilys Award and the 2007 “Book to TV” Award, instantly had people addicted after the first episode.  The plot and synopsis is about the life of Dexter Morgan, a serial killer and ironically a member of the Miami-Dade Police Department, as a forensic blood spatter pattern analyst follows the book Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay.

Another popular show was the 2007 TV show “Gossip Girl,” which became an instant sensation especially among girls in our age group. We were raving about how good the show was. The show begins with a group of friends in high school living in Upper East Manhattan facing your basic teen issues.  Serena, an independent wild child, is seen as the queen bee of the school, and I’m not talking “Royals” by Lorde.  Everyone looks up to Serena and aspires to be like her.  However, her best friend Blair isn’t okay with Serena having all the attention; being a Waldorf and daughter of a famous fashion designer, Blair is used to getting what she wants: the spotlight.  Nate, who on the surface seems happy with his girlfriend Blair, really wants the one he really loves, and that happens to be the ever so popular, Serena Van Der Woodsen. The plot of the story is very familiar and just so happens to be based off a historical fiction book, The Age of Innocence by Edith Warton.

In the book The Age of Innocence, the characters are solely focused on impressing each other, gossiping and obsessing over frivolous materialistic items. Both Gossip Girl and Age of Innocence have similar characters- Serena like Ellen, Blair like May, and Nate like Newland. The parallels are easily identifiable- Serena and Ellen are both very outgoing.  They are known for being very vocal with their thoughts and opinions on life and also very free spirited, which cause many to be jealous of them. Blair and May both continue to follow the thoughts and wishes of their parents.  They don’t have any real values of their own and represent society figures who wish to escape. Nate and Newland, who are both attached to their fiance long to be with a girl who isn’t so “innocent”- girls who have strong opinions and values. However, they struggle to break loose from the society they grew up in and are scared of being judged. Their dilemma holds them back from true love and causes pain and hardship in the long run.

These are just a handful of the many TV shows and movies we may have previously watched that are based on or have very similar aspects to classic books that we unknowingly have read without truly appreciating. Therefore, before you put that book down because you aren’t so easily intrigued, just try to give it a chance, because odds are, you may already be watching a show that may be very similar to it and you will start to see the parallels between the two if you actually look.