For Millennials. By Millennials.

Normal People TV Show Vs. Book Comparison

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While it’s been just few weeks since its release, Normal People TV show has already become a favorite among the viewers. Based on Sally Rooney’s novel, the show lives up to the hype of the book. However, there are a few differences between the show and the book.


Differences between Normal People TV show and the book.

Connell’s emotional voicemail after Debs.

Although he had been seeing Marianne in the school, he did not take her to the Debs with him. However, once he is there, he realizes that he made a mistake. In Normal People TV show, Connell leaves an emotional voicemail on Marianne’s phone. However, in the book, we don’t know what exactly he says to her. In the show, this scene also becomes an end of their school journey and right after it, we see Connell roaming around on the streets of Dublin.


Marianne’s Abusive Family.

In the show, Marianne’s mother seems cold and distant. On the other hand, her brother is aggressive and controlling. While her mother does not defend Marianne against her brother, she does show some glimpses of affection. Marianne confesses to Connell that her father was abusive towards her mother but not her. On the other hand, in the book, her mother is insulting towards her and degrades her constantly. In her confession to Connell, she mentions her father beating her mother and Marianne. Her family is more severely abusive in the book than the Normal People TV show.

Connell’s girlfriend, Helen.

While Helen from the show seemed a clingy girlfriend who just wants to talk about Marianne, it was not like that in the book. Connell’s relationship with Helen is described as a healthy and loving one. He admits that she is good for him. While in the show, their breakup scene is elaborated, it never happened in the book. Their breakup is just announced in one line.

Ending of Normal People TV show.

At the end of the show, the decision has been made that Connell will go and Marianne will stay. The moment he gets the email about MFA in New York, he tells her. However, they keep on discussing it for a few weeks. After much thought over the matter from both individuals, they come to this decision. However, this is not what happened in the book. When Connell tells Marianne about the email, she feels a bit shocked and then has an inner monologue. Without talking to Connell about it, she thinks of all the ways their relationship will change and what impact the decision would make for them. She also realizes how they both have changed each other in good ways. In the end, she just suggests that he should go. However, the author leaves the ending open and lets the readers decide for themselves.

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