Ice Storm
There are many ways to tell a story. Back before there were books there as the
actual storyteller who could speak out a story. There is also acting where
people physically perform a story. Books are another storytelling device that is
more permanent, the words are kept and they can be reviewed again and again. Now
there are movies, which provide story telling with more an emphasis on visual
effects. The question is which way is the best to present a certain type of
story. The Ice Storm by Rick Moody was in such a position that one could
actually look at both the modern movie and the book version. The story is a
realistic story about the Hoods and the Willams. Both of these families were
affluent families that lived in New Canaan. The book centers around Wendy and
the events that take place during the their thanksgiving in the 70s. The story
is pretty simple and is about family strife. Wendy is a typical adolescent
exploring her sexuality. At the same time her parents, Ben and Elena are having
marital differences. Ben is cheating on his wife with Janey, the wife of his
close friend Jim. The irony comes up with Wendy who is has sexual relations with

Janey and Jimís son Mikey and his younger brother Sandy. Wendyís older
brother Paul who goes to boarding school returns home and is sexual
inexperienced he desires to be with a girl named Libbets. The story centers
around a key party that both the Hoodís and Willamsí attend. The highlight
of the key party is where people place their keys into a jar and people pick up
the keys of different people to have sex with the owner of the keys. At this
party Ben expects to have sex with Janey, but instead Janey blows him off and
has sex with someone else. This night Elena also finds out about the affair and
has an affair with Jim, Janeyís wife. Now while both of the parents are away

Mikey wants to see Wendy, but instead Wendy fools around with Sandy. Mikey ends
up wandering during the ice storm to get electrocuted by a live wire. At the
same time Paul is with Libbets drinking and taking drugs. All of this is
happening simultaneously on one fortuitous night. Though the events and a lot of
the dialogue are the same in both the book and the movie the crux of the two are
completely different. The book focuses a lot more on sexual tension and sexual
exploration. The vocabulary they use is a lot more elaborate than the movie,
actually itís more elaborate than most books. I see few books that use the
word "orgasm" or "bestiality" at all. Itís not typical book lingo.

Though the vocabulary emphasizes the sexual nature of the book. The movie on the
other hand probably wouldnít make a lot of money going with the erotic taboo
nature of the book. Instead it focuses more around the ideas of family neglect
and the hypocrisy of the parents doing what they donít want their kids to do.

The story is more like an MTV clip of the real world than the book plot. Though
thatís what makes the movie so great. The people seem so real, like everyday
people. The relation is even stronger because I live in an affluent community.

The two different focuses put a different tint into the same story. For instance
there is a scene where Sandy and Wendy are fooling around while their parents
were gone. The dialogue is exactly the same. Wendy says, "Have you ever had a
nocturnal emission" and Sandy replies, "Huh?" Wendy says, "They didnít
tell you this stuff yet? What planet do you live on?" (149). In the movie
itís pretty insignificant. The movie is more about the shock that these kids
are fooling around in bed and the talk shows how theyíre so immature about
sex. In the book though this is significant because the next page they show what

Wendy is thinking and how she doesnít even know what she is talking about.

"She didnít know much about them anyway. Orgasm was a word she had looked up
a dozen times, and still she didnít know exactly what it meant" (150). The
whole page goes through a myriad number of sexual terms that Wendy was thinking
about. This scene shows how she was curious in learning what these things were.

It basically emphasizes the motif of sexual exploration. The scenes of sexual
abuse that would