Main Contact Movie/Book Differences-It's Ellie's mother that died first, then her father afterwards. This makes her more of a sympathetic character because you understand better where her instinct to science comes from, as opposed to her just being born extremely intelligent (although she was in the movie as well). Her father's death inspired her to explore everything rationally, since she couldn't give him the medicine in time, the medicine being upstairs.-Palmer Joss and Ellie were the ones who had the relationship, as opposed to Ellie and Der Heer (who wasn't even in the movie). This is a precursor to the film's more overtly religious overtones than the book. Sagan was a committed nonbeliever in God and would likely have not wanted to downplay his (and Ellie's) beliefs in the novel. Novels and movies, however, have markedly different audiences, and while perhaps Sagan's fame would allow him to get away with agnostic overtones in the novel (in general, it is my belief that book readers are more open-minded that moviegoers), had the movie not
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