Novel vs. Cinema
The story of the love drunken man and the careless indecisive woman called The Great
Gatsby will forever live in the hearts of those who are still shaken by the abrupt and unhappy ending of the story line. The tragic story stays within the reader’s mind. It lingers within our minds and tugs at our heartstrings for the fall of the characters we have fallin in love with. This tragic tale deserves to be told over and over again, and so it is, in movie form. Often times movies never seem to measure up to the literary genius within the pages of a book, and with this story, the director did a decent job of capturing the overall theme of the book, but some of the story line was smudged due to poor casting and the modernization that had to take place in order to make the movie a box office hit. The overall plot and storyline of the novel remained mostly the same. In both the novel and the movie you could feel and agony and confusion Daisy felt during this difficult time in her life, and the overall emotions felt while reading the novel, and watching the movie remained similar in comparison. Although modernized in the movie, Gatsby’s money was just as exaggerated; The confidence or lackthereof (depending on the scene), and mystery about
Gatsby remained consistent throughout the novel and movie. Obviously, not everything within a novel can fit inside a short movie; scenes, characters, and details deemed unimportant were, for the most part, removed for the sake of time. One of the first things I noticed when watching the movie was the absence of Nick’s maid around his cottage. The movie exaggerates Nick’s poor economic status more than in the novel. Also, near the end of the novel, Gatsby’s father attends his funeral and we learn more about his past life and how intelligent and determined of a person Gatsby really was. This entire part is omit from the movie, most likely because it did not flow with the way the movie had been set up. The movie wanted to end it on an errey tone, and to accomplish this, that part had to be omitted. The movie seems to capture some of the characters in a different way than the novel did. In the movie, Myrtle is portrayed as a more beautiful and skinny version than described in the novel. Daisy’s Character within the novel could be described as careless and freespirited.
While the movie version seems to capture the freespirit aspect of Daisy, she does not come across as careless more than she comes across incompetent and weak. While subtle character changes between the movie and novel do not alter the overall meaning behind the storyline, entirely new changes within characters can sometimes change the way an audience would view the overall message of the story trying to be told. Daisy’s husband Tom, in the novel, is a very complex and difficult man to understand. If his love for
Daisy was real, why would he cheat? But, if he would not even let his mistress speak his wife’s name, does he love his wife? Why would he answer the phone at dinner if his only reason for having a mistress was for sexual pleasure and a thrill? Who did he love? The questions never
stop, and the novel never answers them. The movie seems to take a different approach to tackling this complicated character. Right from the beginning, the movie sets up Tom to be the villain. According to the movie, Tom pinned the killing of Myrtle and the affair with Myrtle all on
Gatsby; When in the novel, neither of those things being blamed on Gatsby had anything to do with Tom telling anyone. The biggest difference of the characterization of Tom between the novel and the movie was the overall role of Tom’s character; This being that within the novel, while Tom was not seen as a particularly nice man, he was not the super villain the movie