Professor Vittorio Carli
English 102 1A: 5:35 MW
25 March 2014 The Great Gatsby
The plot and the setting of both the book and movie are very similar. The movie followed the plot of book very closely and portrayed the setting of the book very well. Almost all of the dialogue was borrowed and spoken directly as it was in the book. "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel that talks about Jay Gatsby's love for Daisy Buchanan. It talks about the American Dream and everything Gatsby does to try to win Daisy over. I really enjoyed the movie and thought that it closely follows along with what F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in his novel. There were some differences but were justified because the movie was more focused on Gatsby and Daisy.
One of the major differences was the very start of the movie. It starts off with Nick Carraway being at a psychologist office and talking about Gatsby. The movie shows a close up on Nick Carraway's problems according to the psychologist and it says that he's an alcoholic and that he suffers from insomnia. This part was never a part of the novel but they justified it in a good way. As Nick was telling the psychologist about Gatsby, he stops at one point and does not want to talk about it. At this point, the psychologist hands him paper and a pen and says "write about it." Nick liked this idea and began writing the whole story instead of telling it out loud to the psychologist. Nick enjoyed writing very much so it was perfect for him. Rodriguez 2
I believe the movie did an outstanding job portraying the 1920’s and the parties that took place at Gatsby’s house. “There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like months among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars” (39). The scenes of the parties at Gatsby’s house portrayed people dancing, music and drinking. It was a very accurate picture of that people would imagine party scenes to be in the book. The party scene of where Nick met Gatsby for the first time was drastically different in the movie than it was in the book. In the book, Nick and Gatsby were talking about the war and Nick did not know that he was talking to Gatsby. “This is an unusual party for me. I haven’t even seen the host. .. For a moment he looked at me as if he failed to understand. ‘I’m Gatsby’, he said suddenly” (47-48). In the movie, Gatsby summoned Nick up to his study and they had a very awkward conversation.
The plot of the film is pretty much entirely faithful to the novel, but Luhrmann and his co-screenwriter Craig Pearce do cut out one of the side stories: the affair between Nick and Jordan Baker, the friend of Daisy’s who is a famous golfer, “Her wan, scornful mouth smiled, and so I drew her up again closer, this time to my face” (80). Daisy promises to set them up, to push them “accidentally in linen closets and … out to sea in a boat,” a line the screenplay keeps—but then, in the film, the matter is dropped. Luhrmann’s Nick says he found Jordan “frightening” at first, a word Carraway does not apply to her in the novel. Later at Gatsby’s we see Jordan taken away from Nick by a male companion, which does not happen in the book. In the novel, they become a couple and break up near the end of that summer. Jordan Baker might as well not Rodriguez 3 even be present in the movie, as there is never a relationship between her and Nick and is only used to supply us with the storyline of Gatsby’s life.
In the book, Gatsby takes Nick to lunch at a “well-fanned 42nd Street cellar,” where he introduces his new friend to Mr. Wolfsheim, a Jewish gangster. In the movie, Gatsby and Nick go to a barber shop with a hidden entrance to a private restaurant, and once inside they see not only Wolfsheim but also the police commissioner who, in the book as in the film, Gatsby was “able to do … a favor once”