Essay on The Great Gatsby: Film and Novel Comparison

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The Great Gatsby: Film and Novel Comparison

The Great Gatsby is a novel which critically discusses the ideals of the American Dream and recapturing the past. In the film adaptation, producer Jack Clayton stays very closely to the plot and even quotes the novel verbatim but fails to capture the essence of the themes portrayed in the novel. The text did not translate well into film; some facts are distorted, the depiction of the characters are different, the general ambience of certain settings do not match, and the movie is weighted towards the beginning of the book, with half of the movie based closely on the first two chapters of the book.
Gatsby’s character in the novel is very distinct from his portrayal in the film. In the
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Aside from the above, the other differences I observed are not very significant as they do not alter Fitzgerald’s meaning for the novel. The addition or omission of various insignificant scenes could effectively direct the audience’s attention to more pivotal scenes.
• Neither the man with whom Nick had planned to share his house with nor their maid were ever introduced in the movie.
• In the novel, Gatsby and Nick’s first encounter took place at the party. Nick was very relaxed and spoke casually with Gatsby because he was unaware of his identity. In the novel, however, their first acquaintance took place at Gatsby’s office. Nick knew Gatsby wanted to speak to him because his butler had informed Nick of this prior to their conversation, which very formal as a result.
• Gatsby is never shown requesting Jordan to ask Nick to arrange a meeting between Daisy and Gatsby.
• In the novel, Gatsby grows impatient while waiting for Daisy to arrive for their meeting and takes a walk around the house. In the film, Gatsby does not talk a walk outside the house.
• During Gatsby and Daisy’s reunion, they claim they have met for 8 years. In the novel, they had been acquainted for only 5 years.
• After Daisy and Gatsby are reunited, they dance in Gatsby’s mansion. In the film, they dance with only the light from a candle. In the book, they dance with only the light gleaming from the hallway.
• At Gatsby’s party, a dog prances on a table