The Great Gatsby Comparative

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The central antagonist of Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age classic, Jay Gatsby, is revealed to the reader throughout the novel, creating a sense of mystery around his character, his past and his future. The quasi - fantastical pictorial of the same name, by Greenberg, also follows this reveal, portraying Gatsby's world and evoking a lingering curiosity. Initially, in both novel and graphic novel, the reader is set up to expect the worst. In the introduction of the novel by Fitzgerald, Nick states ‘ No- Gatsby turned out alright in the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interests in the abortive sorrows and short winded elations of men.’ This introduction creates a fascination in Gatsby’s character and an anticipation towards the events that are to occur, but also supports a foreboding feeling with the use of words such as ‘preyed, foul and sorrow’. Similarly, in the Graphic novel, the use of a scrap-book format and a sepia tone creates the sombre, melancholy atmosphere that promotes a sense of nostalgia and loss. The piecing together of Gatsby’s photograph creates a foreboding feeling, initiating the mystery that is to surround this central character throughout both interpretations of The Great Gatsby.

Fitzgerald delays the true introduction of Gatsby until fairly late in the novel; his reputation precedes him. Fitzgerald initially presents Gatsby as the aloof, enigmatic host of the opulent parties thrown at his mansion. The people present at his own parties do not even know him, enhancing the ambiguity of his character. He appears surrounded by luxury and wealth at all times, and is the subject of a whirlwind of gossip throughout New York. Fitzgerald propels the novel forward by shrouding Gatsby’s background and the source of his wealth in mystery. Correspondingly, Greenberg depicts Gatsby as an enigmatic seahorse. This characterisation is very mysterious and evokes what Fitzgerald...
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