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

Gatsby’s character in the novel is very distinct from his portrayal in the film. In the novel, Gatsby was seen as one who is withdrawn, quiet and romantic. In the film, however, he is portrayed as one who is loud, obnoxious and openly proclaims his wealth. Also, the movie revolves mainly around Gatsby, which makes him more of a personal character, whereas in the book, Gatsby is a main character but is not as prominent as he was in the film. Tom

Tom’s character in the film also differed greatly from his persona in the novel. As portrayed in the book, he was a “sturdy straw-haired man…, with a rather hard mouth” whose “arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face” and “not even… his clothes could hide the enormous power of (his) body”. (Fitzgerald, 12) Tom was a strong, built man. However, in the film adaptation, he appears no stronger than the average man. His strength symbolizes his authority over Daisy and his dominance provided contrast against Gatsby, who was more reserved. It also places emphasis on their greed and callousness, which we observed when Tom and Daisy placed the blame of Myrtle’s death on Gatsby and left town. Because this aspect of Tom was left out, the film is less effective in showing this. Daisy

Mia Farrow was very convincing in her role as Daisy Buchanan. She appeared to be very...
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