Jack Clayton's Adaptation Of 'The Great Gatsby'

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The Roaring 20s. Glamorous parties. Rigid social structures. Star-crossed lovers. A man’s assiduous rise into money to get the love of his life back. Life abruptly cut short. This is what most readers and movie-goers glean from every iteration of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Both movie adaptations of the novel, Jack Clayton’s interpretation and Baz Luhrmann’s iteration, captures the overall plot, but certain nuances and particular instances of artistry that Fitzgerald wove into his work are lost in translation. Clayton does a much better job at authentically presenting the setting, characters and overall atmosphere that Fitzgerald had intended within the novel.
The novel was Fitzgerald’s third full-length work, published in 1925,
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Jay Gatsby, a previously poor and provincial young man, does everything within his power to rise in station and wealth to impress his true love Daisy Buchanan; however, a tragic accident, the prideful rich of New York, and Daisy’s carelessness with Gatsby’s heart ultimately come together and result in Gatsby’s death. Meanwhile, Nick Carraway, Daisy’s cousin, comes to New York seeking a good job and acceptance into his cousin’s high class society. But upon seeing the events of Gatsby’s love for Daisy and Gatsby’s subsequent death, Nick’s previously inviolate naivete morphs into a dark cynicism for the world and people around him. These interconnected storylines are the essence of Fitzgerald’s classic, and together they produced a lasting effect on readers. The boundless love of Gatsby, paired with the growing skepticism of Nick creates a striking contrast between main characters which keep the audience…show more content…
He included the scene in which Gatsby’s dad comes to his funeral. He also fleshed out the fight that had occurred between George and Myrtle Wilson, which ultimately led to her death. Not only were important scenes included, but Clayton also added in certain symbols that had been left out by Luhrmann, such as the dog symbol, and its correlation to Myrtle. These seemingly small parts of the narrative were of the utmost importance to Fitzgerald. According to literary critic, John Kuehl, “Scott Fitzgerald's style shows "shaping" or "a molding of the confusion of life into form,"7 and "pruning" or economy. These are well exemplified in the painstaking way he cut and revised his material,” (Kuehl). Everything in the novel had a very specific meaning and impact on the overall narrative. Therefore, by adding in the seemingly insignificant scenes, Clayton preserves some of the original gems that Fitzgerald wove into his classic, The Great
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