Comparative Analysis 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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Audiences can draw this conclusion from the opening scenes of the adaptations. In Luhrmann’s iteration, the movie opens with Nick speaking with a doctor in a sanitarium. This immediately causes viewers to be apprehensive of and mistrust Nick’s judgements and account of the story. Eble says, in his article titled “The Great Gatsby,” that, “Carraway not only serves a technical function of telling the story and of providing a point-of-view; he is very much in the story and who he is and where he stands and where he ends up is as important to the story's import as Gatsby is. . . Carraway provides a moral center,” (Eble). Opening the movie with this inaccurate representation of Nick causes the audience to be wary. Carraway is no longer seen as a moral center, and his progression through the story is void, because the opening scene damages the image of Carraway as a character. In Clayton’s adaptation, the opening scene shows Nick on a small boat, making his way across the Sound to visit Daisy. This scene is consistent with the portrayal of Nick in the novel- the naive newcomer, all dewy-eyed in the big city eventually growing into a mordant and cynical critic of others- as well as the opening scene in the novel, when Nick visits Tom and Daisy. The representation of one of the main characters is critical, and Clayton does it much better than…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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