The Great Gatsby: Adapting an Iconic Novel to Screen - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-11-14
The Great Gatsby: Adapting an Iconic Novel to Screen - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Movie The Great Gatsby Books
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 613 words
6 min read

The Great Gatsby refers to a novel that recaptures the past and discusses the ideals of the American dream. It tells the story of a self-made millionaire and his pursuit of a rich young lady that he loved while he was young. In the novel’s film adaptation, many elements, including the plot, dialogues, and setting, were taken from the book. However, some changes were made in the recreation of the book to screen. Such transformations include setting outlook and the depiction of characters, which present some differences between the film and the book. The novel version of The Great Gatsby is better than its film as it describes the 1920s glamour more vividly, includes many characters and develops them, and presents more details on the final incidents of the story.

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The party scene and mansions described in the novel are better than what the movie depicts in showing the 1920’s glamor. While both parties appear grand and large, the novel presents an ideal feel of a 1920 party. In contrast, the movie gives parties a modern twist by adding aspects such as pop and rap music, hence losing the ideal taste. Conversely, Gatsby’s mansion in the novel is described as lavish and tasteful, fitted with classy furnishing. The film, however, presents a dismal-looking house that lacks the elegance described in the book. The castle is but a venue for hosting parties in the film, unlike the grandeur and elegance that the author presents in the novel.

The novel is better in character development than in the movie. Jordan Barker’s character is more developed in the novel since viewers learn about her being an athlete later in the book. This aspect, however, seems rushed in the movie as it features in the earlier parts. Besides, the film omits some aspects such as Jordan cheating in golf and having a fiancé. Viewers never get to know much about her. Several characters in the book are missing from the movie. The film does not mention Dan Cody, who gave Gatsby a start. Owl Eyes, who offers comic relief in the book, is absent in the film. Additionally, the movie excludes details about Gatsby’s past, and all characters associated with it remain unmentioned.

The book presents more details on final incidents, which are marked by multiple deaths than the film. The novel offers a detailed outline of the events leading to Myrtle’s demise, including how she rushed into the dusk and the tearing of her shirtwaist. Conversely, the movie only shows a crowd around Myrtle’s dead body, leaving out the accident that led to the death. Gatsby’s funeral is also presented differently in the two forms, although Daisy does not attend both. While his father and Owl Eyes turn up in the novel, nobody shows up in the movie, which seeks to influence the magnitude of loneliness the audience feels. Generally, the film seems to omit some critical details that happened towards the end of the book, while the book includes significant details.

Overall, the novel is better than the movie as it has many characters and develops them, creates an ideal feel of the 1920s glamour, and has more details of the final incidents. The film omits some characters, and its setting appears more extravagant for its period’s setting. Besides, some final aspects appear rushed in the film while they are discussed in detail in the novel. While the movie had some flaws and often deviated from the book, the movie’s director, Luhrmann, works hard to include many details and maintain a similar flow to the book.

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