Essay about The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Essay about The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is introduced as the mysterious, wealthy neighbor of Nick Carraway who is famous for his opulent parties. However, throughout the course of the story, Gatsby’s character unfolds in front of Nick and the audience. Nick learns Gatsby is in love with his cousin, the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, and throws parties in West Egg to get close to her. Gatsby confides in him how he fell in love with Daisy and came upon the riches that enables him to leave his past behind. In the progression of the story, Gatsby is shown to not be aloof and enigmatic, but a passionate and lonely character. Although the 1974 The Great Gatsby movie directed by Jack Clayton remains faithful to the novel of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Clayton rarely dips below the veneer of character Jay Gatsby, which causes Gatsby to appear more mysterious and less human.
Jay Gatsby appears more mysterious in the movie, because he puts more distance between himself and Nick than he does in the book. The aura of mystery around Gatsby is evident from the first time Nick sees Gatsby as “a figure [emerging] from the shadow of [his] neighbor’s mansion” watching the stars and a green light at the end of the dock (Fitzgerald 25). In the movie, Gatsby, played by Robert Redford, first appears as a towering silhouette framed by the marble of his mansion. He smokes a cigarette while he stares into the harbor, but is gone when Nick glances back. However, in the book, Gatsby “[stretches] out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way” and Nick, who considers calling out to him, “could have sworn he was trembling” (25). Although Gatsby appears mysterious in both the book and the movie, the subtle differences in Fitzgerald’s portrayal reveals a ...


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...ttle indication of his love for Daisy and the passion that leads him to pursue her for so long. Because of how little Gatsby reveals his past and feeling beneath his veneer in the movie, Gatsby seems less relatable and human in the movie than in the book.
While both the book and the 1974 movie contain the enigmatic Jay Gatsby, there are differences in the portrayal of Gatsby’s character. The novel by F. S. Fitzgerald dispels some of the mystery surrounding Gatsby by creating a close bond between Gatsby and Nick Carraway. However, Jack Clayton leaves most of Gatsby’s mask intact by distancing Gatsby from the other characters. Additionally, the book is better at revealing the vulnerabilities of Gatsby’s character that make him seem more human. In the movie, little of Gatsby’s past or emotions is shared by him, so the perception of his character suffers as a result.

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