The Great Gatsby Movie and Book Comparison

The Great Gatsby is a book known by millions of people in the world- and for great reason. The book depicts two star-crossed lovers whose relationship is constantly thrown off course by other forces. In the book, a somewhat relationship happens between Jay Gatsby, the protagonist, and Daisy, the golden girl. Forty-nine years after the book was published, a movie came out, followed by another that came out in 2013, this time, more fit to the modern audience. Both the movies help the reader to better understand and picture the book, despite their differences.

In chapter 1 of the Great Gatsby, one of the major differences in the (2013) movie from the book is how the movie started. In the movie, the opening scene shows Nick Carraway and a psychiatrist in an office where Nick talks and writes about his past experiences with Gatsby, whereas the book first starts off with Nick talking about the advice that was given to him by his father. The quote, Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had, (Fitzgerald, 1) is what Fitzgerald uses to start the novel. The director of the (2013) movie most likely added the scene to give the viewers an insight into what was happening between Nick and Gatsby. The beginning could have also been used as a hook because the author, in all likelihood, used it to set the tone for the whole film, giving the film a bit of an eerie feeling. The hook made me want to watch more, unlike the book, which made me want to shut it and give up on reading it all together.

Additionally, chapter 1 also differs in both versions in that when Nick goes to have dinner at Daisy’s house, the dinner takes place outside in the backyard in the book, whereas in the movie, it occurs inside the house. When Tom received a phone call in the movie (2013), he just moved to the room next to the dining room to answer the phone call, and in the book, he had to walk inside the house to answer the call. Maybe the director for the movie (2013) decided to make this scene a bit different from the book to be able to see what was going on in both rooms in one set because in the movie (1974) they didn’t really show the part when Tom went to go answer his phone call.

In addition, chapter 1 also has some similarities. In both the book and the movie, Nick goes over to Tom and Daisy’s house to have dinner. In both versions, Tom receives a phone call ( Fitzgerald, 5-21). Presumably, the director wanted to have the same scene in order for the viewers to understand the point of it. In the book and the movie (1974) , when Tom leaves the dinner table, the author and director both make it seem suspicious by Tom going by himself to go answer the phone call. To add to the list of similarities, in the book and both movies (1974 and 2013), they all mention the book The Rise of the Colored Empires. This may be because when the book was made, the stock market crash had just happened three to four weeks before the book was made.

In chapter 7, another similarity can be found between the book and both the movies, they both have Myrtle, Tom’s lover and Wilson’s wife (Fitzgerald, 137) die in a car accident. Myrtle died due to Daisy not slowing down the car she was driving, due to her being tense from a prior scene. As a result of her killing Myrtle, Daisy decides to speed off, not acknowledging what she had just done. In both versions of The Great Gatsby, Wilson reacts in the same way, however, when Tom was introduced into the scene, a noticeable difference was present. Tom tries to console Wilson and get out of the blame, that he knows would happen because he rode a yellow car hours before the accident happened. With Tom’s fear to not get in jail and because he is rich, he will try to put the blame on Gatsby, since Tom wants to get back at him and to leave Daisy alone. Despite this, a friend of Wilson tries to convince to not do anything rash, without any actual proof or evidence, but Wilson doesn’t listen as he had his mind corrupted while he was vulnerable.

In the book, Tom says he is a friend of Wilson and that he knows the yellow car (Fitzgerald, 140), when the police officer questions him about what was going on with him and Wilson. In the movie, though, the police officers hear that Tom had a yellow car clearly making it noticeable that other people around him are doubting him and thinking that he’s a liar, especially when he said that he had a blue car. The motive of the director to do this most probably is to make it more noticeable how Wilson has come to be aware of things around him that he didn’t before but doesn’t notice those. Though one thing that both the book and movie was noticeable the same was that Wilson didn’t dare question, or doubt, Tom not even a little bit, about why Myrtle would act the way she did when Tom would come. If Wilson had just been suspicious of Tom and listen to his friend, then he wouldn’t have done what he did, especially to the wrong person. The kind of influence and manipulation that Tom had on Wilson, greatly affected the actions that Wilson did afterward.

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