The Great Gatsby Comparison

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In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby attempts to win back his love, Daisy, and has gone to great lengths to make himself considered worthy of marrying a rich girl. There is a problem with his underlying goal that makes it impossible. He wants more than to just win her back. He wants to return to the time when they were first in love and when Daisy had never loved her husband Tom. He firmly believes that he can do this, and it leads to his downfall and death. In Jack Clayton’s 1974 film version of the novel, the theme of wanting something irretrievable from one’s past is well articulated through small additions to the plot, mise en scene, symbolism, and the retention of important parts of the plot, preserving Fitzgerald’s commentary…show more content…
This allows additions to the plot. Some of the scenes which are added enhance and build upon the “repeating the past” theme. The scene which has the greatest value in developing and emphasizing this theme is when Gatsby is reminiscing about when he and Daisy first danced. He talks about what they were wearing that first time- he was wearing his uniform, she wore a particular gown. Daisy responds by telling him to get his uniform, and says, “I’ll wear the same gown.” They are shown dancing alone in Gatsby’s dark mansion. This is a demonstrative example of Gatsby’s desire to go back to the way things were before. The addition of this scene reinforces the importance of this theme. The movie form also allows other types of additions which build this theme. One aspect of movies which in this movie build upon this theme is music. There is one particularly important example of choice of music which occurs at the beginning of the movie. As the opening credits roll, the camera pans across Gatsby’s dressing room table, with special focus on Gatsby’s scrapbook full of clippings of Daisy. The lyrics of the music contain the phrase “broken and cannot be mended.” This association of the symbol of Gatsby’s dream with the music is the first aspect of this movie that begins to build this theme. The fact that this important association is placed at the very beginning of the movie adds to the emphasis on this important
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