Text to Film Comparison of the Great Gatsby

What specific differences did you notice between the text we are studying and the film adaptation? Speculate as to why the changes were made. What effects do the changes have on the characterization, significance, tone, theme or message of a particular scene or of the text as a whole?  Add your comment below.   You must add a comment, and respond to one above you.


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28 thoughts on “Text to Film Comparison of the Great Gatsby

  1. Ms. Bernier March 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    One of the significant changes I noticed, was how Nick’s narration gets put into other character’s lines. For example – the last piece about the dutch Sailors that concludes the book is turned into a conversation between Nick and Gatsby. In addition on the main cuts I noticed — was the absence of the story of Cody. I think exposition and back-story is harder to do in a movie with out creating a significant flashback scene.

  2. Ileana Carrion March 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    After Reading The Great Gaspy and watching the film I noticed a few differences. In the book when Nick gets invited to one of Gaspy’s parties Nick and Gaspy meet by talking in a normal conversation and then Gapsy introduces himself as Gaspy. In the movie Nick was sent up to a room to see Gaspy instead of casually having a conversation with him. I think this change was made in the movie to make the scene more intense and make the meeting between Nick and Gaspy stand out more. Another difference I noticed was before Myrtle was run over, she and Wilson were having an argument. I felt this argument was more intense in the movie than the book. Perhaps in the movie it was made this way so the audience could see the friction between Wilson and Myrtle before she died. In addition this scene added some significance to why Wilson was upset when Myrtle died because the last conversation they had seemed to be an argument.

  3. Ileana Carrion March 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I agree that the Cody scene was cut out. Perhaps in a movie done in at that time frame I agree it would have been difficult to do a flashback seen. But skipping this scene I think left out a huge part of Gaspy’s story that is very significant in the book. In addition when Nick’s lines where changed into characters lines I think that was a good addition because it made the scenes fit in with Nicks thoughts. The book definitely was more descriptive and the movie left out some scenes which I think affected the overall look of Gaspy and his past. And in the movie Gapsy seemed to really love Daisy and in the book it seemed that Daisy was only a representation of wealth to him.

  4. Rachael Pilletere March 14, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I would agree with the previous points made. I didn’t particularly like how Nick was not the narrator in the movie. His lines were put into other character’s lines so the viewer didn’t receive Nick’s point of view as we did in the novel. I did also enjoy the scene with Wilson and Myrtle that was chosen to put in the movie because it gave me more knowledge of their relationship and that their fight may have contributed to Myrtle’s death.

  5. Rachael Pilletere March 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    There were several differences that I saw between the novel and the movie. As said before, Nick did not narrate the movie. Owl Eyes was not seen nor talked about in the movie as he was in the novel. The book said that 5 years had passed since Daisy and Gatsby had last seen eachother, but in the movie it was said that 8 years had passed since the two saw eachother. Also, it seemed that in the novel Daisy’s daughter was not discussed very frequently but yet in the movie we see Daisy interact with her daughter on numerous occasions. This did make a difference in the movie especially in the scene with Gatsby because he was pretty taken back at seeing Daisy’s daughter for the very first time since him and Daisy had rekindled their relationship. I would say that the movie did not portray the book exactly how it was written. Some relationships, scenes, and lines varied.

  6. Jera Barrett March 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    I agree with Ileana that the argument was much more intense in the movie and that it could have been to exaggerate Wilson’s guilt and try to show why he was so unforgiving. He could barely live with himself. Rage, depression and guilt clearly got the best of him. On the topic of Nick and Gatsby I’m surprised that they didn’t do the casual conversation idea from the book because I feel like that could have been a real nice way to introduce him and make him seem very casual, normal kind of guy. It did make Gatsby stand out though which is probably what they were going for.

  7. Jera Barrett March 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    One thing I noticed that was different between the book and the movie was that the guy that was called ‘Owl Eyes’ didn’t show up in the movie at all but he was in the book. Although the character wasn’t a huge part of the story he did crash car his car in the Valley of Ashes at one point in the story. It was before the accident with Myrtle and i feel like it gave the idea of how things after the parties weren’t always so great. To me it seem to be sort of foreshadowing the accident with Myrtle or at least the same sort of idea with a car relation accident. I feel like that could have been a good addition to the movie and I am surprised they didn’t include a possible foreshadowing scene. That may have been because foreshadowing happens often a lot more in literature that it does in films. Another little difference i noticed was that in the book Gatsby doesn’t give Daisy a ring. I feel like that shows and expresses the wealth and materialism of the time and I think that was a great addition to the movie, as miner as it is.

  8. Thaveth Chhun March 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I agree with Jera’s idea because in the book, it told us by Nick described who Owl Eyes is so that make me know about some information of him. However, in the movies, Owl Eyes didn’t talk very much and Nick didn’t describe about him, so I can not figure it out who Owl Eyes is. I think because he is unnecessary character, that’s why he didn’t show up very much.

  9. thaveth Chhun March 14, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    After reading and watching The Great Gatsby, the scene that Tom, Jordan, and Nick drove and stopped by Wilson’s garage, Myrtle tried to knock the window and called them, but no one heard her but I think Nick saw her but he could do anything. Then she go mad and punched the window. I realize that this scene is not in the book. I think the reason that this scene is just in the movie because they want the audience to see the emotion of Myrtle because she was stress and angry with the thing that her husband Wilson found out that she had a secret love but he didn’t know who that man is. Moreover, she maybe loses control so she ate her own blood.

  10. Irene Georgiadis March 14, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I agree with Thaveth that this scene was not in the book, but it showed Myrtle’s reactions and gave the viewer a clearer picture of that scene. I think it also made the emotions and the drama in this scene much more vivid. The fact that they added in her punching the window and licking her own blood, to me was just to make it more dramatic, which they tend to do in many book-to-movie films.

  11. Rebecca Freitag March 14, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I agree with Thaveth’s ideas of how Myrtle was feeling when she was pounding on the window hoping someone would hear her. Her husband had found out about her “affair” with someone else. Therefore, he was certainly not going to let her out of their apartment. She was frustrated with not only herself but with Wilson so she broke the window with her fist. This scene I believe foreshadows the event in which she dies. This scene shows that she’s very upset and later she runs out of the apartment hoping that Daisy or Gatsby would talk to her which leads to her death. This added scene was important because it showed Myrtle’s anger which in the end lead to her own death.

  12. Rebecca Freitag March 14, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    There were many differences between the movie The Great Gatsby and what happened in the book. For example, in the book Gatsby is killed by multiple shots fired by Wilson. However, the mattress stays afloat and Nick sees Gatsby dead on the mattress in a circle of his own blood. In the movie, Wilson shoots not only at Gatsby but he also hits the mattress which causes the mattress to deflate. Thus causing Gatsby to sink to the bottom of the pool. I felt as if changing this scene in the movie made Gatsby’s death more dramatic than it did in the book. Another difference I noticed was that Owl Eyes was not seen or talked about in the movie. I think the part in the book when Nick meets Owl Eyes in Gatsby’s library was not shown in the movie because I don’t think that scene was very important compared to some of the other scenes in the book.

  13. Jeremiah Hyslip March 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    The film version and book version of The Great Gatsby had many differences. The differences were not only in the physical aspects (e.g. scene changes, settings, etc.) but also in the ways that the characters acted. For example, the relationship between Myrtle and her husband, George, was shown in more detail in the movie. The movie really portrayed their relationship well, and gave us an idea as to the extent to which they fought. Throughout the whole movie, I was able to judge Daisy’s character more by the way she acted. In the book, I did not realize that she would turn out the way she did; it was only at the end that I recognized her for whom she really was. All in all, I think that the makers of the movie did a very good job replicating the book. There were less discrepencies in this than I have noted in other “books turned into movies.”

  14. Irene Georgiadis March 14, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    One thing I noticed that was different in the movie was that Tom seems much more confrontational/blunt in the movie version. Although he does have a demanding presence in the book, it’s more pronounced in the movie. Like when he and Daisy are at Gatsby’s party, and he’s very demanding with her. As well as his bluntness, the movie shows his arrogance very well too, merely in the way that he carries himself and the way he talks; which is hard to perceive from the text. I did however expect this from the movie because like I said before, characters in book-to-movie films are usually exaggerated or more dramatic in the film adaptation, because that’s what audiences like to see in movies.

  15. Jeremiah Hyslip March 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I agree with Rebecca in terms of the fact that owl eyes was not seen or talked about much in the movie. However, at the end of chapter eight, I do not believe that Gatsby was seen “on the matress.” He was floating somewhere else in the pool. Although Gatsby did sink in the movie, he would have resurfaced by the time Nick arrived. I do, on the other hand, agree that the movie did make the death seem more dramatic, even though the scene when Nick discovers Gatsby is neglected.

  16. Madi Stevens March 14, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    After I had started watching the movie version of the book, I realized that Daisy wasn’t at all like how I portrayed her to be in my head. Yes, Daisy was annoying in the book but I could barely stand watching her in the movie. The movie definitely made it more clear how Daisy talked and reacted in certain situations. But I can safely say that Daisy is just as careless in the movie version as she is in the book. In the end of the book Daisy didn’t even call Nick or attend Gatsby’s funeral. At the end of the movie, Daisy talked to Nick and acted as if nothing had ever happened. Daisy reappearing at the end of the movie didn’t happen in the book. I think that Daisy coming back at the end of the movie helped to show the audience just how careless Daisy really was.

  17. Kayla Jacque March 14, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    I agree with what Madi says. The book portrays Daisy as a character that can grab your attention and hold on to it. Daisy seems to be a character that is very calm in the book, but then in the movie Mia Farrow had a very high pitched, squeaky voice that made you want to block your ears every time she talked. Daisy, was much different in my head as well, and another actress should have played her. Daisy also didn’t have a care in the world in the movie. In the book it had more than one part with Daisy and her daughter. I think in the movie they made Daisy’s character too careless and it started to get old by the end, where in the book I was shocked when she didn’t go to Gatsby’s Funeral.

  18. Kayla Jacque March 14, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    One difference I noticed in the movie that wasn’t as extreme in the book was Daisy’s love for Nick. Every time she saw him she would tell him to say “i love you” to her, or tell him he could take her away and kiss her. She always had Nick kiss her, even though he was her cousin, she still seemed to show more affection towards Nick than Gatsby. I feel like there were always more scenes with Daisy and Nick rather than Daisy and Gatsby. I didn’t feel the strong connection and love between Daisy and Gatsby because of this, so the ending wasn’t as frustrating in the movie as it was in the book, for me.

  19. Corinne Mooring March 15, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Film adaptations are notorious for a lapse of detail that appears in the book. I disliked how Cody was left out of the movie. The story that Gatsby tells with Cody in it is the story of his past and how he came to this vast amount of wealth. I believe that it is an important scene in the story of Gatsby. It changed tone of the movie as you had little idea of the method Gatsby received his way into a status. I was also surprised that the scene where Jordan tells Nick that she is engaged is left out of the movie. It is a closing moment for the two of them and the film makes omitted it. The film makers also emphasized the lack of connection between George and Myrtle. The movie shows the fight between George and Myrtle, while the book only revels it through word of mouth.

  20. Corinne Mooring March 15, 2013 at 7:58 am

    I agree that Tom seemed much more blunt in the movie. I think that is was necessary to the movie due to the lack of background information that could be presented. The movie did not have enough time to revel all the different aspects of Tom’s character, and had to revel his character through dramatics.

  21. Alex Sieracki March 15, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I totally agree with what your saying Ileana. The meeting between Nick and Gatsby was in my opinion “over done” in the movie. In the book, like you previously stated was a “normal conversation” but the movie made it more dramatic and intense to draw the audience in. The writers of the movie I think wanted the viewer to remember the meeting between Nick and Gatsby. So throughout the movie we would know where their friendship first started and how it started. Also the scene with Myrtle and Wilson was way more intense than it was in the book. The conversation in the book was more towards a regular conversation rather than an intense argument. It almost looks like Myrtle attempted suicide in the movie by throwing herself out infront of the car, when the car clearly wasnt going to stop.

  22. Alex Sieracki March 15, 2013 at 10:19 am

    A major difference I saw between the book and the movie was Daisy’s character. Daisy at the end of the movie seemed care free about the death of Gatsby. In the book I feel like she cares more for Gatsby. In the movie she tells a various amounts of guys that she “loves them.” Such as Nick, Tom, and Gatsby. But she would always tell Gatsby to tell her he loves her. On rare situations she says “I love you.” Also I felt a major difference between the book and the movie was the drama portrayed in each. The movie I felt was way more dramatic than the book. But that might be because one is film and the other is text. I was confused in the meeting of Nick and Gatsby. Nick and Gatsby’s meeting was informal in the book but it was formal in the movie. In the movie we saw Nick having to take an elevator up to Gatsby’s room. In the book Nick met Gatsby at the party informally. No arranged meeting. In the end I feel both the film and the text did an amazing job telling the story.

  23. Brennan Mitrolka March 18, 2013 at 1:03 am

    I thought the decision to leave out much of Nick and Jordan’s relationship was an interesting choice as well. I think it mostly had to do with the story being focused on Gatsby and Daisy, so I think they wanted to focus the viewers’ attention to that as opposed to having a secondary storyline, but I still would have liked to see that brought out more in the movie.

  24. Brennan Mitrolka March 18, 2013 at 1:15 am

    A difference I noticed between the book and film is Nick’s character. In the book, I thought that he went through a change over the course of the story, becoming a more cynical and jaded man, culminating with the decision to move back home, and the quote to Jordan about being five years too old to lie to himself and call it honor. However, he doesn’t appear to experience this change as much throughout the novel, and the scene towards the end where he breaks things off with Jordan isn’t even included. This might have been done to put the attention and emphasis more on Gatsby’s character and storyline. This changes the characterization of Nick, because he does not go through the emotional changes we see in the book.

  25. Andrew Omer March 18, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I agree with the part that they cut of the story of Gatsby and Cody. I thought that was an important part of the book because before Cody, Gatsby didn’t know the really wealthy life style. Cody was also a big character because he left a good amount of money to Gatsby when he had died. Also in the movie I noticed that Daisy was a different character. I agree with Alex that at the end of the movie when Gatsby had died she didn’t seem to be fazed at all especially when she was saw Nick at the end of the movie. She acted like nothing happened and had a big smile on her face.

  26. Lacey Waskiewicz March 18, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Some differences between the movie and the book that I noticed were not very large differences, but they change the movie a little bit more than you would expect. A difference that i noticed was that in the book, Daisy seems like a very lovable and interesting character, while in the movie she is portrayed as a very annoying person, with a lack of many many many moral values. Not only was Daisy different, I pictured Jordan to be a bit different as well. I would have thought that since Jordan was associated with Daisy, that she would be very insolent and lack moral values like Daisy does, but Jordan seems more sophisticated and has more moral values than Daisy had. Also, in the book it mentions Daisy’s daughter a couple of times, but she only appears once or twice in the film. A major difference that I noted was that in the book the author was very explicit about Mertle’s death, but in the movie it didn’t even show her dying and skipped the scene. I also agree with Corrine and how the movie and book were different with adding Cody into it. Cody was an important person in Gatsby’s life and he should have been noted even for just a little while in the movie. It is interesting to see the differences between movies and books and being able to the note the differences between them.

  27. DJ Gardiner March 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    The book went more into detail than the movie. I thought th book was much more thorough than the movie. I personally liked the movie more than the book though because I don’t like reading but I like watching movies.

  28. Austin brighenti March 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I would agree that taking Cody out of the book changed the course of the story. However the absence of Cody did not necessarily need to be in the movie because it didn’t really effect what the movie was trying to portray. The movie was however very much the same as the book, the book just went into more detail which books usually do.

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