The Great Gatsby is a well-known masterpiece of F. Scott Fitzgerald representing the American hue of its time mainly focusing on the ramifications of Roaring 20’s. The book and the movie both share the ideology of the time depicting the fatal properties of the so called American dream. However, it is evident that these two media differ in terms of drawing the attention of the audience/the reader. While the book starts with the crucial advice Nick Caraway’s father gave which would probably help the book weakening the possible criticism it would get after being published because it already highlights the hypocrite social circle, corrupted family association and the source of the rapid riches of the time in a sharp way, the film seems largely focusing on the love affair of Gay Gatsby preparing the minds for the clear romance they are going to watch. Furthermore, the audience would encounter some modifications on the plot like the story starting from the half with clear implications about the end and also the audience would not need to read between the lines but they are given notable clues about the essence of the events.
With the first scene, the film immediately unfolds the story of Gatsby and foreshadows the core of the future events thanks to the love song whose lyrics overlaps with the plot in a quite extend and also the perspective focusing on the photo of Daisy mainly in a local newspaper and also some of them in a room. While Fitzgerald seems to care much about the atmosphere he should create as to place the plot in a proper way, the film aims at the attention from the audience clarifying the hidden insight of Gatsby much quicker than the book. That might be due to the different media they use because it is easier to tell many things at one time by a scene in which the background of the place, some dialogs, a piece of song and the movements of the characters (gestures, body language) could be included simultaneously.
As the story goes on, it is notable that we do not hear much from Tom; his insight. The point of view rather turns into an omniscient one, the story does not aim at clarifying the mind of Tom but it puts the audience at the centre instead. Due to the change in Tom’s role, he does not have to question all the things he encounters; he does not really have to be the bright one. When it comes to Gatsby, he is more handsome than expected like the extremely opposite character of Daisy’s husband; Tom. That might be helpful to fulfill the place of the hero he supposed to be. He is not the shy one anymore asking to the point question to Daisy even before he invited her family to join the party he is going to give. Here we encounter some other changes throughout the plot like the lovers (Daisy and Gatsby) are more direct to each other explaining why their life is the way it is. While Gatsby talks about his life before their second meeting with Daisy, how he has struggled as to reach; to get her back, Daisy explains why and how she has chosen Tom in a linear way. The dialogs are clearer in the movie, though, like Daisy crying out “Rich girls do not marry with poor boys, don’t you know that Jay”? Daisy is more conscious about her mistakes and she knows everything Tom does in a way just trying to be blind as to keep up with that modern life of America. There have been some changes also as to make the scenes more romantic like the promise of Daisy to tell Tom what is going on between the lovers. The lovers also wear their old clothes as to create a nostalgia in which they could deceive themselves about getting back the time they already lost. The only flashback happens through the dance which is placed in a different setting and the conversation in the book, though.
Even if there are some changes in the movie, the aim of creating the realistic American life of roaring 20’s never changes, even the differences between the movie and the book deepen the depiction of the society. There are two scenes about which some words are needed to be spoken. The first is the dancing woman whose stockings goes down which is not a disturbing thing for her. That would probably symbolize the corruption of America and the unconscious acceptance of the process. People no longer feel the pressure of the religion or better we say the pressure of the society. The latter scene to be analyzed is the one in which the perspective moves on two girls wearing the same clothes and the same make-up looking at each other with passionate eyes. The producer tries to draw the extreme line of American people/their life. The flow of their American stream goes beyond the norms breaking even the borders of gender; ramifications like Lesbianism and Gayness.
Symbolism could be used in both media, yet it differs in terms of the style and the effects it brings about. For example, the focus on the advertisement called as The Eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg enables the reader get the notion of the change in American society from religion (Mr. Wilson) or any kind of belief system to science/ technology and industry (Tom or Gatsby) in the movie and there are many occasions referring to that commercial. Therefore it is easier to realize the link thanks to the visional aid of movies. The item or even the dialog could be the same in both; however, the effects get profound in the movie, which does not always have positive aspects. While the symbols become clearer and deeply affective, the creativity or the imagination of the audience suffers in a great deal and the vitality of the symbolic action vanishes leaving a clear path for the audience to follow, though. For example, Mrs. Wilson tries to shout at Tom, while he is getting the car filled. She is not able to make her voice heard. Afterwards she gets very nervous and starts to hit the window till the glass gets broken leaving her hand in blood. That foreshadows the future miserable death of the woman and her end cannot be helped even if Tom is also there. With such romantic and deeply condensed scenes in terms of emotion, the film cannot go beyond the borders of Romance. In conclusion, The Great Gatsby is like an ill story of lovers in an individualistic circle, while it is more embracing not only a whole American society but also the American dream rooted in the base structure when it comes to the book.