Sep 26, 2015
The decline of the American dream;
The spirit of the 1920s;
The difference between social classes;
The role of symbols in the human conception of meaning;
The role of the past in dreams of the future.
The Great Gatsby
Movie x Book Brief Comparison
What makes Gatsby Great?
Gatsbys extraordinary gift of hope and dreams of a perfect future with Daisy
Gatsby makes Daisy his dream because his heart demands a dream, not because Daisy truly deserves the passion that Gatsby feels for her
Gatsbys capacity to dream makes him great despite his flaws and eventual undoing.
INFUSING SYMBOLS WITH MEANING
Green light - The green light is only a green light, but to Gatsby it becomes the embodiment of his dream for the future, and it beckons to him in the night like a vision of the fulfillment of his desires.
T.J. eyes This one works in a similar way but with a less fixed symbology. Until George Wilson decide they are the eyes of God demanding action and revenge they are just unsettling and unexplained as they look upon the Valley of ashes.
Jay: Go away NOW, old sport?
Nick: Go to Atlantic City for a week, or up to Montreal.
He wouldnt consider it. He couldnt possibly leave Daisy until he knew what she was going to do. He was clutching at some last hope and I couldnt bear to shake him free.
It excited him that many men had already loved Daisyit increased her value in his eyes. He felt their presence all about the house, pervading the air with the shades and echoes of still vibrant emotions.
He let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herselfthat he was fully able to take care of her.
He thought he was just taking what he could and then going away. He knew that Daisy was extraordinary but he didnt realize just how extraordinary a nice girl could be. She vanished into her rich house, into her rich, full life, leaving Gatsbynothing. He felt married to her, that was all.
And all the time something within her was crying for a decision. She wanted her life shaped now, immediately and the decision must be made by some forceof love, of money, of unquestionable practicalitythat was close at hand. That force took shape in the middle of spring with the arrival of Tom Buchanan.
I suppose Daisyll call too. He looked at me anxiously as if he hoped Id corroborate this.
We shook hands and I started away. Just before I reached the hedge I remembered something and turned around. Theyre a rotten crowd, I shouted across the lawn. Youre worth the whole damn bunch put together. Ive always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end.
"Now I want to go back a little and tell what happened at the garage after we left there the night before." (p.209)
"About three o'clock the quality of Wilson's incoherent muttering changedhe grew quieter and began to talk about the yellow car. He announced that he had a way of finding out whom the yellow car belonged to, and then he blurted out that a couple of months ago his wife had come from the city with her face bruised and her nose swollen." (p. 209)
""I spoke to her," he muttered, after a long silence. "I told her she might fool me but she couldn't fool God. I took her to the window" With an effort he got up and walked to the rear window and leaned with his face pressed against it,"and I said 'God knows what you've been doing, everything you've been doing. You may fool me but you can't fool God!"
Standing behind him Michaelis saw with a shock that he was looking at the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg which had just emerged pale and enormous from the dissolving night.
"God sees everything,"repeated Wilson." (p. 211)
"No telephone message arrived but the butler went without his sleep and waited for it until four o'clockuntil long after there was any one to give it to if it came. I have an idea that Gatsby himself didn't believe it would come and perhaps he no longer cared. If that was true he just have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream." (p.212)
"I drove from the station directly to Gatsby's house and my rushing anxiously up the front steps was the first thing that alarmed any one. But they knew then, I firmly believe. With scarcely a word said, four of us, the chauffeur, butler, gardener and I, hurried down to the pool." (p.212)
"When Michaelis's testimony at the inquest brought to light Wilson's suspicions of his wife I thought the whole tale would shortly be served up in racy pasquinadebut Catherine, who might have said anything, didn't say a word.  So Wilson was reduced to a man "deranged by grief" in order that the case might remain in its simplest form. And it rested there." (p.213)
"I found myself on Gatsby's side, and alone. From the moment I telephoned news of the catastrophe to West Egg village, every surmise about him, and every practical question, was referred to me. At first I was surprised and confused; then, as he lay in his house and didn't move or breathe or speak hour upon hour it grew upon me that I was responsible, because no one else was interested interested, I mean, with that intense personal interest to which every one has some vague right at the end." (p.213)
"I wanted to get somebody for him. I wanted to go into the room where he lay and reassure him: "I'll get somebody for you, Gatsby. Don't worry. Just trust me and I'll get somebody for you"" (p. 214)
"I went back to the drawing room and thought for an instant that they were chance visitors, all these official people who suddenly filled it. But as they drew back the sheet and looked at Gatsby with unmoved eyes, his protest continued in my brain.
"Look here, old sport, you've got to get somebody for me. You've got to try hard. I can't go through this alone.""(p.214)
" no one arrived except more police and photographers and newspaper men." (p.214)
Is written two years after Gatsbys death
Starts with an account of he day of the death and the following day. Nick has difficulties contacting Gatsby s friends and family. At his house there were press, police and curious people rather than friends (even Wolfshiem and Daisy).
I called up Daisy half an hour after we found him, called
her instinctively and without hesitation. But she and Tom
had gone away early that afternoon, and taken baggage with
Left no address?
Say when theyd be back?
Any idea where they are? How I could reach them?
I dont know. Cant say. (175)
That night an obviously frightened person called up and demanded to know who I was before he would give his name.
This is Mr. Carraway, I said.
Oh He sounded relieved. This is Klipspringer.
I was relieved too for that seemed to promise another friend at Gatsbys grave. I didnt want it to be in the papers and draw a sightseeing crowd so Id been calling up a few
people myself. They were hard to find.
The funerals tomorrow, I said. Three oclock, here at the house. I wish youd tell anybody whod be interested.
Oh, I will, he broke out hastily. Of course Im not likely to see anybody, but if I do.
His tone made me suspicious.
Of course youll be there yourself.
Well, Ill certainly try. What I called up about is
Wait a minute, I interrupted. How about saying youll
Well, the fact isthe truth of the matter is that Im staying with some people up here in Greenwich and they rather expect me to be with them tomorrow. In fact theres a sort of picnic or something. Of course Ill do my very best to get away.
I ejaculated an unrestrained Huh! and he must have heard me for he went on nervously:
What I called up about was a pair of shoes I left there. I wonder if itd be too much trouble to have the butler send them on. You see theyre tennis shoes and Im sort of helpless without them. My address is care of B. F.
I didnt hear the rest of the name because I hung up the receiver. (180)
After that I felt a certain shame for Gatsbyone gentleman to whom I telephoned implied that he had got what he deserved. However, that was my fault, for he was one of those who used to sneer most bitterly at Gatsby on the courage of Gatsbys liquor and I should have known better than to call him. (181)
It was the man with owl-eyed glasses whom I had found marvelling over Gatsbys books in the library one night three months before.(186)
The poor son-of-a-bitch, he said. (187)
Nick took responsibility for practical questions including the funeral
I found myself on Gatsbys side, and alone. From the moment I telephoned news of the catastrophe to West Egg village, every surmise about him, and every practical question, was referred to me. At first I was surprised and confused; then, as he lay in his house and didnt move or breathe or speak
hour upon hour it grew upon me that I was responsible, because no one else was interestedinterested, I mean, with that intense personal interest to which every one has some vague right at the end. (175)
I went back to the drawing room and thought for an instant that they were chance visitors, all these official people who suddenly filled it. But as they drew back the sheet and looked at Gatsby with unmoved eyes, his protest continued in my brain.
Look here, old sport, youve got to get somebody for me.
Youve got to try hard. I cant go through t