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The Great Gatsby

             Film is a medium that rarely carries the full weight of a piece of literature when there is an attempt to transfer a piece of work between the two realms. The inherent lack of the ability to allow the audience to imagine as they do when they read as compared to watching a movie is one of the major factors. The Great Gatsby is an example of the difficulty that exists when trying to move from literature to film. For one reason or another, director's interpretation, time constraints, appeal to a wider (occasionally less intelligent) audience, the film turns out with different elements than those in the book. Key examples exist in the portrayal of Jay Gatsby. Jay Gatsby in the novel is a much more feeble character, a man that is more low key, not the powerful tycoon that is portrayed in the film. Gatsby is not the powerful man that is shown and small differences such as the first appearance of Gatsby or the initial meeting between Gatsby and Nick make this difference. Another element of Gatsby that transitions poorly is the manner in which Gatsby's past is revealed, the difference here make it seem less fraudulent which was a key element in the novel, it in essence makes Jay Gatsby a different person. Another major change is the character of Nick Carraway. Nick's portrayal is handicapped by the inability of the film to accurately convey his thoughts as it is so eloquently done in the novel (which also goes a long way to determining Gatsby's character). Film, though a wonderful medium, is not always able to capture the classics of literature because of the differences between the ability to interpret visually and the ability to allow the reader to do the work. Without insight into characters and events that novels can provide films often come up lacking.

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