The Great Gatsby

Lost in Translation College

With its unforgettable characters, unique love story and dazzling setting, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby has been a popular source of inspiration for filmmakers since its publication in 1925. The six film adaptations of the novel to date vary considerably in their generally agreed upon degrees of success in interpreting Fitzgerald's work. While some loss of meaning is inevitable in any translation from literature to film, this challenge is especially prominent in the adaptation of a work so driven by the powerful diction of Nick Carroway's narration. One such loss of meaning can be seen in the depiction of Nick's first visit to the Buchanan house for dinner in Jack Clayton's 1974 adaptation of the novel. Fitzgerald's precise use of diction in describing the characters of Tom and Daisy Buchanan and in creating a motif of movement in this scene provides valuable insight into the relationship between Tom and Daisy in a way that Clayton's translation fails to do.

In the reader's introduction to the character of Tom Buchanan in this scene of the novel, Nick's repetitive use of words associated with size, power and aggression in describing him creates a clear characterization of Tom as a dominant force. Words such as...

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