The Great Gatsby: Clayton Vs. Luhman

1152 words - 5 pages

In the 1920s, sexual promiscuity was a widespread behavior in the United States. People often ditched their morals, causing a serious strain on relationships. Many modernist writers in this era believed this was a result of the popularization of cities. One modernist author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, brought this issue forward in his novel "The Great Gatsby", which was adapted into two films, one in 1974 by Jack Clayton, and another in 2013 by Baz Luhrmann. In chapter seven of the novel, two characters Tom and Gatsby engage in an argument concerning the affection of Daisy, Tom's wife. The two movie adaptations portray this chapter with divergent tones, the 1974 version with a stressful tone, while the 2013 version creates a more angry, melodramatic tone. Fitzgerald creates a somewhat hectic and intense feel throughout the confrontation, which is closer to Luhrmann's version.In the novel, Fitzgerald constantly builds intensity leading up to the big argument between Tom and Gatsby. The amplification of the intensity begins with the hot weather. The weather is mentioned as being "broiling, almost the last, certainly the warmest, of the summer" (Fitzgerald 114). This hot weather is foreshadowing the for later in the chapter, where things begin to heat up. The heat also amplifies the emotional reactivity of many of the characters, especially Gatsby. The weather seems to oppose Gatsby's level-head facade, eventually leading to his inevitable destruction. Daisy describes Gatsby in an interesting way in comparison to the weather,"'Ah,' she cried,' you look so cool' ... 'You always look so cool'" (119)! Rather than saying that Gatsby is cool, she only says he looks cool, revealing his false front to the reader. The heat, in a way, melts away at this veneer, eventually causing Gatsby to erupt, losing the fight for Daisy's love. Tension is also created through Daisy's flummoxed reactions. "'But it's so hot, ' insisted Daisy, on the verge of tears, 'and everything's so confused. Let's all go to town'" (118), cries Daisy. Daisy is worried about the upcoming confrontation between Tom, Gatsby, and herself. She isn't ready to face the consequences of her own infidelity, and by suggesting they all go to town, Daisy is trying to create a short escape from the situation. Even after Tom exposes Gatsby, Daisy is bewildered. Nick notices, "... [Gatsby] began to talk excitedly to Daisy, denying everything, defending his name against accusations that had not been made. But with every word, she was drawing further and further into herself ..." (134). Daisy can no longer deal with the stress caused by her affair with Gatsby, and his attempts to console her aren't enough to calm down the situation. Daisy's stress adds to the tension of this scene.In the 1947 version of The Great Gatsby, both acting choices and camera movements help set the tone during the scene of the argument. During this scene, Daisy carries all the emotion. While the conflict should have been mainly between...

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