Nick's role in The Great Gatsby - Book Vs. Film
“I think my novel is about the Best American novel ever written.” (Fitzgerald 2008:xii). This statement was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald about his novel The Great Gatsby. The novel was first published in 1925, but there are several reissued versions as a result of the remarkable writing and storyline, which today is well known as an American classic. The version from 2008 is the one referred to in this text. Fitzgerald presents the jazz age also known as the roaring twenties with fast cars, bootlegging due to the alcohol ban, rapidly expanding stock portfolios which can be associated with the booming Wall Street, and the destruction of the American Dream. Around 1920, wealth was seen as profoundly good, which leads us to the plot of the novel. Nick Carraway, the narrator, tells the story out of what he observes. We follow him and the other characters through their hopes of attaining the American Dream. This novel, however, became so outstanding in American literature that several film directors made an adaption with the novel's original title: The Great Gatsby. Baz Luhrman is one of them, and in his film from 2013, he portrays Nick in a different setting and he appears in a different role. In what way can we see that Nick's role in the novel is dynamic, and how did Luhrman differentiate the role of Nick in the novel compared to the role of Nick in the film?
Not much is told about Nick Carraway's background. The readers learn he grew up in the Middle West, and he had a “rich ancestor who paid someone off to serve in the civil war on his behalf which allows Nick's ancestor to spend the Civil War money.” (Green 2012). Even though Nick claims not to be rich, he does not struggle economically. He attended Yale in New Haven, served in the army during World War I, and came to the East trying to succeed in the bond business. In the beginning, we see Nick as a person with integrity as he appears to be well-mannered as well as honest and down to earth. From an objective perspective he sees Tom, Daisy, Jordan and Gatsby as characters whose desires for materialistic wealth is the most important part of achieving the American Dream. Nick as a character disgusts their arrogant attitude which presumably is a result of the socio-economic differences. However, as the story develops, we see that Nick is more drawn to the other side in which he also strives to obtain wealth. He interacts with the social elite to be able to share and be a part of their extravagant lifestyle and “community”. An example of this can be when Nick marvels the cars, especially the Rolls Royce's, that conveys the guests to Gatsby's opulent parties. It shows how Nick is a dynamic character in which his need for wealth and the East coast lifestyle increases... [Les mer nå]