While you’re already bringing in the new year and thinking about past, let’s talk about time. For character Jay Gatsby, time is something to become enamored with, specifically the past which he desperately tries to bring back. Gatsby wants to bring back the time when he and Daisy were together, except he wants to keep the part of the present where he has accumulated his wealth. Fitzgerald seems to be saying, by the outcome of Gatsby’s infatuation with the past, is that the past should stay in the past where it belongs. Gatsby is out of sync with time and nothing shows this better than when he accidentally knocks over Nick’s clock in chapter 5.
One other thing that I want to talk about in this book is its comparison to the movie. Though Luhrmann’s rendition of the story is very close—at some times the dialogue is exactly the same as the book—it left out a very important character who shows up at the end of the book: Gatsby father. In the movie, no one but Nick attends Gatsby funeral except for some reporters that Nick screams at. However, in the book, Gatsby’s father comes to his son’s funeral. Gatsby’s father is happy with the success that his son has had in his life and seems to love him very much. Maybe Luhrmann felt that having Gatsby’s dad show up at the end would take away from the film being the tragedy that it is, but I would have liked to see it as it was written.