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The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby

Learn English with this movies English lesson

Date: Jun 24 2013

Themes: Pop Culture

Grammar: Second Conditional


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The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a classic American novel. It tells the story of a wealthy man named Gatsby and his lifelong love of a woman named Daisy. It’s also a story of the American Dream, and the ways in which wealth can corrupt individuals. The story is told from the point of view of Gatsby’s neighbor, Nick Carraway.

Film director Baz Luhrmann has just made a new adaptation of Gatsby. Known for creating surreal and vivid films, Luhrmann has taken a lot of liberties with the text of the original book. Find out what Greta and Lily think about Luhrmann’s film in this movies English lesson.

佛兰西斯·史考特·基菲茨杰拉德 (F. Scott Fitzgerald) 所著的《了不起的盖茨比》是一部经典美国小说。它讲述了富翁盖茨比 (Gatsby) 和他的至爱黛西 (Daisy) 之间的故事。小说还讲述了美国梦的故事,以及财富怎样使人堕落。小说以盖茨比的邻居尼克·卡拉威 (Nick Carraway) 的视角进行讲述。

由巴兹·鲁曼 (Baz Luhrmann) 执导的电影对《盖茨比》进行了新的改编。以拍摄超现实主义浪漫电影著称的鲁曼在对原著的改编过程中融入了大量创作元素。在本节以电影为话题的英语课上,看看格里塔和莉莉对鲁曼的这部电影做何感想。


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Greta:  Lily, have you seen the new Great Gatsby movie?

Lily:  Yeah! It was really fun.

Greta:  Really?

Lily:  Yeah. Lots of different papers and blogs and stuff like that have given it weird reviews because it’s an adaptation, it’s not super 100% faithful to the book.

Greta:  I have a little sign in my office that says “The book was better.” Just in general. And I tend to believe that books are generally better than the movies that are made based on those books.

Lily:  But I think the director, Baz Luhrmann, did a really fun thing with it and made it really live both in the Roaring 20s and now. It was really fun, I liked it a lot.

Greta:  I will say that the commercials for it, the previews… it just looks like eye candy. It’s so beautiful and bright and overwhelming in terms of its visual appeal. So I could see enjoying it if I were able to let go of the fact that it sounds like Baz Luhrmann has taken a lot of liberties with the actual story. And the thing about The Great Gatsby is that it’s a wonderful story.

Lily:  That’s very true. It’s a classic American tale, you know.

Greta:  Alright. Well, maybe we should see it together.

Lily:  Yeah, let’s do it!


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Lily has seen the new movie adaptation of The Great Gatsby, and she really liked it. She realizes that it has not gotten great reviews, but she thinks that’s because Baz Luhrmann took some liberties with his adaptation. She thinks, though, that he did a great job making a movie about the 1920s that is still relevant today.

Greta usually prefers books to the movies that are based on them. Still, she thinks that the new Gatsby movie looks beautiful. She thinks that maybe if she can let go of wishing the movie were just like the book, she could enjoy it.

Both Lily and Greta agree that The Great Gatsby, in movie or book form, is a classic American story. Not even a creative adaptation can change that.

Have you read or seen The Great Gatsby? Do you usually prefer a book or a movie version of something? What are the classic books from your country?



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i greatly enjoyed watching Great Gatsby. The movie did’n step away from the book. I’d give the director an Oscar. When read a book, you feel with the main characters, the scenes unfold in your mind, you just step into a new reality and when that wonderful feeling enhances by the movie it’s a real treat.
Unfortunately I couldn’t feel the same watching adaption Theatre by Somerset Maugham. It wasn’t good at all. It was a complete mess.

02:35 PM Mar 20 2016 |



Syrian Arab Republic

i havnt seen it

and i love the movie version

08:19 PM Jun 28 2013 |




I’m going to watch The Great Gatsby, cuz I like some films with Leonardo DiCaprio and the climate of the 20s. And some classic books from Poland, so Sienkiewicz, Mickiewicz, Słowacki – everybody in Poland knows their books. I often prefer reading a book before watching a movie.

05:00 PM Jun 25 2013 |


United States

Would you send yourself to space ? 


01:56 PM Jun 25 2013 |




the truth I haven’t read about the great gatsby. so, I don’t know well about that story, I just know that after read this lesson.

I prefer a movie version of something.

06:01 PM Jun 24 2013 |




Reading The Great Getsby is  something  amazing.  The language and the style of the writer captured you till the end of the story. On the surface the novel is  romantic but it goes further than romantic scope. The Great Gatsby shows   the decadence of social and moral values of that period and the pursuit for  false happiness. 

I agree with Greta I also like the movie which is  a piece of eye candy and the director has taken a lot of liberties with the text plus  I like Leonadro Dicapreo. I will tell a secret usually Im not so patient to read long novels and prefer watching movies.     

03:22 PM Jun 24 2013 |

1 person likes this



I read the book, for my studies, that’s why I didn’t really like it. You know when your read something a thousand times and you consider doing it an obligation you won’t enjoy it. I never liked the books we take in college, because I don’t have a choice, I’m like..forced to read them, and you never enjoy doing what you’re forced to do. 

I Always prefer the book, no matter how great the movie was; for two reasons, the first is that I enjoy reading books more than watching movies and the second is that the book is the original version of the story, and in the movie they might change and cut some scenes which could be frustrating! So books FTW! :D

03:13 PM Jun 24 2013 |


vanessa307Super Member!

Viet Nam

I’ve read this book in English but have not finished it yet . The book was not really as good as the movie . i’ve seen the trailer of the Great Gatsby. it was good and visual eye candy.

09:29 AM Jun 24 2013 |

1 person likes this




The great Gatsby is a wonderful book! And when I saw the movie i really enjoyed. Buz Luhrmann depicted a great vision of it and showed the main idea. I can’t surely say what I prefer most. Because it always depends on a particular book and on particular movie. But here I like both of them. The book is full of facts and Fitzgerald’s language has to be enjoyed! And the movie is totally great! It is colourful story about the roaring 20s, East Egg and West Egg, about wealthy but spiritless people and american dream in the name of great love but in short. 

Some of the greatest classic books in our country are “War and Peace”, “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy, “Crime and Punishment” by Dostoevskiy 

08:03 AM Jun 24 2013 |

2 people like this




I have’t read and seen The Great Gatsby.I like seen the movie which is based on the book,because the movie can give me  vision shockcing and visual pictures,but the book can give us imagine and more vivid than the movie though I don’t like the book very much.

06:49 AM Jun 24 2013 |

1 person likes this




I haven’t read and seen  The Great Gatsby. I usually prefer a book version of something. In my country the best classic  books are ” Damned souls”, “Tobacco”, “Mr. Ganyo”, “Gerats” and  ”  The iron candlestick” .

06:13 AM Jun 24 2013 |

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