20 April 2014
Illusion vs Reality
What distinguishes a dream from reality? Many combine the two, often creating confusing and disappointing results. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald emphasizes the impact that reality has on an individual by examining the life of Jay Gatsby. This twentieth-century piece of literature holistically portrays the Jazz Age and accurately captures life in the 1920s. This decade was a time in which many individuals strove towards fulfilling the American Dream. The extravagant and lavish lifestyle which many people lived depicted their romantic desire for wealth. This constant greed and artificial attitude consequentially produced fantastic misconceptions of reality. Jay Gatsby’s life parallels the lives of those who lived during the 1920s because similarly to Gatsby, they too had no astonishing beginnings and created deceptions that were the only route to the American dream. The significance of understanding the difference between what is fantasy and what is reality is crucial, as Gatsby is the epitome of the result of dreams dictating a person’s actions. Fitzgerald suggests that fantasy never matches reality and successfully proves this by comparing the fantasy that Gatsby creates to reality.
Daisy Buchanan, in reality, is unable to live up the illusory Daisy that Gatsby has invented in his fantasy. After Daisy and Tom Buchanan leave another one of Gatsby’s splendid parties, Fitzgerald gives the reader a glimpse into what Gatsby’s expectations are. Fitzgerald claims that “he wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: ‘I never loved you.’” (109). Here it is revealed that Gatsby’s one main desire is for Daisy to go willingly...
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...is shows Daisy’s intention the whole time as she was never going to leave the life she knew for Gatsby. Daisy was never going to pick Gatsby over Tom although that is what Gatsby expected. In actuality, the outcomes were detrimental to Gatsby unlike the jovial outcomes in Gatsby’s fantasy.
Fitzgerald suggests that fantasy never matches reality by looking at the consequences of Gatsby’s confusing dreams and reality. Gatsby creates a high illusionary Daisy, therefore, these expectations of Daisy cannot be met. This can also be seen by noticing how as Gatsby approaches the end of this journey of acquiring Daisy, the journey becomes pointless, and the outcomes in his fantasy differ from those in reality. Countless individuals today make this same mistake of confusing dreams and reality, and looking to Jay Gatsby as an example, this mistake may harm them in the future.
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Illusion Vs. Reality in The Great Gatsby "A confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished," is how Goethe states not to mistake fantasy for reality. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, many of the characters live in an illusory world, though few can see reality. Fitzgerald presents Jay Gatsby as a character who cannot see reality. Can't repeat the past?
In the novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald gives the reader a glimpse into the life of the high class during the 1920’s through the eyes of a man named Nick Carraway. Through the narrator's dealings with high society, Fitzgerald demonstrates how modern values have transformed the American dream's ideas into a scheme for materialistic power and he reveals how the world of high society lacks any sense of morals or consequence. In order to support his message, Fitzgerald presents the original aspects of the American dream along with its modern face to show that the wanted dream is now lost forever to the American people. Jay Gatsby had a dream and did everything he could to achieve it however in the end he failed to. This reveals that the American dream is not always a reality that can be obtained. Fitzgerald demonstrates how a dream can become corrupted by one’s focus on acquiring wealth and power through imagery, symbolism, and characterization.
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925), the upper class and Daisy were portrayed as being “a fast crowd, all of them young and rich and wild, but [Daisy] came out with a perfect reputation” (77). Despite this attribution, the upper class is characterized as living in an artificial, ignorant world of illusions and a distorted reality, with an appearance that contrasts their hollow interior. Fitzgerald emphasizes through their false appearances and feigned identities the true corruption of New York’s high society. Although those in Nick Carraway’s world were portrayed on the outside as young, rich, wild, and beautiful, on the inside, they were all just “hollow” and empty–always demonstrating the image of a perfect life yet damaged on the inside.
Through the use of symbolism and critique, F. Scott Fitzgerald is able to elucidate the lifestyles and dreams of variously natured people of the 1920s in his novel, The Great Gatsby. He uses specific characters to signify diverse groups of people, each with their own version of the “American Dream.” Mostly all of the poor dream of transforming from “rags to riches”, while some members of the upper class use other people as their motivators. In any case, no matter how obsessed someone may be about their “American Dream”, Fitzgerald reasons that they are all implausible to attain.
He never wanted to give up on her, so he tried to recreate their past in hopes of rekindling a love they once had. “Gatsby's gospel of hedonism is reflected in his house, wild parties, clothing, roadster, and particularly in his blatant wooing of another man's wife. Daisy, a rather soiled and cheapened figure, is Gatsby's ultimate goal in his concept of the American dream. However, he falls victim to his own preaching. He comes to believe himself omniscient-above the restrictions of society and morality. His presumption extends to a belief that he can even transcend the natural boundaries placed upon human beings. He will win back Daisy by recapturing the past” (Pearson). Gatsby lies about his lifestyle including the parties, clothing, and almost all of the other aspects he reveals about himself, to impress his teenage love, Daisy, who also happens to be Tom’s wife. He believes he can win Daisy back from her husband by throwing lavish parties, and putting on a deceitful lifestyle in an attempt to lead her in believing he qualified to be one of the elite. “The book's chief characters are blind, and they behave blindly. Gatsby does not see Daisy's vicious emptiness, and Daisy, deluded, thinks she will reward her gold-hatted lover until he tries to force from her an affirmation she is too weak to make. Tom is blind to his hypocrisy; with "a short deft movement" he breaks Myrtle's nose for daring to mention the
Wanting to be with her true love again, she sneaks visits with him without Tom knowing. Just like Myrtle had, Daisy torn into her own marriage. She loved both men, but as soon as it was found out, the men began fighting for her. “I glanced at Daisy who was staring terrified between Gatsby and her husband…” (Fitzgerald 143). This isn’t what Daisy wanted at all. At some point Daisy loved Tom, and it’s very likely that she still does, regardless of all of his cheating. Living a life of riches for so long has affected her with affluenza, blinding her morals as it did to Tom. When someone already has everything they could ever ask for, they’re still going to want more. Something to work for, or else life becomes boring as Daisy points out many times in the novel. When both men she loves are threatening each other and fighting for her fondness she’s realized what she’s done wrong. She’s fallen into the same trap as Myrtle, being stuck between two men, but she still has feelings for Tom.“I saw them in Santa Barbara when they came back and I thought I’d never seen a girl so mad about her husband. If he left the room for a minute she’d look around uneasily and say ‘Where’s Tom gone?’” (Fitzgerald 83). Gatsby tries to convince Daisy that she loves him and only him, yet Daisy actually loves them both. After Daisy was married she could think about anything except Tom, while Gatsby has spent the five
At the mention of Gatsby’s name, Daisy becomes immediately interested. She demands to know who he is, but the conversation takes a different turn (Fitzgerald 11). Daisy and Gatsby reunite and began an affair that Gatsby has always dreamed of. Gatsby tells Daisy that she must leave Tom and she begins to panic. Daisy realizes Gatsby will control her just like Tom does. She becomes scared and no longer wants to be with him. She chooses Tom because, despite his indiscretions and temper, he is able to give Daisy financial security. According to "The Great Gatsby A Misogynistic Tale English Literature Essay," Daisy is ultimately bringing the downfall of Gatsby because of her selfishness and need for security. Gatsby will control her as much as Tom and not be able to give her enough financial security because he does not make his money legally and could lose his money more easily than Tom. Daisy does come from wealth, but she does not have the experience in finances to invest or manage her money, a man has always done that for her. Daisy believes that financial security is more important than love because she is scared of life without it. She has lived her whole life without love, but not without
Gatsby is unable to understand the flaw in his plan, for in his mind Daisy “is frozen in time forever”and will always be as perfect and pure as when he first saw and fell in love with her (Miller 126). Gatsby realizes for the first time that his Dream cannot be a reality when it begins to crumble before him as a result of Daisy’s refusal to revert to the woman she had been when she was with him. When called into question, she finds herself unable to deny her marriage, the evidence of her past saying, “I can’t help what’s past … I can’t say I’ve never loved Tom” (Fitzgerald 140). Her life with Tom has become a part of her, and she can’t bring herself to ever cast that away. This revelation crushes Gatsby, leaving him feeling lost since all this time he had been “clutching at some last hope”, working for the Daisy she had been during their time together (155). Whenever he speaks of his goals, he says in a matter-of-fact manner, “Can’t repeat the past?... Why of course you can!” (116). Gatsby now sees that Daisy is not willing to change, and revert her life to fit into his Dream, instead “she [vanishes] into her rich house, into her rich, full life, leaving Gatsby--nothing” (157). Gatsby’s Dream has been taken from him by Daisy’s refusal and with his Dream gone, the phrase “you can 't live
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is a tragic tale of love distorted by obsession. Finding himself in the city of New York, Jay Gatsby is a loyal and devoted man who is willing to cross oceans and build mansions for his one true love. His belief in realistic ideals and his perseverance greatly influence all the decisions he makes and ultimately direct the course of his life. Gatsby has made a total commitment to a dream, and he does not realize that his dream is hollow. Although his intentions are true, he sometimes has a crude way of getting his point across. When he makes his ideals heard, his actions are wasted on a thoughtless and shallow society. Jay Gatsby effectively embodies a romantic idealism that is sustained and destroyed by the intensity of his own dream. It is also Gatsby’s ideals that blind him to reality.
When he first meets Daisy, Gatsby becomes infatuated with his idea of her, or rather, the false persona that she creates of herself. In fact, Gatsby reveals that “she was the first ‘nice’ girl he had ever known” (155). Gatsby was so impressed with Daisy mainly because of her wealth and her status; it is what he wants. However, Daisy chooses Tom Buchanan over Gatsby, solely because of his social status. As a result, Gatsby revolves his whole life around her: he becomes wealthy, creates a new image of himself, and buys a house across the bay from Daisy. For instance, he fabricates lies about how “ [he is] the son of some wealthy people in the middle-west” (69) and how “ [he] was brought up in America but educated at Oxford” (69) in order to impress her. These lies end up altering others’ perspectives of him - not necessarily in a positive way - and impacting his life as a whole. Daisy unwittingly transforms Gatsby into a picture-perfect image of the 1920s: lavish parties, showy cars, and a false illusion of the attainment of the American Dream. Despite Gatsby’s newfound wealth and success, he never fully accomplishes his dream: to get Daisy. Gatsby’s final act for the sake of Daisy has no impact on her feelings towards him. When Gatsby claims that he crashed into Myrtle and killed her, Daisy carelessly lets him do so, which ultimately results in his death. To make
The American Dream, a long standing ideal embodies the hope that one can achieve financial success, political power, and everlasting love through dedication and hard work. During the Roaring 20s, people in America put up facades to mask who they truly were. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald conveys that the American Dream is simply an illusion, that is idealist and unreal. In the novel, Gatsby, a wealthy socialite pursues his dream, Daisy. In the process of pursuing Daisy, Gatsby betrays his morals and destroys himself. Through the eyes of the narrator, Nick, one sees the extent of the corruption Gatsby is willing to undertake in order to achieve his dream. Although Fitzgerald applauds the American Dream he warns against the dangers of living in a world full of illusions and deceit; a trait common during the Roaring 20s. The language and plot devices Fitzgerald uses convey that lies and facades, which were common during the Guided Age, destroys one’s own character and morals. Through Fitzgerald use of symbolism, expectations, and relationships, he explores the American dream, and how it is an illusion that corrupts and destroys lives.
Themes of hope, success, and wealth overpower The Great Gatsby, leaving the reader with a new way to look at the roaring twenties, showing that not everything was good in this era. F. Scott Fitzgerald creates the characters in this book to live and recreate past memories and relationships. This was evident with Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship, Tom and Daisy’s struggling marriage, and Gatsby expecting so much of Daisy and wanting her to be the person she once was. The theme of this novel is to acknowledge the past, but do not recreate and live in the past because then you will not be living in the present, taking advantage of new opportunities.
Gatsby’s obsession of his love for Daisy and wealth prove his dream as unattainable. Throughout the novel, he consumes himself into lies to cheat his way into people’s minds convincing them he is this wealthy and prosperous man. Gatsby tries to win Daisy’s love through his illusion of success and relive the past, but fails to comprehend his mind as too hopeful for something impossible. In the end, Nick is the only one to truly understand Gatsby’s hopeful aspirations he set out for himself but ultimately could not obtain. In the novel, F. Scott Fitzgerald is able to parallel many themes of the roaring twenties to current society. The ideas of high expectations and obsession of the material world are noticeable throughout the history and is evident in many lives of people today.
Illusion vs. reality was the most major and important theme in the novel. Illusion is the basis of this novel and every character and story revolves around it. Gatsby, parties, daisy, tom, and relationships are all examples that were expressed throughout the novel. These themes were important because it showed all the fantasies these people lived in. wealth can make you blind to your surroundings and all in all, love can make you go