Characters and relationships


  • Desperate to please Baba
  • Selfish
  • Jealous of Hassan
  • Loves to write
  • Wealthy


  • Loyal
  • Obedient
  • Illiterate
  • Poor


  • Nasty
  • Bully
  • Violent
  • German mother (Nazi-like)
  • Blonde
  • Blue-eyed

On the surface, how does the relationship between Hassan and Amir appear?

They don’t have a true friendship because Amir thinks of himself being higher then Hassan and he looks down on him. In this society, they couldn’t be seen together because Hassan is in a lower class than Amir and is a servant. Hassan is a loyal friend to Amir and will do anything to put their friendship first meanwhile AMir is appreciative of their friendship but is only focussed on getting a higher status in their house by impressing Baba. Amir is also jealous of Hassan because he is athletic and Baba looks at him with pride in his eyes.

The relationship between Baba and Ali parallels that of Amir and Hassan. When you dig down, how is this relationship not a friendship? What is it in reality?  “But in none of his stories did Baba ever refer to Ali and his friend.” What are underlying social factors at play in this relationship?

It is not a friendship because only Hassan respects and values their friendship, which makes it more a relationship since Hassan is Amir’s servant and is supposed to have this kind of respect for Amir as he is higher class. Even if they wanted to be friends it could never work in that type of society because they couldn’t be seen together otherwise it would reflect badly on Baba and AMir’s family whereas Amir’s goal is completely different and is to impress his father. The quote also suggests that Amir is like his father when it comes to friends, he is trying to get a name for himself and move up in the rankings by dragging his friends down and using them. Amir and Baba are similar because Amir doesn’t mention Hassan since it’s like an embarrassment for AMir being friends with a lower class person. When both boys were younger they were separated by social classes but were still raised together in the same house, years later Amir uses his superior social classing and education as well as being Baba’s son to mistreat and abuse Hassan.

What does this say about our society?

It shows the flaws in the classing system, two little boys grow up together and have to be best friends their whole life but as soon as one of them finds out he’s powerful, he uses it to his advantage and becomes a coward. It also shows that there are very lovely people out there like Hassan who will stand up for someone they value no matter what they look like or who they are. I think that people should have seen this as an example of what happens to young kids when being exposed to this harsh and unaccepting environment. If they had no classes Amir and Hassan could have truly been best friends and both had a great life ahead of them rather then one of them being eaten away with guilt and shame all because he couldn’t stand up for his ‘friend’ because it would ruin his own reputation. It shows that we need to stop valuing rankings, classes, power and start appreciating people and the relationships around us.

Describe three important relationships and what they revealed about illusion


Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby:



The relationship at the very heart of The Great Gatsby novel is Gatsby and Daisy long-lost connection, or more specifically, Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy. A love that drives the novel’s plot and Gatsby’s adult life. Five years before the start of the novel, Jay Gatsby (who had learned from Dan Cody how to act like one of the wealthy) was stationed in Louisville before going to fight in World War 1. In Louisville, he met Daisy Fay, a beautiful young heiress, who took him for someone of her social class. Gatsby maintained the lie, which allowed their relationship to progress. Gatsby fell in love with Daisy and soon enough they kissed: “Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.” From this point onwards: “He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.” But this summer love didn’t las for long since Gatsby had to leave for the war and by the time he returned to the US in 1919, Daisy had married Tom Buchanan.Daisy and Gatsby’s relationship represents illusion because Gatsby has tried to relive the past and be in love with Daisy again. Where as it can’t be reality anymore because Gatsby isn’t wealthy, he has this ‘American Dream’ that can’t be reached. Their relationship is also an illusion because Daisy is married to Tom, and they have a baby girl together: Pammy. This relationship is fake because Daisy’s emotions are no longer real. She says things such as she loves Gatsby because she feels pressured to. For Gatsby and Daisy to runaway together like they want to, Gatsby want Daisy to admit that the past five years never happened and that she never loved Tom. Daisy doesn’t tell Gatsby what he wants to hear because she can’t. Because she did love Tom and one stage, and Gatsby too. Their relationship reveals illusion because Gatsby’s persona is fake, it is false. His whole life is made up of lies and materialistic things to make him look wealthy when really he is the same boy he used to be when he was with his family. He can’t relive the past or change it. Which is what he is trying to do. 

Myrtle and George Wilson: 

Myrtle Wilson is very materialistic. She is unsatisfied with her husband’s small repair shop and doesn’t like her life as the wife of a mechanic.She is desperate to improve her life so when she gets the opportunity to climb up the social ladder through Tom, she takes the opportunity. George Wilson on the other hand is a more meek man. He seems to be content with his life…that is until he discovers that his wife is cheating on him. Myrtle and George seem to have a loveless marriage, this is because Myrtle thinks that she is too good for George and isn’t happy with his social class, therefore she doesn’t love him. An earthy, vital, and voluptuous woman, Myrtle is desperate to improve her life.  She has had a long-term affair with Tom Buchanan, and is very jealous of his wife, Daisy. George is coated by the dust of despair and thus seems mired in the hopelessness and depression of that empty place, while Myrtle is alluring and full of liveliness. Her first action is to order her husband to get chairs, and the second is to move away from him, closer to Tom.When we first get introduced to George and Myrtle their relationship seems fractured, with vastly different personalities and motivations. We get the sense right away that their marriage is in trouble, and conflict between the two is about to happen. One night the couple have a fight and as a yellow car is approaching their home Myrtle  runs  out on the road shouting for help thinking that it is Tom. In a short span of time Myrtle gets hit and is instantly killed. Nick: “Was Daisy driving?”  Gatsby: ‘“Yes, but of course I’ll say I was.” Myrtle ran in front of Gatsby’s car, believing that Tom was driving, and was killed by Daisy, Tom’s wife. I find this extremely ironic. After her death, the size of his grief drives Wilson to murder Jay Gatsby before committing suicide himself.

Tom and Daisy Buchanan: 

Throughout the novel, it is  clear that Tom and Daisy have an unstable relationship.Both Tom and Daisy come from wealthy backgrounds and the upper level of society. Tom likes the idea of a beautiful and social wife; whilst Daisy enjoys having a wealthy and well-connected husband.Daisy is a hospitable character who is forever in love with having a rich and lavish lifestyle.Though big, strong, and arrogant, Tom still shows that he cares a bit for Daisy.Their relationship is toxic and unhealthy, yet they seem to have no intention of working to make it better. “Why they came east I don’t know. They had spent a year in France, for no particular reason, and then drifted here…wherever people played polo and were rich together.” Nick introduces Tom and Daisy as restless, rich, and as a singular unit. Despite all the revelations about the affairs and other events throughout the  novel. Our first and last descriptions of Tom and Daisy describes them as a close, if bored, couple. Tom and Daisy create this illusion of loving other people and not loving each other. Whereas they are actually really good for each other. This is because Daisy doesn’t know how to love someone , she only knows how to love money and social status. Daisy’s whole life is based on materialism and wealth. By the end of the novel, after Daisy’s murder of Myrtle as well as Gatsby’s death, she and Tom are firmly back together, “conspiring” and “careless” once again, despite the deaths of their lovers.As Nick notes, they “weren’t happy…and yet they weren’t unhappy either.” Their marriage is important to both, since it reassures their status as old money aristocracy and brings stability to their lives.”They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” This quote that is told by Nick, sums up Tom and Daisy’s relationship perfectly.


Explain what each character helped you to understand about illusion in the novel

Throughout the novel the idea of illusion is shown through the three main characters: Daisy, Gatsby and Nick.  Daisy is associated with the idea of  illusion through the colour white. White is a pure shade ( not colour ) that represents innocence, peace purity and class. “Their house was even more elaborate than I expected, a cheerful red−and−white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay.” This quote is great because it describes not only Daisy’s house but the quote incorporates the colour white. Dais represents the colour white because she likes to think of her self as pure, innocent, wealthy and real. Whereas she is the absolute opposite. Daisy isn’t pure, there are many more people just like her for example Jordan. She is also not innocent because she isn’t a fool, she sees how the world is but refuses to believe so that is why she says:”I’m glad it’s a girl.And I hope she’ll be a fool-that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” Another reasons why Daisy portrays the idea of white is because white also means that she is see through, fake, bland and has no real love or connections. Just like Gatsby, Daisy doesn’t have any true friends or love. Everything she owns and does is based on materialism, it is all based around being rich and keeping up withe the social class and constantly being the best. Overall Daisy helped me understand that everything she does is also to build onto the illusion of her being the best, pure and innocent. She made me realise that there is more to someone that what there seems to be and that colours can often represent more than to what we think. Gatsby shows illusion through out the whole book although the reader doesn’t actually realise till he puts the first crack in his story. Gatsby is a living, breathing, walking, illusion. His while life is based around Daisy and the fact that one day they will both be happy and together. In reality they will never be together, this is because Gatsby isn’t rich, he isn’t actually ‘gold’ he doesn’t have any true relationships ( apart from Nick who is his only true friend). Everything that Gatsby does is rehearsed, his story is so well rehearsed that he gets it exact every time, there are no holes in his plot. But that is until he meets Nick and reunites with Daisy again. Gatsby has all of these materialistic things such as the library. “See!” he cried triumphantly. “It’s a bona-fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me. This fella’s a regular Belasco. It’s a triumph. What thoroughness! What realism! Knew when to stop, too – didn’t cut the pages. But what do you want? What do you expect?” This quote mean so much more than what it seems. Firstly this is because the reference to Belasco describes Gatsby’s life. David Belasco was a man that set up scenes with props, he was a playwrighter and theatrical producer. This relates to Gatsby because he has being setting up his life ( arranging the props) to make everyone believe that he is a wealthy well known, loved man that comes from ‘old money’. Whereas the truth is he is nothing like that. The second part of the quote where Owl-eyes talks about the books being uncut describes Gatsby himself and of course his ‘fake’ life. Back in those days people used to get their books uncut and would have to cut the books themselves before reading, meaning that if the book is uncut it has not yet being read. Gatsby’s uncut books represent that a lot of what he presents to the world is a facade. He wants people to believe that he is a well-educated man, an Oxford man, but in fact he only spent a short time there after the war. He wants people to think that he is well-read, but he is never even cracked the covers. He has built up this  image of himself that is not  consistent with the facts of his life. But the unopened, unread books represent Gatsby himself: mysterious, undeveloped, closed up and unopened. The third and final main character Nick shows the reader illusion through out the whole book. At the start of the book Nick shares with the reader some advice that his father gave to him in his “younger more vulnerable years”. Nick’s father told him this:“Whenever you feel like criticising any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” This quote is almost stating that we should trust Nick’s judgment. Whilst he comes of as thoughtful and caring we also get a senses of he is judgmental and odd. This advice that nick’s father gives him almost seems like it is a ‘dig’ at him, because it makes him sound like he is always  judging people’s behaviours and action without considering their circumstances or context. This tells us that one of his main weaknesses is judging people, and considering that the book is told through his eyes this is a believable statement. Just like all the other characters, Nick also potrays his desired image and shows people that he is actually judgemental. Gatsby shows us hie life is actually like a well planned scene with props. Whilst Daisy shows the readers that she is actually bland and bases he life around materialism and wealth.

Describe three key characters and how they change in the novel. 

Daisy Buchanan:

Towards the start of the novel we meet Daisy when she is sitting on the couch dressed all in white with Jordan. Daisy is then associated with the colour white through out the book (white car, white dress, and white flowers etc.) At the start she is also represented as an angel, that is pure, and innocent. Fitzgerald also makes her seem perfect among everyone else’s lies and cheating.Gatsby’s obsession with her seems reachable after all the lengths he’s gone to. At this stage, Daisy is seen like a worthy prize to Gatsby. As the story goes on we start to see more of Daisy’s true colours and that her life is based around materialism.Daisy changes because towards the end the purity of her being white is gone. We start to see her become more of a silver colour because she isn’t as pure and innocent as she seems. Her personality becomes scruffy because she is no longer the angel that she made out to be. We finally get to see that her whole life is materialistic. This is because she has not true friends, she doesn’t know what happiness feels like, She doesn’t have close family nor does she know how to love someone or what it feels like to be loved.I think that white represents her the best because white is not actually a colour and she is blank. Just like white. She has no ‘heart’ and no feelings or love but she does have a realisation and advice for her daughter :”I’m glad it’s a girl.And I hope she’ll be a fool-that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” She want she daughter to be a fool so she doesn’t realise what the world actually is. She says this because she has experienced it and Daisy knows that this is no world for a woman. She wants her daughter to survive through beauty and not brains. When Daisy kills Myrtle all of her white pureness that surrounds her vanishes and she is no longer seen as innocent. 

Jay Gatsby:

Gatsby is a wealthy man who lives in a mansion in the West Egg who is well-known for hosting giant parties hoping that Daisy the love of his life would one day wonder in. When we first meet Mr Gatsby he is a gracious, mysterious, dreamer. As the story goes on Gatsby’s mysteriousness unfolds and we find out that he has being chasing the most unrealistic dream his whole adult life. We find out that Gatsby has been chasing the dream of marrying Daisy Buchanan the wife of Tom. Gatsby’s success story of how he went from poor to rich, makes Gatsby an embodiment of the American Dream. He was born into a poor farming family which had little to nothing but as Gatsby grew up he decided to leave home with the dream to fulfil the ‘American Dream’. Once Gatsby left home he ended up having even less than what his family had but that is until he met a sailor… Dan Cody. Dan Cody taught Jay Gatsby how to pursue dreams and turn them into goals. Through this period Jimmy Gatz evolved into Jay Gatsby, to be later recognised as ‘The Great Gatsby’. Life started to become unknown to Gatsby and very different although he was missing true friends and money. “He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her.” This quote describes when Gatsby and Daisy first meet and how he was drawn to her and felt the need to make himself worthy enough for Daisy. From this moment onwards Gatsby went on to  make money to get his dream girl… Daisy. Although Gatsby fell in love with Daisy that summer and he went on to treasure those moment with her for ever, Daisy did not feel the same way. We can tell this because whilst Gatsby was out making him self a worthy man for Daisy, she went on to marry a wealthy man Tom. From then on everything Gatsby did was for the singular purpose of winning Daisy over and falling in love with her again. At that time money was the issue since Daisy came from ‘old money’ and inherited her wealth whereas Gatsby came from a poor family and wasn’t good enough for Daisy. Gatsby wants people to believe that he inherited his money, although he made his wealth through a well organised crime. Gatsby’s well-known phrase ‘Old Sport’ is actually used to build the illusion that he is from old money.He uses this phrase ‘Old Sport’ because it was used among wealthy people in England and America at the time.He profited greatly from selling liquor illegally. By being so focused on pursuing his dream goal Gatsby became more and more drawn into a fantasy world of what how ‘great’ he thinks his life is. Gatsby is an idealistic character because he tries to distance himself from his young poor life, yet he lives his adult life trying to recapture the past he had with Daisy.”Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!”This quote proves that Gatsby still very much believes that he can still rebuild the past he had with Daisy.          

Nick Caraway:

We first meet Nick at the start of the novel before he got dragged into the wealthy chaotic world of New York. Nick is the narrator of the book therefore this book is written from Nick’s perspective. Although at the start of the novel Nick is more of a background character he soon becomes vital to the story and one of the main characters. He comes from the upper Midwest (Minnesota or Wisconsin) and has supposedly been raised on stereotypical Midwestern values such as hard work, perseverance, justice, and so on. One of the first things Nick tells the readers is some advice that his father gave him when he was young: “Whenever you feel like criticising any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”. This quote is almost stating that we should trust Nick’s judgment. Whilst he comes of as thoughtful and caring we also get a senses of he is judgmental and odd. This advice that nick’s father gives him almost seems like it is a ‘dig’ at him, because it makes him sound like he is always  judging people’s behaviours and action without considering their circumstances or context. This tells us that one of his main weaknesses is judging people, and considering that the book is told through his eyes this is a believable statement.  Nick’s moral sense makes him stand out from the other characters and show that he is not like them. From the first time he meets Daisy, Tom, and Jordan (in Chapter 1), he clearly isn’t like them. He is represented more of a  practical and down-to-earth than person u like the other characters. This is also shown in Chapter 2 when Nick doesn’t know how to respond when he is  introduced into Tom and Myrtle’s secret love. We also notice that he doesn’t feel the need to tell anyone about his adventures or story unlike Gatsby who is constantly trying to convince people he is ‘wealthy’. Once again in Chapter 3 Nick is different form everyone else because unlike the other, Nick was waiting for an invite to attend one of Gatsby’s grand parties. Once Nick walked into the party he was only focused on one thing at that was to find the host; Gatsby. Once he finally Met Gatsby he described him as:” He smiled understandingly — much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life.”