We can relate The Great Gatsby to illusion because teenagers want to fit in and not be the odd one out and always keep up with the trends to not look weird. This is sort of like Gatsby because he changes himself to suit what Daisy wants and likes which tends to happen a lot in our society today. Teens particularly girls spend a lot of time and money making themselves look beautiful like models. Many girls want to be skinny, tan, pretty and tall which unfortunately according to the media is the “ideal” image. Narrator Nick Caraway becomes friends with numerous people throughout the book, including Gatsby, Daisy and Tom’s friends. Although Nick is exposed to their darkest secrets, he never develops more than a superficial connection with anyone except Gatsby, and Nick is ultimately disgusted by the others’ selfishness. Today, social media creates similar superficial connections, redefining the word “friend” as a process of adding someone to a network rather than an intimate relationship. Just as Nick observes the personal lives of Tom and Daisy’s companions, a social media user might observe a ‘friends’ status updates and activity but never know them on a deeper level.
Explain what you think Fitzgerald is trying to say about society by presenting the idea of illusion so thoroughly throughout the text.
Fitzgerald is trying to say that there is a social divide and lower class people have a this dream of being like the upper class people, this is shown through the idea of illusion .In the novel there are three areas which represent three different social classes: East Egg represent the ‘old money’. These people inherited their money from generation before and are considered the top of the social classes. These people such as Daisy and tom are represented through the colour white to show that they have no true connections, it is all made up of materialism and the colour gold because they have the money and are actually living rich, luxurious lives.then we have the West Egg, this side of the bay is where all the ‘new money’ people live. These people were born into middle to lower class families and wanted to achieve the ‘American Dream’ so they worked hard and eventually built their lives to be ‘rich’. At least to look like they are rich. This side of town is mainly shown through Gatsby and how everything he has is ‘fake’ and for show. West Egg is represented by the colours Yellow and Green. Finally there is the Valley Of Ashes, this is where all the lower class people live. This side of town is mainly represented by Myrtle and her husband George Wilson. These hard working people are almost like the West Eggers because eat one point in their lives they would have all being the same social class. People such as Myrtle and George have hope but very little of it, therefore they are given the symbol of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg’s eyes. This pair of eyes is a massive billboard which is located in this setting. These eyes also represent the ‘American Dream’ and corruption.
Most importantly these eyes represent god because it is almost if “they are always watching”.Throughout the novel we see dreams and fantasies that the character make it seem possible, including Gatsby being able to relive the past. There’s also Nick’s dream of the old America: the place to which you go home for the holidays, “my Middle West . . . where dwellings are still called through decades by a family’s name.” There’s the vague dream of art represented, by the photographer Mr. McKee, by Gatsby’s shirts, and through jazz. And on the margins are the dreams of intellectual life, business success, and family happiness. Gatsby is magnetic in part because he accepts everyone, no matter what it is they idealise: with a smile, Nick says, Gatsby “understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that he had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.” Only later do we realize that Gatsby is so open-minded because he is the ultimate dreamer and pretender. As much as we want to believe that anyone can be who they want and that everybody can be accepted into society, in the set time period of 1920’s many people were judgmental and unaccepting. This idea of judging everybody is shown through the character Nick Caraway. At the start of the novel Nick convinces the reader that he is trusting and non judgemental, but he soon portrays his image of being this non judgmental person.