Relating allusion with ‘illusion’

Fitzgerald uses many allusions throughout the novel. Select one of these allusions and explain the connection between it and the book. Bonus: how can you link it to our theme of “illusion”.

The Owl-Eyed man alludes to Gatsby being like David Belasco. David Belasco was an actor, play writer and producer. On most of his sets he used props to make the scene look realistic. This is similar to Gatsby because he puts so much furniture and decorations into his mansion for his great parties. Hoping that one day Daisy will wonder in. He rehearses lines and phrases such as ‘old sport’ to create an illusion of himself being a wealthy man from ‘old money’. This reference to Belasco is said by Owl-Eyes in chapter 7 when Nick attends one of Gatsby’s parties and meets the Owl-Eyed man. After he recognises that the books are real he goes son to say: “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?”  Through this quote we get an insight to what people in the 1920’s were like, they would go buy books to fill up the shelves but wouldn’t go to great lengths to cut the books. This encounter with the Owl-Eyed man is another piece which breaks off Gatsby’s illusion.

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