- Describe three key characters and how they change in the novel.
Gatsby: Jay Gatz is a wealthy young man that grew up on a little farm and was the son of a very poor father. Gatsby has a wild and creative imagination and ever since he was a little boy he dreamt of creating something more from his life, he wanted to be successful. Gatsby is the main character in the novel, and he is portrayed as a wealthy businessman that has everything a man could ever want in this world. Except for that Gatsby is lonely, although on the outside it looks as though Gatsby is this cool gentleman who lives in a mansion in West Egg. Behind his extravagant parties, Gatsby really has nobody. Gatsby is chasing the “American dream,” the dream of being with Daisy Buchanan. However, the life that Gatsby has created for himself to follow and pursue this dream is a made up reality and an illusion. By the end of the film Gatsby finally truly realizes that the reality of getting with Daisy and following his dream is not possible. This is shown by the quote: “Gatsby paid a high price for living too long in a single dream” – Nick Carraway. Which represents the end of the film when Gatsby dies, showing that he did indeed pay a high price for living too long in the dream.
Daisy: Daisy is a pretty girl that is married to Tom Buchannan. Before Daisy met Tom, she was in love with Gatsby. However, her love for Gatsby faded away when Gatsby left her to go off to war. The pressure was on Daisy for her to get a husband because a woman without a man was strongly looked down upon, therefore Daisy looked towards Tom. Daisy eyed Toms belongings and the wealth and class that he owned. Throughout her life, Daisy has only had eyes for money and wealth, and she did not care who she would push past and hurt in order to achieve this goal. At the end of the film when Gatsby failed to hold onto his dream of being with Daisy, she disappeared. “She vanishes into her rich house into her rich full life leaving Gatsby nothing”. This shows how much of a bad person Daisy was and how even past all of her beauty she is still deadly and can hurt people.
Nick: Nick is one of Gatsby’s best “friends,” when Nick moved to Newyork to live a business life, he brought a house that was next to Gatsby’s. Throughout his whole life, Nick has always idolized Gatsby and though of him as a king. Nick fell for the illusion that Gatsby’s life was real. “ 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 three or four times in your life.” Nick fell for Gatsby’s smile.
- Explain what each character helped you understand about illusion in the novel
Gatsby: Gatsby helped me understand that the illusion of chasing your dream is not always possible, and sometimes you have to give up on your dreams and realize that they are not possible. This is shown through the quote: “She vanishes into her rich house into her rich full life leaving Gatsby nothing”-Nick Carraway
Daisy: Daisy helped me understand about illusion in the film through the fact that she is a rich and powerful person that lives in a nice home with a nice lifestyle. However, she is not truly happy and she is living in the illusion that all rich and wealthy people must be happy and enjoy life. This is shown through the quote: “Sometimes she and Miss Baker talked at once, unobtrusively and with a bantering inconsequence that was never quite chattering, that was as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire.”
Nick: Nick has the illusion that he is a trustworthy person with strong morals and is supportive. However, in reality, Nick is actually supporting Gatsby and Daisy’s affair and he is not who he is portrayed to be and is really a hypocrite. The illusion of Nick is shown through the quote:“ I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.” – Nick Carraway.
Describe three important relationships in the text and explain what they revealed about illusion.
Nick: Nick Carraway had the relationship with Gatsby. Nick admired and idolized Gatsby, he was drawn into the illusion that Gatsby was all smiles and a nice man. However, Gatsby was hiding behind his persona and his dream that he was trying so desperately to portray. “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. It faced—or seemed to face—the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey. ” – Nick Carraway. This quote shows how Gatsby would draw people into his illusion and would make them believe in his dream.
Gatsby: Gatsby had his relationship with Daisy. Gatsby, throughout his whole life, was chasing his dream and one dream only and that was to be with Daisy. Gatsby held onto this dream right up until the end, this is represented by the green light which symbolizes hope. At the end of the film, Gatsby finally sees the world where Daisy is fake and non-existent. “He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about…” He saw all of the beauty and greatness of the rose, but Gatsby did not see the thorns and how dangerous a rose really can be. Gatsby no longer believes in his dream, the green light. He finally truly realizes that the dream he was chasing was not real and in reality was just a dream.
Daisy: Daisy was a key and important character in this written text. She had relationships with both Tom and Gatsby, but in the end, all that Daisy was chasing and desired was money. When Gatsby went off to war, she found comfort in Tom. This signifies to when Gatsby comes back to Daisy and she says that she finds love after their reunion but this means nothing because Daisy had no intentions of being with Gatsby and she always knew that she would creep back to the warm comforting hand that is Tom, and his money. The key reason that Daisy helps me understand illusion is that she is represented and portrayed as a rose. She looks to be beautiful and stunning on the outside, but when you get up close and get to know her, you see the thorns and the ugliness that is lurking on the inside. This relates back to Gatsby’s love for Daisy because we see that when Gatsby associates himself with her, he only gets hurt.