Illusion can be created to perceive to those around you that your someone your not, or create a new identity to hide your true self or backround. It may be created in order to achieve your dreams, or be seen through the eyes of the golden girl, as wealthy and appealing. By creating this illusion you yourself put gates around your true identity that you are hiding and by getting people to believe in this illusion you lock these gates. It is only the harsh light of reality that can shine the light on your true self and break these gates. In the text below I am going to discuss how the male protagonist creates this illusion to hide their true self and become appealing to golden girl.
In the great gatsby, Gatsby who comes from a poor family meets the girl of his dreams while in the army, he lies and says that he is wealthy to create an illusion to her so that she falls in love with him.. When he realises that he can’t have her because of this false illusion; he decides that he will “invent” himself to be the kind of person a 17 year old boy would invent. By using the art of illusion throughout the text F scott fitzgerald creates this ideal that the characters have to create themselves to be someone that is more appealing to the upper class [“I thought you inherited your money.” “I did, old sport,” he said automatically, “but I lost most of it in the big panic – the panic of the war.”] in this piece of text Gatsby mentions how he came into such wealth but forgetting that he told a different story the last time he spoke to nick, upon realisation of his mistake he corrects himself almost “automatically”. Fitzgerald uses this keyword to hint to us that gatsby had rehearsed this story over in his head so that it would sound convincing. This gives us an insight into the illusion that gatsby sells to the people around him in order to become closer to daisy and further his fabricated identity. Another key quote that highlights Gatsby illusion, that he creates in order to accepted into this upper class is [ From East Egg, then, came the chester Beckers and the leeches,and a man named Bunsen, whom I met at yale.”] In this quote Nick is listing off some of the names of people who attend gatsby’s parties, these people all of high class in society or of high education. The list people from east eg who are known to be born into great wealth. By surrounding himself by people of great importance or wealth he furthers his reputation and his fabricated identity as a man who found the american dream and now lives the rich lavish life. Gatsby does this in the hope that daisy (who lives across the bay) will see all the lights or hear of the great jay gatsby’s parties and be attracted towards his remade identity. Fitzgeralds underlying message throughout the text is the realisation that by reinventing yourself to be someone you’re not you will never achieve your dreams or be with the golden girl as it is a false illusion and will never really exist. This shows to us the readers that by creating an illusion, for others to buy as the truth, can only let the light of your true identity get that little bit closer to breaking the false reality that you surround yourself with.
Allusion to the thought of not being able to attain the things you desire most in life is not always created by yourself and your mindset, but can be forced upon you by others around you and your external appearance. In the curious case of benjamin button, benjamin the main character is born as an old man and ages backwards but mentally ages forwards. He is trapped in a body that does not truly represent who he is in the inside. He lives at an old person home, and meets a young girl who is the same age as him mentally and begins to fall in love with her but the allusion that he can never be with her because he is different is forced upon him by those who surround him. He begins to put this ‘golden girl’ on a pedestal. When he finally is able to be with daisy he realises that they can never be together because of this allusion that he is different “I was thinking how nothing lasts, and what a shame that is.” this piece of text shows us that benjamin know that they can never truly be together forever as as this allusion that benjamin has to be someones that he is not in order to make daisy happy. It is ultimately this allusion that benjamin believes that he can be with daisy forever that causes benjamin to leave because as long as this allusion exist he will never be able to be with daisy. Like in the great gatsby, gatsby can never be with daisy as long as his illusion that he had to reinvent himself to be with her exists and ultimately leads to gatsby’s death.
Illusion can also be a mindset that you create to be someone your not to hide the truth about who you really are. In the diamond as big as the ritz John falls in love with a girl or lives in “the west”. While visiting her home which is made out of a diamond bigger than the the ritz carlton hotel, he discovers that at the end of the summer guests are killed in order to keep the diamond a secret. The illusion presented in this text is not presented through the male character but through the whole washington family who allude to each other that the world can never find out that the diamond exists. Through creating this illusion john and Kristmine can never truly be together while this illusion exists. John also creates an illusion that he must hang out with wealthy people in order to fit into that high social class. “He must be very rich,” said John simply. “I’m glad. I like very rich people. The richer a fella is, the better I like him.” In this quotes John is expressing his liking towards wealthy people as he believes he must fit into that wealthy class. This significant connection is repeated through the great gatsby and the curious case of benjamin button as the male protagonist believes that they must become someone they are not in order to achieve their dreams or be with the woman they love. John believes that he must socialise with people of high wealth in order to be seen as s high class citizen. While visiting the washington family he falls in love with percy’s sister kismine, but can never be together as long of the house which represents the illusion they lived in of wealth and secrecy and ultimately their relationship can never really exist while this illusion does. It is only once this illusion is forgotten and brought to light for the world to see that the can truly exist together.
In winter dreams this illusion that the male protagonist creates in order to become someone else is presented through the character dexter when he lays his eyes on judy he decides that he must recreate himself into a wealthier, higher class person in order to be seen as more than just a caddy boy. This illusion drives Dexter to reinvent himself into a wealthy person until forgetting, but never truly forgetting his love of judy; he marries another girl. But while dexter is married judy comes back into his life and he can never really abandon his dream of being with judy. He can never be with judy though as long as this illusion that he has to become someone is isn’t to be seen in judy’s exists “He loved her, and he would love her until the day he was too old for loving–but he could not have her” this quote shows the unavoidable falsity of the this illusion that is created throughout the four different text great gatsby, the curious case of benjamin button and the the diamond as big as the ritz as in all of these text an illusion is created that you have to become someone you’re not in order to achieve your dreams and ultimately live your dreams and although it may seem like this dream can exist, ultimately it will fall away and reality will come knocking on the door. As soon as that door opens this allusion gets flooded away and and the reality that you can never achieve your dreams through becoming someone your not will destroy this falsity that exists. Dexters illusion that lead to his dreams taking place in real life eventually destroyed his relationship with both judy and his wife. The message that F. scott Fitzgerald is trying to portray throughout this text about illusion, and throughout the other texts is that this illusion that you create can not only destroy your true identity but damage those around you. Dexter’s wife believes that he is loyal and loves her and that is a part of who she is but the illusion that dexter creates destroys that image.
The underlying message that is emphasized throughout f scott fitzgerald’s work is that by reinventing yourself to be someone you’re not you only make your dreams unachievable and make them never truly attainable. As by fabricating your identity in order to reach these dreams they can never truly exist in reality but only in the false reality that you surround yourself with. In the great gatsby, the curious case of benjamin button, the diamond as big as the ritz and winter dreams the characters create an illusion that they have to be someone they are not and fitzgerald’s message is that by creating this illusion your dreams can only exist in a false reality and your true identity will eventually shine through. Fitzgerald and zelda were seen as the golden or perfect couple in the 1920s but it is known that their relationship had problems. Fitzgeralds true purpose of this illusion created is that with this illusion existing affection can never truly exist.