22nd June 2017


An illusion is ‘something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.’ Whereas a reality is: ‘the state of things as they are or appear to be rather than as one might wish they are.’ These two definitions cause conflict in the novel The Great Gatsby, where it has a major theme of illusion vs reality. This is shown through Tom’s great image of himself when he’s actually a cruel and racist man, Gatsby and Daisy’s one-sided relationship, Gatsby’s false image of ‘Jay Gatsby,’ and the false symbols of hope. We can relate this to society today through the relative motives and personalities between the novel and real-life. The generation at the moment has become exceedingly bad at giving themselves a perfect persona of what they want others to see them as. People have grown up with the thought of stereotypes drilled into their minds, they’ve learnt to judge a book by its cover.  Before even meeting a person, they have a picture in their head from speculations and rumours on what they will be like and more often than not, they are wrong. This has become an illusion nobody realises they are under and the problems they are causing. More recently, people have felt as if there is a big expectation on how they should live. Usually this changes due to the people they are around and where they live, it’s no longer about what your personal beliefs are. People are thinking they have to be a certain way or they won’t fit in, or won’t get respected; they are getting too used to listening to what others have to say and following advice rather than their own. They have made two personas for themselves, and nobody knows what one is real anymore, including themselves. This is why there are so many relationships where people don’t love each other, but they stick together due to the expectations people have for them to work, and the social status it may get them in. They forgive each other for horrendous mistakes, like cheating, just for the sake of staying together. “I suppose the latest thing to do is sit back and let Mr Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife.” Relationships are no longer about love or happiness for some people, they have knocked over the base of their relationship and still expect it to stand. This is happening too commonly in teenagers, setting them up for failure in their future love life. Sadly for humans nowadays, if they want to move away for that ‘fresh start,’ they no longer can. There will always be people who have to tear down someone’s life just for the sake of it, people will never forget the past. Without opportunity, you can’t make it into the American Dream no matter how hard you try. Our society won’t forget what’s happened in the past, it won’t let you hide you past failures even with all the effort you put in to make them right. Our whole world has become one big illusion, and we no longer know what is reality and what is fantasy.

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