Describe three key characters and how they changed in the novel.
Daisy: in the novel, Daisy is married to Tom and has lives in West Egg. This means that she has inherited all of her money and hasn’t worked at all in her life.“I’ve been everywhere and seen everything and done everything” This quote said by Daisy implies that she is very spoilt and she knows it. Also, this makes her seem ungrateful, it is as if she expects everything to be handed to her on a silver plater. Daisy is related to flowers in this book. She comes across as really beautiful and sweet, most people love her. However this changes throughout the novel as she opens up and we see her true self, selfish and causes harm to others. The colour white is associated with Daisy. At first, we see this meaning pure and innocent because to the reader, she hasn’t done anything wrong but as the book progresses we become to realise that it isn’t purity that white is representing, it’s emptiness. Daisy is a blank person with no personality but she’s persceived to be something much more because of her money, putting her in the upper class.
Gatsby: Gatsby lives in East Egg and is fighting to win back his ‘one true love’ Daisy. Ever since Daisy left gim while he was away in army, he decided he would re-create himself into something Daisy desired. Therefore he got into the illegal business and made himself some money, trying to become the ‘dream’ man. Gatsby had all this hope that if he changed then Daisy would come back to him. Gatsby threw all these parties in his massive mansion, pretending to have all these friends, when really, nobody knew him at all. “Gatsby looked with vacant eyes.” This quote shows that Gatsby was gone, there was a new person there, a person that even Gatsby himself would recognise in the mirror. There is nothing to him that makes him feel special, releasing the endorphines he craves, except the goal to win back Daisy. Gatsby became the man that everybody wants to know, everybody has heard his name but nobody knows his story. Throughout the novel Gatsby takes a long time to progress himself out of his own illusion, his made up world. After a long few months, he realises that Daisy is not going to be with him and the whole change of identity that he has fought so hard for was just an illusion. “She vanished into her rich house, into her rich, full life, leaving Gatsby- nothing.” For Daisy, the ‘changed’ Gatsby is fun, brings back good memories but it’s a summer fling, nothing that will last, at the end of the summer she goes back to her life with Tom, living in East Egg, without Gatsby. Gatsby, however, was left with nothing, this was his life, a time that he can never get back.
Nick: Nick is the narrator of the story and also Daisy’s cousin. He is part of the family, however, he is secondary, making him not inherit the money Daisy has. Nick moved to West Egg so is now closer to Daisy, more involved in her life. Nick is more caring than the rest, thinks about others rather than just himself. Also, Nick comes across to be a non-judgemental, go-with-the-flow guy and this is what makes him so easily used by Gatsby to get to Daisy. Further along in the book, however, it is debatable on how non-judgemental he really is. This is because Nick actually does have strong opinions on them all, he just doesn’t feel the need to tell anybody, nor does he have anyone to share them with. The people he now suurounds himself with, Gatsby, Jordon and Daisy, have been a bad influence on him, they have turned him into what he once was not, judgemental. At the very end of the book, though, Nick found himself again. This was triggered by Gatsby’s death. Nick did all the organisation of the funeral and was desperately trying to get people to come, proving that Gatsby really didn’t have that many friends, nobody who truely cared about him, other than Nick.
- Explain what each character helped you to understand about illusion in the novel.
Daisy: In the novel, Daisy helps to undertand illusion as she is perceived differently to some people than others, from one moment to another. Daisy, not only is this her name but a flower too, a white, pretty little flower. Daisy is referenced to this flower as she is seen as a beautiful, innocent person that will love and be loved. Daisy creates the illusion that she will leave Tom and start a new relationship with Gatsby, loving him more than ever before. ” ‘I certainly am awfully glad to see you again.’ ” Daisy said this the first time she reunited with Gatsby at Nick’s place. She illuded Gatsby into thinking that after all those years without each other, when the time finally came to meet again, she would feel the same way she used to, love. Daisy also demonstrates the illusion athat she doesn’t care about any but things that involve herself. The money she has, the men who love her and the items she owns, all things that define who she is, well, to her at least. However, Daisy actually, deep down, cares about others too. This is shown by when Daisy says ‘ “Im glad its a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” ‘ as Daisy is thinking about her daughter’s life, how Daisy wants her to not be an intelligent girl because if she is stupid, at least she’ll be protected from the unfair world it was. Daisy is caring about how her daughter will grow up, feeling for someone other than herself.
Nick: Nick shows illusion in The Great Gatsby as at first, he comes across as very sweet, caring and understanding. This was nailed into his head when his father shared wise words saying “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” Nick’s dads words have forever been in Nick’s mind, the act of caring for other people, even when they might not be good enough or wealthy enough, he still treats them with respect. Nick knows that everybody’s path is different, people shape them to lead the way they wish to go. This is what makes people individuals, unique and Nick knows this, Nick appreciates this so now he won’t look at someone in a funny way or judge them for something they did because they are only being who they are, expressig themselves how they want to be portrayed. However, after being around people for a certain length of time, whether we like it or not, they start to rub off on you, good or bad. This was the case for Nick, after being around Daisy, Tom and Gatsby all summer, he became more like them, unfortunately for Nick, in a negative way. They made him more judgemental, more self-absorbed and more clueless to the outside world. Nick became everything he perceived not to be, just like the rest of them.
Gatsby: Gatsby is the king of illusions, his whole life is an illusion. When Gatsby left for the army, Daisy left him because she wanted a rich man, someone that will be there for her and get her what she wants. This is when she left for Tom. Gatsby was then disappointed that he lost Daisy, therefore he did everything he could to get her back. He went into an illegal business to make money, got rich and persuad people to be his ‘friend’. “I keep it always full of interesting people” Gatsby fills his life with many different people, entertaining him, hiding the fact that he is in fact very lonely. Gatsby’s amazing plan was to change his life into something he wasn’t, rich and fancy, in order to win back Daisy. This made his whole life an illusion, a fake representation of himself. All the parties and people were just acts to get Daisy to attend, to enjoy herself in Gatsby’s presence again. “You can’t repeat the past? He cried incredulously. Why of course you can!” This quote shows that Gatsby truely believes that Daisy and him can be together and happy again, just like they used to be and completely forget about Tom. Throughout the novel, Gatsby kept this illusion, until one point, at the very end, when Daisy didn’t call. At that moment, Gatsby knew that after all his efforts of changing identities and throwing parties and joining the illegal business, it was worth nothing. His plan did not work. When things got tough, Daisy went running back to Tom and ran away from reality, real-life problems.
3. Describe three important relationships in the text and explain what they revealed about illusion