- Explain what you think Fitzgerald is trying to say about society by presenting the idea of illusion so thoroughly throughout the text.
- Discuss how “illusion” is a real idea for teenagers. What problems/challenges/issues do teenagers face each day and how can we relate them to illusion.
Fitzgerald is trying to explain how the american dream is not real. This is shown as Gatsby tries to earn money to get back Daisy and be the man he wants him to be but to do this, it’s done illegally. Gatsby may have half gotten what he wanted, to reunite with Daisy and spend time with her, power and money. However, in the end, it didn’t work, there was fighting and they didn’t go back to live happily together. The past did happen, even though Gatsby doesn’t want to admit it, Daisy did love Tom and can’t shake him. Because of this, Gatsby is still not satisfied, he needs to be told that the last 5 years meant little to Daisy just because Gatsby wasn’t in it but this is not true. This cuts into him, making the american dream a failure, to him and proving it to everyone else. Even if you were to live ‘the american dream’, would you truly ever be happy? Or would you continue to feel unsatisfied?
Illusion relates to teenage lives massively as teenagers are trying to see where they fit in the world, who they truly are. Through this process, teenagers tend to hide themselves and only show what they think others want to see. Following stereotypes as if that’s the way they’re ‘meant’ to be and if they follow the stereotypes then they will be more liked. This is because teenagers care so much, too much, about what others think of them, other people’s opinions take over what they think about themselves and how they act. Therefore, people create a ‘fake’ image of themselves trying to someone they’re not, just trying to win people over, like Gatsby to Daisy. In the novel there are social classes, there is also social classes like this at college. Whether it’s depended on wealth of your family or how ‘popular’ you are known to be, people rank people. Sometimes it’s not fair, people are treated badly just because of the way they look or how they act, they are judged for just being themselves so no wonder people try to act differently, they just want to ‘fit in’. However, in the end, your true self does come out, you can’t hide it forever and you must learn to accept yourself for who you are, not who you want to be. This relates to Gatsby needed to accept that he wasn’t a man of wealth and nor should he have to change who he is for somebody else.