Describe three key characters and how they change in the novel.
Gatsby- At the start of the book Gatsby has small but definite hope that he wants to get with Daisy. ‘Involuntarily I glanced seaward—and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock’. The green light represents the hope that Gatsby has for his relationship between Daisy and Himself. However when it says minute and far away, this means that his hope for them to be together is distant and unlikely. However later in the book, it says this ‘It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock’. This brings the illusion of Gatsby. He thinks that his relationship with Daisy is very close but in reality it is really far away just like the moon and the stars. He believes the illusion of his life since he has such strong feelings for Daisy. Throughout the whole book Gatsby believes the illusion of Him and Daisy. Gatsby only realises that his life is an illusion when Daisy doesn’t ring him moments before he is shot. ‘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’. This is when Gatsby notices that there is no longer a green light, there is no longer hope.
Daisy- At the start of the book we are made to think that Daisy is innocent and pure as she is often associated with the colour white. An example of this is ‘They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.’ This shows us that Daisy is portrayed as an Angel. This is why I think Gatsby went so far to try and salvage their relationship. She is deemed as an Angel. However as we get to know Daisy this is not the case. Over the course of the book Daisy’s illusion of being an Angel is slowly fading away. We find out that Daisy is actually very cold hearted and a bit of a gold digger. We found out that Daisy knows about Tom’s affair but she doesn’t say anything. I believe this is because Tom has money and Daisy is only with Tom for the money.
Nick- At the start of the book Nick says he won’t judge anyone because they haven’t had the same advantages as him. He is believing in Gatsby’s illusion of his life. However as time goes on he is being almost infected by the people around him. He starts to find out that Gatsby’s life is all an illusion and it is fake. He is also very judgemental towards the end of the book. EVIDENCE
Explain what each character helped you to understand about illusion in the novel. Use quotes to support your ideas. *
Daisy- Daisy is thought to be an angel. ‘They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.’ Daisy helped me understand the illusion of innocence. Daisy is often associated with the colour white. The colour white represents innocence and purity. This however is not the case. Daisy knew that Tom was having an affair with Myrtle but she did nothing about it. This is because she is a gold digger. This illusion fades throughout the book as Daisy also has an affair with Gatsby.
Gatsby- Gatsby represents the illusion of hope and wealth. Everything Gatsby did as an adult was to get back the past. He wanted Daisy so bad that he created a new life just for her. This helped me to understand the illusion of the ‘Great ‘ Gatsby himself. Gatsby made his money by bootlegging (illegally). This helped me understand the illusion of wealth. Gatsby lives west egg which is new money. People that live there are new money (new to wealth). Gatsby has no or little probably earned money which is an illusion of wealth and the american dream. Gatsby also helped me understand the illusion of hope. (insert good quote here)
Nick- Nick helps me understand the illusion of non judgemental qualities. Towards the start of the book it says this ‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’ You think that Nick never judges anyone however this is an illusion. Towards the end of the book we find Nick judging Gatsby which means this non judgmental quality he had was all an illusion.
Describe three important relationships in the text and explain what they revealed about illusion. Use quotes to support your answers.
Daisy and Gatsby: The relationship between Daisy and Gatsby helped me realise a lot of things. Firstly it helped me realise the extent that Gatsby went to be with Daisy. His whole adult life was an illusion. He created a new life completely just to impress Daisy. This helped me to see the extent of the illusion that Gatsby had created. It is only towards the end that Gatsby and Daisy both realise the extent of his illusion. ‘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.’ This quote explains the moment Gatsby realises that his life is an illusion built up on hope.
Gatsby and Nick: Gatsby is thought to have a lot of friends. He hosts huge parties so you think he has a lot of friends right. WRONG. ‘This is an unusual party for me. I haven’t even seen the host. Gatsby is thought to be made up by many of the quests. He doesn’t have any friends but Nick. Nick doesn’t realise to late in the book that he is Gatsby’s only actual friend. This relationship helped me realise that Gatsby doesn’t actually have any other friends apart from Nick. Him having a lot of friends is yet again another illusion made up by Gatsby because he hosts these huge parties.
Tom and Daisy: This relationship revealed a lot about both characters. Daisy especially. We thought that Daisy was an innocent and pure person. ‘They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.’ She was thought to be an angel. This however, is not the case. She knew that Tom was having an affair with Myrtle. She did not mention anything. I think this is because she is only in the relationship because of the money. Instead of being innocent and pure, this relationship helped us see that she was just a gold digger.