The Theme Of Reality In The Great Gatsby

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Iris Murdoch once wrote, “We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.” The theme of illusion versus reality is common in many novels and plays, two of them being, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Both of these books illustrate the ways in which one can create an illusion of him/herself to deceive those around them in comparison to the reality of their lives. These two books both display portrayals of illusion, dismissal of inappropriate behaviour and blindness by charm. The portrayal of illusion is displayed with Blanche’s need to hide the truth in order to paint an image of herself in the minds of others. An example of this would be in Scene Three when Blanche buys a lamp shade to ‘cover her flaws’. Blanche says, “I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action” (Williams 60). Blanche doesn’t want Mitch or anyone else to see her face up close and in the light…show more content…
In chapter 5, daisy tells Gatsby, “They’re such beautiful shirts. It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such beautiful shirts before.” Daisy is so materialistic that she starts crying because of how overwhelmed she is by Gatsby’s wealth. Daisy seems to be aware of her love for materialism which could also be a reason for her dramatic breakdown. Daisy regrets marrying tom for his fortune because in the end, Gatsby became just as rich, if not, richer than tom. Daisy lost her chance for a happy life and she realizes this when Jay overwhelms her with his expensive, elegant shirts. All the charisma that Gatsby puts on display to impress daisy is an illusion to get her to leave tom, however when daisy discovers the reality of Gatsby’s past and his bootlegging crimes, she
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