We have focused our entire study around illusion and how it is presented in the text. This idea is our central theme.
1. Explain what you think Fitzgerald is trying to say about society by presenting the idea of illusion so thoroughly throughout the text.
2. 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.
We have focused on the theme of illusion throughout this novel study, and Fitzgerald shows a lot of illusion throughout this novel, The Great Gatsby.
The theme illusion in relation to society now and/or at the time this book was published is really relatable to society in many ways even still now. People hide behind these images they create for themselves, these images then become illusions for the people around them/you/us.
Fitzgerald shows us the illusions to what life was like during the 1920’s era. This was after WW1, when nearly everybody all just wanted to party and get drunk. This was at the time harder to do as it was illegal in the United States to produce, import, transport and sell alcoholic beverages. Throughout this book Gatsby has many parties which include the consumption of alcohol, not only this but his parties included many different people on the scale. This included most ages, all classes, both genders and all races, which at the time was frowned upon hugely. Even today people still hide behind the illusion that this type of segregation wasn’t as big as it was and for some people it sadly still is.
Another illusion that comes up a lot in this book is how much the characters believe in the materialism of this world they lived in. ‘A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about…’ Nearly every paragraph or even sentence has illusion in it, just like the one I stated above. A new world, material without being real, this quote shows us how much these characters believed in the materialistic things in the world. In particular Daisy was so attached to these material things and in particular we can see this in the scene where she cry over the beautiful shirts and says “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such — such beautiful shirts before.”