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Examples Of Reality And Illusion In The Great Gatsby

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In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald the concept of a reality is ever changing throughout the story. The ways that the characters treat and act towards each other is a cause of the inability to interpret the differences between reality and illusion. Through the lies, gossip, and empty speech of characters, F. Scott Fitzgerald highlights the way that people treat each other when they do not understand the difference between reality and illusion. The belief to keep up appearances in high society leads to numerous empty gestures and rude encounters throughout the novel. Tom Buchanan and the Sloanes invite Gatsby out to lunch with them, but it is an insincere invitation. In reality the Sloanes and Tom do not want Gatsby to attend lunch with them, but they feel obliged to invite him since it is the expected gesture in high society. Gatsby is unaware that the invitation was rhetorical, it was only to keep up the social norm. On the other hand, Nick understands that the invitation to lunch is just a gesture, not a real invitation and politely declines the invite. Once Tom realizes that Gatsby is actually planning on going to lunch he is extremely perplexed telling Nick, “Doesn’t he know [Mrs. Sloane] doesn’t want him?” (104). Everyone besides Gatsby seems to understand that the invitation is only a gesture, and since he does not, the Sloanes avoid his attempts to come by being rude and leaving without him. The reality that Gatsby is unwanted at lunch is shadowed by the
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