Throughout The Beach, Richard is stuck in the illusion of paradise and fearlessness. Richard is lost in a fabricated world of his own doing that is being perceived as reality. Illusion has bewildered Richard, causing him to believe that he can run away from reality forever. Richard is convinced that the illusions he is captured by take higher status than reality itself. Alex Garland puts readers into the mind of Richard to reveal how he circumvents reality with illusion.
Richard’s thoughts outside the beach are immediately hindered by an illusion of paradise from the beach, which Richard does not fully recognize until the true reality begins to emerge near the end of his stay. When Richard finds the beach, he is fascinated by how nobody in the community ever talks about their past lives before the beach. The people from the beach remain at the beach because they do not want to confront the reality that they have left behind, so there is no surprise to readers that the community does not like to talk about the outside world. Richard realizes that nobody in the community cares about what he has to say about the outside word and the problems he encountered there, because that is not their world anymore – their world is the beach, which Richard fully recognizes when he comes back from the rice run: “No one was even slightly interested [about the rice run]. A few asked, ‘How was it?’ … but as soon as I began to answer … their attention became diverted by something” (190). At