The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Life is not always what it seems, but is constantly fooled by metaphorical masks people wear. The appearance of many of the characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby differs greatly from their actual selves. The use of illusion in the novel is used effectively to portray the nature of people in the 1920 's, and the “artificial” life that is lived in this modern age. There are many incidences in which the appearance of characters is far different than what lurks inside them. Several of these incidences are shown in the appearances of Gatsby himself, Daisy Buchanan, and Gatsby’s true love for Daisy. Gatsby goes through a dramatic transformation from his old self to his new self, even changing his name and buying a faux mansion in…show more content…
He was so embarrassed about having to become a janitor in order to pay school tuition, he decided to drop out of St. Olaf College in Minnesota after only a couple weeks. Another illusion Gatsby deliberately makes people believe is his rise to wealth. In order to mask his poor upbringing, Gatsby says to the story 's narrator, Nick Carroway, “I’ll tell you God’s truth…I am the son of some wealth people in the middle-west”(65). It is also stated by Myrtle Wilson’s sister Catherine that, “Well they say he’s a nephew or a cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm’s”(32). However, that is not true and it is later discovered that, “he and this Wolfshiem bought up a lot of side street drug stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter”(133). As a result, the truth of his family background is an example of the false reality Jay portrays. Gatsby’s educational background is another example of of illusion that he tries to create. A strong education is a must-have for Gatsby, as it is what categorizes the lower class from the upper class. Originally, Gatsby tells Nick that he was educated at Oxford. However, it is learned that he exaggerated the truth when he leaks to Tom that he actually only stayed five months there and “that’s why [he] can’t really call [himself] an Oxford man”(129). Therefore, Gatsby forms an illusion regarding his education in order to sound scholarly and to be accepted among the elite. After Gatsby erases his past in order to start a
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