The Mangled Mirage, An Essay On The Characters Of The Great Gatsby And The Phony Elements Within The Story

1682 words - 7 pages

The Mangled Mirage
Through the hustle and bustle of any ordinary day, the individual takes on what is called life and its struggles. The individual eventually tends to develop a routine; a sense of what is reality to him or herself. Reality is quite persistent, and tends to maintain its uphill progress in a usual way. The five senses make us feel that the world is real. Seeing the solidity of the objects around us, feeling the impact of the senses, it is hard to deny the validity of what we see. Everything looks real, and therefore, we never stop to question this reality. The mind is attached to the five senses and accepts everything as real without questioning. When we bump into a table or a wall, and we feel pain, it is difficult to say that we are imagining it. When we see with our eyes, hear sounds, smell, or when we feel heat or coldness, we accept these sense impressions as real. Reality, however, in the hands of a conscientious mortal, is caught in a tragic flaw. Humans that can rationally think will periodically become irrational; he or she will find a conflict in life, something so massive that it cannot be avoided, thus creating a new reality. This false reality is illusion, and it plagues many individuals in The Great Gatsby, as well as those of the Jazz Age who thought their economy was prospering and strong. Though Gatsby may be mysterious, Fitzgerald's style may be disillusioned, the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg may be god-like and awe-inspiring, and Daisy's love for Gatsby may seem "possible," each is a catalyst for the transpiration of illusion in the individual's attempt in finding reality.
One of the more prominent examples of illusion seen as reality in The Great Gatsby is when Jay Gatsby himself, during a party of his own creation, is rumored to be more than what he actually is: a young, naive dreamer. This is shown by one of the attendees of Gatsby's luxurious party, "It's more that he was a German spy during the war" (Fitzgerald 44). Indiscriminately, this woman describes to her friends her true opinion on the mysterious man that hosts these popular, though meretricious, parties. This woman, as well as her friends has good reasons to believe such myths. As seen by Nick, Gatsby creates this chimera through his alienation of his own guests. Nick begins to explain to a supposed guest at the party about how "this man Gatsby sent over his chauffeur with an invitation" (Fitzgerald 47). Nick proves that if Gatsby couldn't even be recognized at his own party, then rumors of him being a German spy are inconceivably expected. Gatsby unknowingly creates this mirage, and the more he destroys his relatable presence, the more the myths become reality. So we see hoe he is established as a dreamer who is charming, gracious, and a bit mysterious. As the story unfolds, the...

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