Reality and Illusions

The Great Gatsby Multi-Genre Project

mrs.mcafee: 4th block Hyeon Noh

Table of Contents


Theme Introduction

Reality and Illusion

The theme of reality and illusion lies in the story the whole time basically because Jay Gatsby himself is an image of illusions. Gatsby's real name is James Gatz; Gatsby is a made-up figure who James tried to be and wanted to be. Not satisfied being born in a farming family, Gatsby neglects his past and home and becomes a different person. HE changes his name and live with Dan Cody for 5 years, learning to act rich and talk rich. Although in reality, he has no money after Cody's death, Gatsby still dreams to become someone great and important. In his military years, Gatsby meets Daisy and falls in love with her, thinking that she will be the one who will perfect and fulfill his "image" of his ideal self of ideal life. Moreover, he assumes that he will end up together with Daisy, even after she is already married to Tom Buchanan. Gatsby's reality is that his wealth is not authentic and in fact is from shady businesses with Wolfsheim; Daisy married Tom for emotional and financial security, so she sill not return to Gatsby for his wealth is not stable. Daisy also has her own reality and illusions. She loves Gatsby and wants to be happy with him, but it is her reality that she has to stay with a man who has enough reputation and money to feed her secular desires. When Daisy returns to Tom, leaving Gatsby, having lived his life for Daisy, Gatsby has no choice but to choose his illusions and believe that they are true. He has to believe that Daisy loves him and will come back for him because if Daisy doesn't love him back, Gatsby has lost the purpose of life. As a consequence, He has to perceive his illusions as his reality to protect the meaning of his own life. Gatsby dies dreaming Daisy's return, hopeful in his illusions.

Personal summary:

People should inspire themselves through dreams, visions, and illusions of their own yet strive to be successful in reality while being aware of what is right and wrong.

The relationship of reality and illusion and how people should use them is very similar, almost parallel to the story "The Two Drops of Oil" from the book The Alchemist.

Chapter 1: Found Poem

In Spirit

Forget that men came unequally at birth.

The prominent generations with fine health next

to the ragged, restless, ash-grey men, lonely and helplessly,

squeezed between the fifteen thousand a season,

the enormously wealthy.

Don’t listen to the mourning wreath and the persistent wail.

See the profound advantages of

not what our great civilization provides,

but what the nature provides,

under the existence of a dominant race.

As wisdom guides, a little secret of life:

content to be alone - stretch out your arms toward the original freedom,

of being too poor

and you’d be a God Damned fool to be ashamed.

Everything to take and only so much to lose.

laugh, and laugh again, be p-paralyzed with happiness,

because life is beginning over again with the summer,

an absolute rose.


In chapter one, Nick Carraway describes the rich and the poor. The poem describes the difference of the two groups, and further advises the underprivileged to not push away the reality but instead accept the reality. Being poor actually might be better because one has less wealth or possessions to be taken away or lost. People should be content at where they are and enjoy their life; once they do so, they will be successful and truly be themselves. As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is."

Chapter 2: cover for book


The eyes of Dr. Eckleburg is drawn in the center to symbolize God's eyes watching over all Wet Egg, East Egg, and the valley of dust. One of his eye is colored yellow to represent illusion, while the other is colored blue to represent reality. I drew Gatsby's red-orange house to show desire for wealth which is part of Gatsby's dream. Finally, the silouette of gold hatted Gatsby and Daisy are there to show romance; the rose is falling down as Gatsby's pure thought and vision is destroyed by selfishness of others.

Chapter 3: twitter


Chapter 3 is a chapter of the party scene in Gatsby' mansion. Here, people are experiencing illusions through the hyperness and emotions stirred by alcohol and loud music. Environment can lead one to wrongly perceive the reality, especially parties. Once people are surrounded by other people doing immoral actions, people get influenced and start forgetting their moral standard and loses focus of what is right and what is wrong. When people are drived by their illusions, they lose self-control and make accidents.

chapter 4: Letter

Dear Gatsby,

I got married today. I did see your letter too. After I saw your letter, I was very emotional, but Jordan fixed me up. I couldn't wait for you. I was alone, and I needed someone to lean on. Why did you come so late? What were you doing while I was wondering around the empty streets with a new stranger, looking for security and love? You should've known that women are weak creatures. I got married today to a man named Tom. He's a Buchanan. I'm going to be Daisy Buchanan. I could've become Daisy Gatsby. Doesn't that sound so nice? But now it's too late. I can't let go of what I have now. Tom loves me, and I love him; he's my reality now. So I'm going to bury the memory we had together deep down below and forget about it. I won’t remember that day we met outside, 1917, on an October day; I won’t remember the way you looked at me and how it was so romantic because I did not and could not wait for you. Tom hired the whole floor of the Muhlbach Hotel for the wedding, you know. Yesterday, I received a string of pearls from him which cost three hundred and fifty thousands dollars. Three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. For a necklace! And the letter, I got the letter too. I cried and cried and I regretted. The plans we made together and the future we dreamed of are meaningless now. Jay, please forgive me for being dependent; I had to have an immediate shelter. You should go find a better girl who has a good heart, a girl who is willing to overcome the reality and share your vision since I don’t deserve your love. You forget everything too, free yourself from this ugly past and look forward for a brighter future ahead. Just know that there was an ignorant girl named Daisy, who loved you dearly and still loves you, but just was not strong enough pursue you through insecure moments alone.

Goodbye, Gatsby.

From your old love, Daisy Buchanan


Daisy Buchanan has her own illusions and reality. However, she is different from Gatsby that she can choose her illusion to become a reality. Daisy probably once dreamed of marrying Gatsby and living a happy life with a man who loves her dearly. When she was in love with Gatsby, Daisy could have chosen to wait for Gatsby while he was away in the military. But because she has her own dream of being married early and having a stable, wealthy life, she chooses to marry Tom instead, not choosing to suffer to make her illusion come true.

chapter 5: how to article

Blogger Fitzgerald's Post on How to Bloom Gatsby

First, plant a rare seed called ambition in the poor farmer boy, James Gatz’s heart and wait until it settles in him firmly. (After few months, they should’ve combined to become one body.)

Second, water him time to time the thought that he could be a powerful, rich man in the future; feed him the artificial fertilizer, preferably of the brand “Son Of God”. After 17 years, if watered properly with illusion and hopeful dreams, Gatz should’ve changed his name to Gatsby in desiring to be an important person in future.

If his size finally grew out of his pot, then move Gatsby into a bigger pot; I usually use Dan Cody’s yacht, it always work the best for me. Gatsby will grow his manners and learn to act like he’s from a rich family in terms of posture, speech, and interest. For a while, there shouldn’t be any need to water or feed Gatsby until about five years later a wild insect, Ella Kaye, eats away the pot.

Third, place Gatsby in the military, and again, he should be fine by his own and grow up well, self-disciplined and diligent. However, you have to pluck out all sprouts of wealth until the right time.

Fourth, buy a Daisy and mate her with Gatsby. Separate them immediately for a significant amount of time, until Gatsby grows a bud on his head with hope of meeting Daisy again. Now you can leave the wealth to prosper. (I almost forgot. Unless you mate Daisy with a premium flower Tom, Gatsby doesn’t grow much fast.)

Fifth, let Gatsby meet Daisy again, first in Nick’s house then in parties and other’s houses. The more Gatsby sees Daisy the more his bud will swell up with excitement and hope of returning the past.

Sixth, place Gatsby and Daisy in Gatsby’s mansion. Let him show her around and be filled with happiness; as a personal tip, it’s very entertaining to watch him throw his beautiful shirts to Daisy and soak up Daisy’s laughter. He shiny petals literally glow.

Finally, turn on The Love Nest played by Klipspringer (not too loudly).

Soon, Gatsby will bloom like a rose right next to Daisy as he confirms his love for Daisy and her affections for him, amazed by his dream and vision come true.


I think in my opinion, if I was in Nick's perspective, the most beautiful person in the story would be Gatsby. Although his actions were illegal, his intentions were sincere and pure. Therefore, I imagined him as the flower which blooms when he fulfills his dream. Because he has been through a lot, it takes time and effort to grow this flower; the moment the flower wakes up to reality, the flower will dry up and die.

chapter 6:


The picture consists of a silouette of a poor, young boy who is blowing bubbles; this represent Gatsby's childhood and his dreams. His bubbles become a yacht and then a fancy yellow car, a smile of a wealthy woman, and a cup of wine. Chapter 6 reveals Gatsby's past and his ambition to become rich and powerful; since he was very young, Gatsby started creating this character which he strives to be. The hands at the bottom is burning an hour glass representing Gatsby's desire to erase the past which is not possible.

chapter 7: Quality


I creep in people's conversation, underneath the nervous voices of disagreement , the obvious expression of dislike. I feed off of dark emotions made up of anger, envy, and pride, with a smell of ambition. I am a shy yet patient quality, for I sneak upon the room and reveal myself ever so slowly little by little. My name is Tension. I usually work with other qualities on big projects involving more than one person.

Doubt is my partner and a soul mate. I see her time to time, but last time I saw her she was with feasting on three-course meal at a Plaza Hotel in New York. I joined her happily. I didn't even need a proper invitation.

I remember that one summer day, as heat radiated upon my victims, I became the sweat and flowed down their neck as I cracked their voices and dried their lips. My fellow qualities said that I was like cancer that day because I was invisible and not recognizable at all. However, it was really my host who blinded himself with dreams and illusions of his own; Mr. Gatsby, is what others called him. Apparently, he assumed that the girl, Daisy I recall, was in love with him the whole time and that she never loved her husband.

It was pathetic. He tried to force Daisy to erase her past, but that could never happen. As his violent character and his shady background were revealed by Tom the husband, Truth woke up from her sleep. Then Gatsby finally saw me through her eyes and realized that it is too late. I ran into him and took over.

I felt his eyes twitching and hands trembling with terror of losing Daisy. Finally, Doubt was done with her meal, and her only dessert was left on Gatsby's confused mind.


Tension is a significant quality that takes great amount of weight in chapter 7. It is created due to Gatsby's ambition and his wrong path to achieve his goals. Tension exists between allusions and reality. If Gatsby was able to see what was morally right in his method of reaching his goal, then he probably would have won Daisy's heart and woul have defeated Tom without struggle.

chapter 8: Obituary

James Gatz, mostly known as Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, was murdered in his own pool by a mechanic named George Wilson with a pistol.

Gatz was born in North Dakota in a farming family. He attended small Lutheran college of St. Olaf in southern Minnesota for two weeks. James Gatz assisted Dan Cody for 5 years in Dan Cody’s yacht until Cody dies. Gatz joined the military afterwards and served in the Sixteenth Infantry of the Third Division during the WWI until June 1918. He went to Oxford for 5 months in 1919.

Then Gatz moved to Long Island and worked with Meyer Wolfsheim, the gambler who fixed the world series in 1919. Gatsby purchased the new West Egg mansion and threw out many luxurious parties.

Gatz lived to fulfill his dream to become famous and rich, to find his own identity. He prepared for years to meet and marry Daisy, trying to repeat the past. Although he was very popular and known to everyone neary, he was not an intimate member of the community. He is survived by his father, Henry Gatz.

The funeral service and burial will be held on the West Egg Cemetery around 5 o’clock.


It is ironic to find out, after all, his obituary is very short and plain. He did not do any great works that could be honored by society, nor did he save anyone in times of struggle. He technically has no achievement in the eyes of a stranger even though to Nick he is almost viewed as a Hero. Gatsby be was so caught with his illusions that he did not see the success in reality was different from success in his emotional, romantic perspective.

chapter 9: Recipe

Recipe for Nick Carraway Gingerbread Man Cookies


1. Prepare wealthy Carraway brand flour and strain the flour through a paternal sieve, filtering out judgmental mindset.

2. Mix the flour, morally upright honesty, Yale cinnamon, basic human conscience, and pure literature extract. Press the dough into “well-rounded man”.

3. Wrap in bond salesman plastic wrap and place him in West Egg right beside East Egg. Refrigerate few weeks as he gets to know Gatsby.

4. Preheat oven to hot summer degrees with tension between Gatsby and Tom arguing over Daisy. Sprinkle the car accident of Myrtle’s death on top of the spread out dough.

5. Cut into a man shape with a cookie cutter of Gatsby’s death, cutting the scraps of emotion and purity off of Nick.

6. Bake for several days during Gatsby’s funeral as Nick ponders upon Gatsby’s life that was made up of illusions.

7. Keep on baking until Nick heats up angry by the fact that Daisy and Wolfsheim are not willing to join the funeral and how careless and heartless people they are in Nick’s eyes. Bake just until Nick’s disappointed perspective on the world, especially on the people of East, turns cynical and hateful.

8. Cool on the beach shore out on the sand. Cool completely into reality. Decorate cooled cookie with ability to write his whole story into a book.

9. Serve, enjoy with a cup of coffee, filled with realization that one must beat on forward in the midst of struggling to let go of the past.

Note: You will be able to taste the bittersweet cookie: bitterness from experiencing society with selfish individuals and sweetness of Nick’s friendly adoration and love towards Gatsby.


Nick is a character who's original opinion changes the most. He disapproves of Gatsby the whole time until the last moment where Gatsby decides to take up for Daisy's mistake and crime, seeing Gatsby's true character of pure love and integrity of his own. Nick thinks the most about Gatsby's life because he is the one who cares about Gatsby the most. Nick learns through Gatsby's death that there is not much of a difference between reality and illusion. They always go together, and people must pursue bitter reality even while they taste the sweetness of illusions.

Original Song:


I see you in my dream

I see you even though I open my eyes

I dreamed of holding you and loving you

Finding out who i am with you

I love the way you laugh, the way you talk,

Your voice just draws me into you

I thought if I had you I would know then

What to do and who to be

But girl you ran away surrendered to reality

I see me falling down and losing you

Left alone and forever lost

You were just a dream, never coming true

I don’t know who I am anymore

So I won’t let you go I believe

Girl you still love me you will come for me

I’ll be waiting here come back to me anytime

I saw you in my dream

I see you even though I open my eyes

I saw you in my dream

I see that it’s not a dream anymore


This is a song in Gatsby's perspective how he dreamed of marrying her five years ago, and actually sees her face to face after five years. He thinks that if only he could have her love him and be with him, then he would become the ideal figure that he desired to be. However, Daisy cannot wait for Gatsby and marries Tom instead. Yet Gatsby does not give up in his hope and lies to himself that Daisy still loves him and will come back to him. He has made his illusion into "his" reality even though it is not real.