The Great Gatsby Multi-Genre

Reality and Illusions-Soumeel Ray

Theme Introduction

Reality and Illusions is an important theme in the novel of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Many characters in the novel attempt to escape their lives with illusions in their own ways. Gatsby attempts to use his dream of living in luxury with Daisy to feed his determination throughout his whole life. However, due to his commitment to his own dream, he was unable to realize how impossible it really was. No matter how many wild parties he would throw in his massive mansion, nothing would change the fact that Daisy was already married to Tom Buchanan, and they had a future together in raising their daughter Pammy. There are other characters that decide to use illusions to make their lives easier to live as well. Both the Wilsons show this trait, as Myrtle lives her life through many facades exemplified through her changing personality and personifying apparel. After George finds out about her affair, he also falls into an illusion himself, believing that he can fix everything by taking Myrtle on the vacation trip that she has always dreamed of. Fitzgerald uses this novel to show how the 20’s was a time where Americans attempted to escape the disparity of the recently passed Great War and the Global problems that stemmed from Europe’s devastated state by chasing the eccentric values of the American dream and surrounding themselves in luxuries just as the people of New York did in Gatsby’s parties. The guests’ lack of grasp of reality was shown in how they barely knew their own host and failed to respect his final moments and attend his funeral, desiring only to continue living in their own illusions and carrying on their lives with a lack of responsibility and care for the world.

Table Of Contents

1. Post Card

2. Myrtle's Road to Fame

3. Gatsby's Mansion Brochure

4. Gatsby's Letter to Daisy

5. Object Poem

6. Gatsby's Advertisement

7. Bumper Stickers

8. Gatsby's Death Pie Chart

9. Nick's dramatic monologue

10. Poem-Does She Know?


To Minnesota:

As you can see, I've found myself and nice and simple place to sleep, and have finally settled down. I met Daisy and Tom not too long ago, and they are doing well as always. New York is definitely a busy place, and the bonds market is full of chaos. But there's something calming about the hustle and bustle of this busy place. The people here are so full of life and seem to never stop for anything. It is an energy that I don't think I will ever grow tired of, and hope that I have the best of luck in this city. I hope you all are doing well at home, and I surely hope that none of you are worrying about me, because I'm doing just fine and I plan to keep it that way.



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This post card reflects on Nick's first impression of the city, and is parallel with the views of the flashback Nick, who just arrived to New York as a starting bondsman. In this postcard, Nick attempts to relay the pride that he has as a starting New Yorker to his family back home in Minnesota. This piece also serves as a reference to compare with the views of Nick towards the end of the novel. Over time, the people of the city had changed his outlook on life and society, and helped him become the man that initially begins this novel with his pre-flashback reflections, helping the flashback Nick, filled with the illusions of something new and unknown, come back to reality.


Now, I honestly don't try to become so popular, but I can definitely show you the ropes. First, you'll need the man. He needs to be just like Tom: strong, rough, and made of money. With him comes the connections that you have always dreamed of. Next, you'll need to spread around some gossip. A little lie here, a small fib there, just spread around a few stories and you'll create the next "in" crowd that's all the rave. Once you've spread enough around, all you need is to change up your personality. Make sure you have one for every crowd, and can switch between them on the drop of a dime. Every personality will make you the spotlight to every clique and help you fit in with just about everyone who's anyone. Finally, the finishing touch to the new and improved you is the clothing. You should always keep a backup supply of the latest fashion to show off at every event. Never wear these anywhere else, so you can keep them neat and perfect, and make sure you use your new personality to cast them off as the everyday clothes you wear around the house. With that, you will be the most famous woman in your city and the pitiful you of the past will be history.

Explanation: This piece shows exactly what kind of illusion Myrtle has caught herself in. She has become someone that is constantly changing to protect herself from being scrutinized by the people around her in any situation by becoming a spotlight of attention to instead be revered and loved. She believes that with the power of wealth and a handful of rumors, she can escape from her mundane life of being a garage owner's plain wife and lead the life of glamour and luxury without consequences. The fame that she has attained is too fragile to be owned by anyone,however, because in reality she must use the minds of others to make her feel as renown as she wants to be, and leave behind a husband that is too loving to let go.

3. The Luxuries of Jay Gatsby


My beloved Daisy,

The war rages on, but it does not change my confidence in the fact that I will survive. The "extraordinary valor" and "valiant honor" that the Allies honor me for is not mine at all. I do not possess these qualities, for it is instead my love for you that empowers me with them. I will exceed every other soldier if it means that I will return to you once more. I beg you to wait for me just a few months more, though I know how painful a favor that is for you. I know that our love is strong enough to outlast this war, and that we will meet again once more.


Jay Gatsby

Explanation: This is the letter that Daisy received on the day of her wedding, and didn't let go of until it withered away in the bath. In reality, this is truly the day that the love between Gatsby and Daisy ended. However, in Gatsby's illusion this is only the day that his love was put to the test, and became a sign that he must be truly committed to his dream. Because of this, his whole life became centered around the idea of Daisy as the final piece of his masterwork, and he lost touch with reality for the rest of his life.

5. The Cuffs of Teeth

The paradise of peace of mind was something of fantasy where I am from,

as money came and left in the blink of an eye.

What the master lacked was self-control, abstemious was not an existent quality in him.

But in my new home, peace is all that there is.

My master is the engineer that has studied every piece of clockwork that churns within this world.

He will always find what he needs, for he has become a master in the art of persuasion.

He will tangle each and every motion with his chicanery, and his victory will be flawless.

To him, it is not a gamble, but a game.

Here I i rest on his cuffs, in the security of his confidence.

My new master is free from all illusions, and lives only in the reality of this world.

He hungers for the cold,hard fibers of the American dollar.

It is real, it is tangible, and it contains the power to turn any dream into reality,
a sorcery that nothing else is able to perform in this world.

Explanation: This is the object poem from the view of the teeth on the cuffs of Meyer Wolfsheim. Wolfsheim is the master of reality and illusions in life, and knows how to use them to achieve his goal of filling up his bank accounts. With the money he gains, he believes that he can make his dreams themselves into reality. As unfortunate as it is, this fact is actually true in his situation, because his dream is the fact of owning the money itself, and he uses this as proof to cloud the minds of others with illusions that theirs can also become reality in order to further profit himself through others.


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Friday, July 25th 1924 at 9pm

Gatsby's Mansion, East Egg

Help make this the best party yet! we need every guest available to help make this party Gatsby's best, in order to impress his woman and solidify their love for each other. Help make the best memories of the century at Gatby's mansion next Friday, and leave all your worries behind.


This advertisement is used for the party that Tom and Daisy attended at Gatsby's house.This chapter was a huge climax in Gatsby's life, because it was his first attempt at trying to recreate the past. With this party Gatsby tried to reignite the Daisy of the past, the Daisy who would skip her volunteer work and duties as a high-class young women to spend her summer days with a young military man in the streets of Chicago. This woman, however, is long gone in the days of reality, no matter how long it exists in Gatsby's illusion.

7. Bumper Stickers


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The Blame For Gatsby's Death

Myrtle- Myrtle has a part in Gatsby's death, mainly due to the fact that her affair powered George's decline into insanity and the assumptions that she made while looking out the window when Tom came for gas.

Tom- Tom has a part in Gatsby's death, as he easily gave Gatsby's name and address to a devastated George Wilson, and the decisions he made that led to the arrangements of the car seating on the way back from the Plaza Hotel.

Daisy- Daisy definitely has a bigger part in Gatsby's death, as she blatantly performed a hit-and-run on George's wife and let Gatsby take the blame for her acts.

George- Though George is definitely more human than the other more heartless, rich people in the novel, he is still much to blame for Gatsby's death. He fell into the illusion of believing that there was still something to save between him and Myrtle, and believed that Gatsby deserved an execution for destroying something that did not exist.

Society- Though all of these characters were very guilty, the society is the most to blame for Gatsby's death. This is because society is what created the giant illusion in which he lived in, and led him to die for his love for Daisy. Because of his upbringing and exposure to the harsh realities of the world with Dan Cody and incorrigible people such as Ella Kaye, Daisy became the first nice women that he ever met. He also fell into this illusion after his return from the war because he refused to return to the unforgiving reality he knew so well, and decided it would be better to bet his entire life on the illusion of winning Daisy back.


Three people. Three people other than his own servants attended Gatsby's funeral. 3 is a number that is almost nonexistent compared to the hundreds that attended his parties religiously, and drowned themselves in his wealth. What a world we live in, where a man as great as Jay Gatsby is remembered by no one once he passes away. In order to fulfill his dream, he had to leave the rest of the world behind. Nothing so great could ever exist on our plane of existence, for no one was worthy of its level of grandness. This city that I once saw as so full of life has deceived me. It was really greed and desire that empowered the city of New York. People come here to chase their dreams, but their dreams slowly corrode into just another desire for money, power, and the luxury to be able to push away their sorrows from their minds. I need to return to where i belong, the plains of Minnesota, where true character and integrity resides, without the corruption of this city and its selfish people.

Explanation: In this personal account, Nick has awakened from the illusion of the city of New York. He no longer dreams of being part of the life that powers the city, because he sees the true character of the city's residents. He now despises the people that left Jay Gatsby alone, and finds them to be worthless because they only care about themselves and no one else.Nick realizes that in the end his home of the Midwest is where the true American dream is, with people that are full of character and are free from the "sophisticated" characteristics of greed and desire.

10. Does She Know?

Does she know?

Does she know exactly what i felt,

when i came to Chicago with the last of my money only to find that she wasn't there?

Does she know that I decided to do anything, and everything, just for her?

In the midst of my despair, I decided that I couldn't waste another second,

because I was going to meet her again, as a completely different man.

Does she know?

Does she know just how much I have changed, just for her to see?

I amassed the money that I never had, and have moved in just across the bay,

all for her to notice me.

I have hosted the most outrageous of events, week after week, just to catch a glimpse of her smiling, sunny face.

Does she know?

Does she know that I have committed all my time, all my life, to find her love again?

The fleeting memories of that one summer, so long ago, is what drives me every day,

And I will stay here, along the banks of East Egg, for however long it takes in order for Daisy and I to meet once again.

Explanation: This poem is written from the view of Jay Gatsby, as he wonders about Daisy throughout the years of his life. The poem shows how concentrated Gatsby's life was on winning Daisy back and living with her for the rest of his life. It exemplifies how one's illusion can draw them away from reality forever and blindly lead them down a path of unwavering dedication and determination for something that does not deserve it. In the end, this poem shows how Gatsby truly sacrificed his life for the Daisy that did not accept him for what he was