The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, tells the story of Jay Gatsby and his pursuit of Daisy Buchanan. The novel explores the theme of appearance vs. reality and how this concept is portrayed through the characters and events in the book.
Gatsby is a perfect example of someone who is all surface and no substance. He is obsessed with creating an image of himself that is not based in reality. He throws lavish parties, drives a flashy car, and wears expensive clothes, but all of these things are just for show. They are not indicative of who he really is.
Daisy is another character who embodies the theme of appearance vs. reality. She presents herself as being carefree and happy, but in reality, she is unhappy with her life. She is married to a man she does not love and she is living a life of luxury that is ultimately empty.
The theme of appearance vs. reality is also evident in the relationships between the characters. Gatsby has an affair with Daisy, but their relationship is based on lies and deception. Daisy pretends to love Gatsby, but she is really only using him to make her husband jealous.
The novel The Great Gatsby explores the theme of appearance vs. reality through the lives of its characters. Gatsby and Daisy are two examples of how people can create an image for themselves that is not reflective of who they really are. The relationships between the characters are also a manifestation of this theme. The novel highlights how appearances can be deceiving and how reality is often hidden behind a façade.
Loyalty is a central theme throughout the novel, as it was in Gatsby’s life. The characters that appear and reappear throughout the narrative are also similar to those who appeared earlier in Gatsby’s life and may represent other people.
Gatsby’s entire life is based upon one giant lie which is that he was born into a wealthy family and went to Oxford. The truth is that Gatsby was born into a poor farming family in North Dakota and his real name was James Gatz. The novel The Great Gatsby takes place during the roaring twenties in Long Island, New York. The time period plays a huge role in the development of the characters as people were known to be lavish and reckless.
The novel starts off with Nick Carraway, the narrator, moving to West Egg on Long Island to learn about the bond business. Nick meets his next-door neighbor Jay Gatsby who lives an extremely lavish lifestyle and often has many people over at his mansion. The people that attend his parties do not know him very well and are only there for the free alcohol and food. Nick becomes intrigued by Gatsby and decides to go to one of his parties.
At the party, Nick runs into an old friend from Yale, Jordan Baker. Jordan tells Nick that Gatsby is a man of mystery and no one really knows anything about him which furthers Nick’s curiosity. The next day, Nick has lunch with Jordan and they run into Daisy Buchanan, another old friend from Louisville whom Nick has been in love with since they were younger.
While at lunch, Daisy mentions that she is unhappy with her life even though she appears to have everything someone could want. She is married to a wealthy man, has a beautiful daughter, and lives in a lavish home. However, Daisy is not content with what she has because she is not truly happy. The reality of her life is that she is trapped in a loveless marriage and is dissatisfied with her role as a mother and wife.
The illusion that Daisy portrays to the world is that she is this perfect woman who has everything. The next time Nick sees Gatsby is at one of his parties where he runs into Jordan Baker again. Jordan tells Nick that Gatsby has been asking about him and wants to meet him. The two eventually meet and Gatsby asks Nick to arrange a meeting between him and Daisy.
Nick agrees and invite Daisy over to his house for tea where Gatsby will also be present. When Daisy arrives, it is immediately clear that she and Gatsby have a history together. The two begin to reminisce about the past and it is evident that they were once in love. However, Daisy is now married and Gatsby knows that he cannot have her.
The American Dream is something that Gatsby has strived for his entire life. The idea of the American Dream is that anyone can become successful as long as they work hard enough. This is what Gatsby has done; he has worked extremely hard to attain the wealth and status that he has always wanted.
The problem with the American Dream is that it is not always attainable and often times people do not get what they want. Gatsby is a prime example of this as he has worked so hard to win Daisy back, but he knows that it is not possible because she is married. The theme of appearance vs. reality is very prevalent in The Great Gatsby and Fitzgerald uses character development, dialogue, and symbolism to demonstrate this theme.
One example of how Fitzgerald demonstrates the theme of appearance vs. reality is through the character of Jay Gatsby. As previously mentioned, Gatsby is known as a man of mystery and no one really knows anything about him. This is because Gatsby has built up this persona that is not really him. He wants people to believe that he is this wealthy, sophisticated man when in reality he is not. Gatsby is originally from a poor family in North Dakota and only moved to West Egg to make money.
The persona that Gatsby has created is an illusion and it is not really who he is. Another example of how Fitzgerald demonstrates the theme of appearance vs. reality is through the dialogue between the characters. In one particular scene, Daisy is talking to Nick about her life and she says, “I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” (Fitzgerald, 34).
What Daisy is saying here is that it is better for a woman to be beautiful and stupid than to be smart. This is because society values beauty over intelligence, especially in women. The reality is that women are not really given the same opportunities as men and they are often underestimated. However, the appearance is that women are equal to men and they have just as many opportunities. Fitzgerald uses this dialogue to demonstrate how appearances can be deceiving.