The novel The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is largely based on the bias views of Daisy Buchanan, Nick Carraway, and Jay Gatsby. The entirety of the “colossal vitality of his illusion” is seen throughout the novel. This can be seen in a variety of passages but the passage which links these two together is when Gatsby tells Nick Carraway about his time in the war and the “souvenir of Oxford,” of which he always carries around. Another example of this is when Carraway says “You can’t repeat the past,” in which Gatsby replied to him “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can! This shows that the novel The Great Gatsby is placed in a land of illusion for Daisy, Nick, and most of all Gatsby.
Daisy Buchanan is a beautiful young woman who was extremely popular with the military officers stationed near her home. This included Jay Gatsby. In order to convince Daisy that he was a man who was worthy of her, he lied and told her that he was from a wealthy family. Eventually Gatsby wins Daisy over but fate would not have it this way and war separates the two lovers. Daisy promises to wait for him but as time went on; she decided to marry Tom Buchanan who was wealthy enough to support her lifestyle.
She is beautiful and charming, but also fickle, shallow, bored, and sardonic. She wants people to support the way she lives no matter how it may be. An example of this is when Gatsby tries to persuade her to break her ties with Tom but instead she asks Gatsby for more time. Another example of this is when she chose Tom over Gatsby. She states that Gatsby asks for “too much,” and that she “did love,” Tom “once,” but she loved Gatsby too. Daisy is trapped in a fictional world where everything she wants, she obtains or so she thinks.
When life gets tough for her or if she smashes things up, she’ll retreat behind her money. This is apparent at Gatsby’s funeral as she did not attend even though she was the one to blame for it instead she moves away running from her problems and running from reality. Nick Carraway is a quiet, reflective Midwesterner adrift in the lurid East. As he lives next door to Gatsby whom he befriends and is the cousin of Daisy, he is the perfect observer or overseer of the love affair that is happening between Gatsby and Daisy. This enables him to be the perfect character to narrate the story.
Because of his ideals Nick is thrown off his feet with new life. His life in New York is fun, alluring, and fast-paced or so he thought. This type of lifestyle had a secret hidden within it, a special sort of charm make all the bad things in life go away. On the other hand he found this type of lifestyle grotesque and damaging. An example of this is when Daisy had told him the rumors which she had heard about him. “Their interest rather touched me and made them less remotely rich- nevertheless, I was confused and a little disgusted as I drove away. A symbol which represents this lifestyle is Jordan Baker.
Nick is attracted to her vivacity and her sophistication just as he is repelled by her dishonesty and her lack of consideration towards others. Towards the end of the novel Nick states that there is a “quality of distortion” to life in New York which makes him lose the balance or the equilibrium in his life. As he watches Gatsby’s dreams unravel he soon comes to a conclusion that the reality of it was that the life on the East was not as fun and fast-paced as he had initially thought.
It also like this to cover up for the terrifying moral emptiness which is symbolized by the valley of ashes. Jay Gatsby is a man who has always wanted to rise from poverty and live the life of the rich and sophisticated. However he achieves this through participating in what is thought to be organized crimes. Although his goal was to be rich, his ulterior motive to that was to win Daisy’s heart. To do so he blatantly shows his wealth by throwing extravagant parties weekly and shows off that he is a man who comes from Oxford attempting to hint as to him being educated.
He appears as the subject of gossip in New York and is already like a celebrity to the people who live there. In the beginning of the novel readers are sucked in by the ability which he gained trying relentlessly to win Daisy over. He is given the ability to change his hopes and dreams into reality. This talent of self-invention is what gives Gatsby his quality of greatness as the title suggests. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.
It eluded us then, but that’s no matter-tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . And then one fine morning-So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. ” This quote shows the significance of one’s past and dreams of the future. This is telling the readers that Gatsby or in a broader sense humans are always trying to achieve their goals by both recreating and transcending ones past as they struggle to change their dreams into reality whilst never losing optimism and using everything they have to pursuit a goal which goes further and further each day.
As the novel progresses though Gatsby reveals himself to be an innocent young man who hasn’t realised that he will never attain his dream. His pursuit blinds him to reality of the corruption which has tainted Daisy due to the wealth she has attained. Finally he is taken away from this world abruptly never realising that his cause was a lost cause. Throughout the novel the “colossal vitality of his illusion” is centered on all the characters.
It is the one factor which links all their lives together and has great significance to each of them. To Daisy it was the ability to never having to take responsibility for her actions as she has her wealth to protect her, to Nick it was the lifestyle which New York had, and to Gatsby it was the illusion that he had the ability to make his hopes and dreams of the past into a reality. In conclusion the novel centers itself around the illusion which each character creates for them.