Have you ever realized that we live in a world where people pretend to be someone they’re not? People prefer to live the illusion of someone else rather than to be their self. In the world we live in everyone around us isn’t always who they seem but instead an illusion. In the texts: ‘The Great Gatsby,’written by f Scott Fitzgerald, ‘Easy A,’ written and produced by Will Gluck, ‘The doll’s house,’ a short story by Katherine Mansfield and ‘Reflection’ recorded by Christina Aguilera all present characters that don’t love who they are and decide to change their self for something or someone.
In the text The Great Gatsby written by F Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby is a rich young boy who lives in West Egg. West Egg is where people live that had to earn their money, usually illegally. Gatsby had fallen in love with a lady called Daisy Buchanan a long ago and had now has decided to dedicate his life to be with her. He put an illusion on and preferred to be someone he believes “his love” would want him to be like, not the person he actually was. No one knew who the real Gatsby was. “He invented just the sort of jay gatsby that a 17-year-old boy would be likely to invent.” At the age of 17, Gatsby started to reinvent himself, this is when the illusion started. Gatsby had dedicated his life to being with Daisy and nothing else. He gained no purpose in his life or meaning which he thought he was achieving. He had brought the house right over the bay from Daisy so that she would notice him. She lived in East Egg, a place where people inherited their money. She was rich and Gatsby was a nobody, he knew that she was never going to fall for someone who was nothing when she was everything you could want. She was chased by everyone as she was gorgeous. Gatsby saw here as a price rather than a person to fall in love for. Gatsby’s friendship with Nick was only based on the fact that he was daisy cousin, becoming friends with him was at his gain only, Nick didn’t see this as Gatsby was presenting the ultimate illusion. “He threw dust into your eyes just like he did in Daisy’s.” This is a quote that Tom Buchanan had said about Gatsby. Daisy was married and had a child but despite this, Gatsby still believed that he could be with her, He just needed to make her fall in love with him once again. He became the person that he believed she would fall straight for, He was rich, had a big house and knew a lot of people. What he didn’t releases was that she wasn’t looking for anyone anymore, she had fallen for someone already and Gatsby chose not to believe it. Daisy had found the person she was looking for, Tom had the reputation that Gatsby could never get. The word duct used in the quote relates to his illusion, Gatsby threw his illusion onto daisy most of all, as she was the reason for creating the illusion, everyone but Tom couldn’t see that Gatsby wasn’t being the person he really was. This teaches us that all the expectations we put out, people are actually taking in and deciding to change themselves to meet these expectations. I believe that we need to be our own person despite what everyone else thinks. No matter how much pressure is put on us to be ‘the best’ we need to stay true to ourselves because in Gatsby’s case the reward wasn’t what he expected. Gatsby didn’t receive Daisy, in the end, he didn’t receive happiness, more friends or a richer life. He dies with nothing. As teenagers, we need to reach out to a happy life. For our lives to be full of light.
The song “Reflection” written and recorded by Christina Aguilera teaches us about how harsh the world around us is. By now, we know that people judge us on about anything and everything. In the beginning of the song the lyrics say “You may think you see, Who I really am, But you’ll never know me, Every day, It’s as if I play a part”. This expresses the feeling she has towards herself, she feels like she has to put an illusion on, to fool the world and no one will ever know. If you put this mask on you can become whoever you want to become, be liked by the people you want to notice you, to reach your goal of ‘popularity’. If you look at someone, do you really see the real them or are you seeing the illusion of them? This shows us that it doesn’t take much to become someone we want to. “Now I see, If I wear a mask, I can fool the world, But I cannot fool my heart” She finds out that she can ‘fool the world’ and become the person she believes everyone wants her to become with no trouble but whatever she is going to do may not be who she wants to become. Her heart knows what it wants and who it wants to be, but is clouded by the opinions of others. This text can be related to The Great Gatsby as in both texts the main characters prefer to live the illusion of someone else rather than to be themselves. Gatsby created a fake persona to win over daisy while in the song reflection, she reaches out to be the same as everyone around her so that she is accepted. This shows that both the texts can relate to each other. I think that in both situations they did this to be liked, they both couldn’t handle the fact that they were invisible to the ones that wanted to be noticed by, this meant for them to be someone else rather than to go with what their heart wanted.
In the film “Easy A” directed by Will Gluck explores the story of Olive Pendergast, she decides to see what it feels like to live a lie. She prefers to become the person everyone thinks she is rather than to be her own person. Olive begins her journey with a small lie she makes to her best friend, she never intended it to be overheard and spread around the whole school. Throughout her day, she hears glimpses of her story and becomes confused how everyone now thinks that she’s slept with someone. Olive now carries the role of being the dirty slut in the school when in fact she hasn’t lost her virginity, But Olive doesn’t correct the lie she decides to live it and see what happens. “The rumors of my promiscuity have been greatly exaggerated.” She jokes around with her friend saying she fooled around in the weekend with a guy and suddenly she’s sleeping with everyone in the school. Who knew that rumors could be carried around this fast. Her little lie had been greatly exaggerated as she hadn’t even step with one person, to begin with. Olive started to be offered money to be ‘slept with’ and by this I mean go to a party, find a room and jump around the bed so that everyone at the party thinks it’s actually happening. Olive took it on and did this a couple of times just to live up to the lie. The illusion of olive was now the slut of the school and she wasn’t going to fight it when you could just live up to it. “People thought I was a dirty skank? Fine. I’d be the dirtiest skank they’ve ever seen.” Olive living up to the illusion of herself probably wasn’t the best decision she had made. Olive used to be the girl who was unnoticed, the ‘good girl’ who got the good grades but now she was a ‘dirty skank’ by choice. Olive was looking for the attention but got the wrong type she was looking for. She decided to be someone everyone thought she was rather than to actually be herself. She thought if she lived up to the lie, she would become noticed, become one of the ‘popular ones’ that everyone wanted to be but instead ended up being someone she never wanted to be. In the song reflection she also recreated herself to be accepted just like olive did, In both texts, they wanted to be noticed by the right people and they thought the only way to do this was to become someone they were not. I think this is something that goes on in the real world, people get caught up in what everyone has to say about them they decide the best thing to do is to become someone else. I believe this is so that they do not get hurt when someone makes fun of them as it isn’t even the real them. The people would just be making fun of the illusion of them.
In the short story “The Doll’s House” by Katherine Mansfield, the Burnell family takes us on a journey through the life of what it’s like to live the wealthy life. The burners have received a beautiful doll’s house for the three daughters to play around with. Everyone in their school talks about it as they can’t wait until it is their turn to see it. Each day the oldest daughter takes in a couple of people to see. Everyone but the Kelleys. The Burnell family have forbidden the two Kelvey children to see the dolls house. This is simply because the Burnells are rich and the Kelleys are not. Kezia Burnell is the youngest of the three and knows that whatever she says doesn’t go. She prefers to be who her family wants her to be rather than to go with what she really believes in. “There was nothing to answer. Isabel was bossy, but she was always right, and Lottie and Kezia knew too well the powers that went with being eldest.” Kezia knew where she stood, she was the youngest, in what world would the youngest be the one to be heard. Isabel was the oldest so she was the one the other two had to listen to whatever she said went. She didn’t want the Kelveys seeing this dolls house while Kezia did, She thought everyone deserved a chance to see it. Quiz believed that the Kelleys had nothing wrong which was true but as her family believed differently, Kezia just decided to go with it. “Now she could see that they were the Kelveys. Kezia stopped swinging. She slipped off the gate as if she was going to run away. Then she hesitated.” This happened near the end of the book. Kezia is just outside of her house swinging on the gate where she can see some people coming along the road in the distance, she makes out that they are the Kelveys. As her family despises them, her instinct is to run away as if it was anyone else in the family, this is what they would do so they wouldn’t have to encounter the Kelveys, but Kezia hesitates to show her finally fighting back from the family. The hesitation shows that she is stuck in the middle. She knows if she talks to the Kelveys, her family will not be happy with her but also notices what she is doing is wrong. Everyone deserves a chance. Olive believed she needed to live up to the rumor about herself rather than to set it straight she continued to be who everyone thought she was. This can relate to the doll’s house as Kezia believed she needed to be who her family wanted her to be rather than to go with what she thought was right. This means they can relate on the level that both charters thought they were doing what was best for the people around them rather fight with what they thought was right. People in the real world usually do this so that it means that they can stay under the radar. it means that we prefer to be who people want us to be rather than to set them straight, it means that there is less effort for us making it easier to be someone else.
The texts ‘The Great Gatsby,’written by F Scott Fitzgerald, ‘Easy A,’ written and produced by Will Gluck, ‘The doll’s house,’ a short story by Katherine Mansfield and ‘Reflection’ recorded by Christina Aguilera all present that fact that the characters in these texts would rather live the illusion of someone else rather than to be who they really are, to be caught up in their own dream. They all show sides where the characters have decided that it’s easier to live the illusion of someone else rather than to be judged on their real self. Sometimes it is easier to be someone your not but in the end, you are never going to find happiness or whatever it was you were looking for, as you can see from all the charters. Their endings weren’t always happy, they didn’t find what they were looking for. This just shows us that we should never change ourselves for the ones that show us the wrong way to live, the ones that manipulate us. It is never too late to be what you might have been.