1. Describe three key characters and how they change in the novel.
  2. Explain what each character helped you to understand about illusion in the novel. Use quotes to support your ideas.
  3. Describe three important relationships in the text and explain what they revealed about illusion. Use quotes to support your answers.

Question 1,2,3 P1

Character : Nick carraway 

Nick changed drastically in the novel from an sweet, neutral, non judgemental man to end up being an extremely judgemental man who is noting like the man he was when he came to new york. This can be proven with this quote “my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticising anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” this shows that nick came to NY with strong morals against judging and he very rarely leaked judgements . it is also shown when nick says “ I am one of the few honest people I have ever known,” This completely changes throughout the story as the NY life breaks him day by day to at the end where he is completely broken and judgments flood out of him like river. This is proved wrong as the whole book is just a judgement this is proven when nick says “Her eyes fell on Jordan and me with a sort of appeal, as though she realizes at last what she was doing — and as though she had never, all along, intended doing anything at all.” this is a prime example of nick judging someone who is looking at him. The person looking at him might not be thinking this but he just assumes it. This is opposite thing that a non judgemental person would do.  Nick uses illusion effectively in the book when he compares the Doctor T. J. Eckleburg poster to being God’s eyes this illusion makes it seem that Eckleburg poster is a very important and powerful watching over everyone as a god but its really only a stupid old poster that nobody has been bothered to take down. an important relationship that nick has in the book is his relationship with jordan. his relationship with jordan is very important as they were together. For a very long time nic saw jordan as someone that could be in his life in a relationship way. nic was lured to jordan by her looks and her different dangerous way of life at the start but this eventually pushed him away from jordan as she was to reckless for him.


Question 1,2,3 P2

Character 2 : Gatsby

Gatsby doesn’t really change through the novel because he has an illusion that he has to uphold. he never fully changes and breaks out of his illusion but he has a few cracks in his illusion. his illusion is, his name is Gatsby and has inherited wealth and is a happy man who has come from a rich and fancy upbringing going to oxford. his illusion also puts him in the middle of a love with daisy buchanan. the reality is, none of this applies his real name is Jay Gatz he is a very poor child who comes from North Dakota and went to school at St. Olaf in Minnesota. he earn his money recently through sketchy dealings in his Drug Stores. Gatsby explained a lot about illusion in the book as his whole story was an illusions to try get back the same daisy he lost 5 years ago before he went to war. he reinvented himself to meet daisy’s standard this is what we see in his illusion. an important relationship that Gatsby has in the film is his relationship with daisy. their relationship is very important to illusion. Gatsby fell in love with Daisy but had to go to war. 5 years later Gatsby returns for Daisy only to fin out she’s married. Gatsby still needs Daisy so he gets into bootlegging. this gives him money to reinvent himself and buy a house across from daisy. Gatsby wanted to destroy the past and the only way he could do that was to win daisy back then make her tell tom (her husband) she never loved him to his face.this can be shown when gatsby says “Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!” this need do destroy the past ending his chances with daisy and broke his hard long thought illusion. this is why Gatsby’s relationship with  Daisy was a important relationship in the book.

Question 1,2,3 P3

Character : Daisy buchanan

daisy changes through the novel by being a innocent girl who doesn’t step out of line and just does what she’s told at the start almost as if she’s and object. towards the end of the book daisy had completely changed is is now into a Woman who will speak her mind and wont be bossed around by the men who are chasing after her the whole book (Gatsby and Tom). an example of this is at the ed when daisy cant admit to not loving Tom at all over the last 5 years “Oh, you want too much!” she cried to Gatsby. “I love you now – isn’t that enough? I can’t help what’s past.” She began to sob helplessly. “I did love him once – but I loved you too.” This shows that Daisy is a new woman and wont be bossed around by no man. she helped me to  understand illusion in the novel as she would say stuff like “i wish ” and “your imagination is wonderful” this shows from the start that daisy sees the illusion and uses her words correctly to say i wish it can happen but it really cant. and important relationship that daisy has in the novel is her relationship with Tom Buchanan. Daisy and Tom are married. tom and daisy have been married for a while and live in east egg in long island Daisy and Toms relationship being a marriage is important to illusion because this marriage drives Gatsby to create his illusion to try win daisy back. Tom catches onto this and starts to research Gatsby. tom eventually is the one who breaks gatsby’s illusion crushing gatsby’s hopes of wining daisy back. this is why Dasiy’s Relationship with Tom is a very important relationship in the book and is important to understanding gatsby’s illusion.


  1. List the four main settings in the novel. Provide a description for each setting and explain what each setting represents.
  2. Select two of the settings from above and discuss how these settings helped you to understand the idea of illusion in the novel. Use quotes to support your ideas.
  4. The four important settings in the book are the East Egg, West Egg, Vally of Ashes and New York City.

Firstly East egg. East egg is a community filled of wealthy (old money) people who have got their money mainly through inheritance. it sits opposite in a bay across from West Egg. it is located on long island which is just out of New York city. East Egg is a very important setting in the novel because thats where Daisy and Tom Buchanan live. also at the end of tom and Daisy’s pier their is a green light that emits at nigh but i will get into that in symbols. as Nic and daisy live in East egg as well as the other Old money community. located in East Egg at daisy’s house Nic meets Tom and jordan for the first time along as reconnected with his cousin Daisy. this also lures Gatsby to Nic as he is related to Daisy and is a link to the whole buchanan family.


Secondly West egg, west egg is a community filled of wealthy (new money) people who have earnt their money recently by themselves. West Egg is located in long island just out of new York city. Gatsby and Nic both live West Egg which makes it a very important setting as two of the three most important character also Gatsby’s house holds may illusions such as the colour scene with Gatsby and daisy. in the scene Gatsby throws shirts of many different colour over daisy. Daisy then breaks down into tears. “Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the think folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such – such beautiful shirts before.” this is a key as this is when Gatsby’s illusion works with daisy as she cant control her emotions so she blames it on her materialistic personality. another reason that this setting holds illusions is how this is why the setting of West Egg is important to understanding illusions is this is where Gatsby can look at the green light. this is why the setting of West Egg is important to The book and understanding illusion


Thirdly Valley of Ashes valley of ashes is a important setting  in the Book Great Gatsby. The valley of ashes (VOA) is a extremely poor part of town where the poorer hard working class live and work. The valley is home to Myrtle (Tom Buchannas affair) and her husband Wilson. Another key part to the VOA is the Sign of Dr. T.J Eckleburg. This sign is referred to a God being gods eyes. thus can be proven when wilson says “you can’t foot god” referring to the Dr. T.J Eckleburg when his wife got hit by a car right infront of the sign. the God sign is just an illusion for the poor dwellers of the VOA, when in reality the sign is really just a old sign of a eye doctor which is not a god at all this is a prime example of illusion in the great Gatsby and why the valley of ashes is an important setting in the novel.


Lastly New York City is a very important in the book because its where Everyone leaves to escape their lives as its a short drive away from their houses in west and east egg. an example of when the characters in the novel use new York as a get away from their lives is when Tom Brings his affair myrtle to the flats. int the book tom rents a apartment and him and myrtle pretend that this is their house and they are a happily married family. this is an illusion as tom is really married to Daisy. another time when an apartment is the setting in an illusion is when Nic, Gatsby, jordan, daisy and tom go into an apartment in New York City. in this scene Tom breaks Gatsby’s illusions and destroys Gatsby’s hope to be with Daisy. this is why New York city is a very important setting to understand illusion in the book


We have looked at several symbols in The Great Gatsby. Select 3 key symbols from the text and do the following for each symbol:

  • Provide a description (using quotes) of the symbol from the text.
  • Explain when and why the symbol appears throughout the text.
  • Analyse what the symbol helps you to understand about an important character.
  • Make a link between the symbol and the idea of illusion.

The three main symbols are The green light, gold/yellow and water.

Firstly The green Light. the green light is used to symbol Gatsby’s hope to one day re unite with daisy. here is an example of gatsby looking at the green light using it as hope to one day be back with dasiy “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 – to-morrow we will run farther, stretch out our arms farther….” this shows that Gatsby believed in the light until death always hoping to be with daisy. her regularly refers to the green light in the book.“If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,” said Gatsby. “You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock. in this quote he is talking to daisy. he is telling her that if not for the mist (mist being the obstacles to get her) you can see my hope that we will be together in the green light.This is why the green light is a important symbol in the Great Gatsby.

 Secondly Gold and yellow. The Gold and yellow symbol is important to Gatsby’s illusion in the book. Tom, Daisy and Jordan are gold as they are old money and what Gatsby desires to be like. Gatsby builds an illusion to try make himself golden like them but its all just an illusion so he is represented as yellow, a poor mans gold. the gold/yellow symbol is referred to a lot in the film. “Turkeys bewitched to a dark gold,”    “The orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music,” “Two girls in twin yellow dresses,” “Jordan’s slender golden arm,” describing Gatsby as Yellow and all the others as old makes Gatsby seem not pure and a bit of a wannabe a bit like his illusion (not pure). this is why using Gold and Yellow was an effective way of showing that Gatsby was a wannabe of Daisy, Tom and jordan .


 Lastly Water In my opinion water is the most effective and deep language feature in the book. water has a huge role by symbolising that past is non-reservable and will effect your future rain or water is used in many ways in the book one being their is only water in-between Gatsby’s house in West Egg and Daisy’s house in west egg symbolising that the past is keeping them apart. another time water is used effectively is in the last book when the narrator Nic says “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” in my opinion this is the deepest and best quote of the book. but i will further go into this quote in the language feature part. but in short it says we fight on against the current of time but we are continuously pulled back by our past. another important aspect to the water illusion is Gatsby got shot and killed in his pool of water after tom had cracked his illusion. this means that his past had finally caught him and killed him. this is why the use of water symbolising the past is an effective and well used symbol in the book Great Gatsby.



We have focused our entire study around illusion and how it is presented in the text. This idea is our central theme.

  1. Explain what you think Fitzgerald is trying to say about society by presenting the idea of illusion so thoroughly throughout the text.
  2. Discuss how “illusion” is a real idea for teenagers. What problems/challenges/issues do teenagers face each day and how can we relate them to illusion.

What I feel like Fitzgerald is trying to say through illusion is people reinvent themselves to satisfy other peoples standards. back in the book we can see it as Gatsby Sacrificing everything to become a new person by creating an illusion making him into something that he isn’t just to get Daisy’s approval but now in the current age we reinvent ourself everyday to satisfy others. an example of this is social media where people will follow trends to get others approvals. even though they may not enjoy it they still do it to get others approval and example of this is a modern day hype beast. they buy expensive non practical objects to make others think they have more expensive things than you so are their for better. this is why the theme of the book the great Gatsby has a effect on modern day teenager.


Language Features

Fitzgerald has a very poetic way of presenting language. He uses the same devices consistently throughout his writing.

  1. Select three passages from the book (about a paragraph or two in length) that we have NOT annotated as a class. Annotate these passages and identify the language features that Fitzgerald uses. Explain the effect of these features and why he may have chosen to use them.
  2. Fitzgerald uses many allusions throughout the novel. Select one of these allusions and explain the connection between it and the book.

“From East Egg, then, came the Chester Beckers and the Leeches, and a man named Bunsen, whom I knew at Yale, and Doctor Webster Civet, who was drowned last summer up in Maine. And the Hornbeams and the Willie Voltaires, and a whole clan named Blackbuck, who always gathered in a corner and flipped up their noses like goats at whosoever came near. And the Ismays and the Chrysties (or rather Hubert Auerbach and Mr. Chrystie’s wife), and Edgar Beaver, whose hair, they say, turned cotton-white one winter afternoon for no good reason at all.

Clarence Endive was from East Egg, as I remember. He came only once, in white knickerbockers, and had a fight with a bum named Etty in the garden. From farther out on the Island came the Cheadles and the O. R. P. Schraeders, and the Stonewall Jackson Abrams of Georgia, and the Fishguards and the Ripley Snells. Snell was there three days before he went to the penitentiary, so drunk out on the gravel drive that Mrs. Ulysses Swett’s automobile ran over his right hand. The Dancies came, too, and S. B. Whitebait, who was well over sixty, and Maurice A. Flink, and the Hammerheads, and Beluga the tobacco importer, and Beluga’s girls.

From West Egg came the Poles and the Mulreadys and Cecil Roebuck and Cecil Schoen and Gulick the state senator and Newton Orchid, who controlled Films Par Excellence, and Eckhaust and Clyde Cohen and Don S. Schwartze (the son) and Arthur McCarty, all connected with the movies in one way or another. And the Catlips and the Bembergs and G. Earl Muldoon, brother to that Muldoon who afterward strangled his wife. Da Fontano the promoter came there, and Ed Legros and James B. (“Rot-Gut.”) Ferret and the De Jongs and Ernest Lilly — they came to gamble, and when Ferret wandered into the garden it meant he was cleaned out and Associated Traction would have to fluctuate profitably next day.

A man named Klipspringer was there so often and so long that he became known as “the boarder.”— I doubt if he had any other home. Of theatrical people there were Gus Waize and Horace O’donavan and Lester Meyer and George Duckweed and Francis Bull. Also from New York were the Chromes and the Backhyssons and the Dennickers and Russel Betty and the Corrigans and the Kellehers and the Dewars and the Scullys and S. W. Belcher and the Smirkes and the young Quinns, divorced now, and Henry L. Palmetto, who killed himself by jumping in front of a subway train in Times Square.

Benny McClenahan arrived always with four girls. They were never quite the same ones in physical person, but they were so identical one with another that it inevitably seemed they had been there before. I have forgotten their names — Jaqueline, I think, or else Consuela, or Gloria or Judy or June, and their last names were either the melodious names of flowers and months or the sterner ones of the great American capitalists whose cousins, if pressed, they would confess themselves to be.

In addition to all these I can remember that Faustina O’Brien came there at least once and the Baedeker girls and young Brewer, who had his nose shot off in the war, and Mr. Albrucksburger and Miss Haag, his fiancee, and Ardita Fitz-Peters and Mr. P. Jewett, once head of the American Legion, and Miss Claudia Hip, with a man reputed to be her chauffeur, and a prince of something, whom we called Duke, and whose name, if I ever knew it, I have forgotten.

All these people came to Gatsby’s house in the summer. “

This long piece of writing may just look like a useless long guest list but is actually a Great view into the types of people who attended gatsby’s party’s. The peoples name on the guest lists have a common theme. they are all mostly named after animals, pests or other such creatures and example of this is “Chester Beckers and the Leeches,” and “Hornbeams and the Willie Voltaires, and a whole clan named Blackbuck,” this shows me that the type of people who attended Gatsby’s Partys were Pests who didn’t really give a dam about Gatsby they were just here for the trill of the party. this is important because it helps understand illusion as in painting the visators as pests.




“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” my interpretationWe Fight through objects with no control, with time being our controller pushing us where ever is wants us to go all because the obstacles the past put infrount of us i feel like this short but powerful quote is the most effective use of symbols, words and a great summary of the story. it uses the past in the water to tell their is no beating it as it is “Bourne back ceaselessly into the past. its fully justifys the symbol of water being the past and explains why gatsby didnt get dasiy back. he was so stuck on the past “boats against the currents.” this is why his qoute is importnat to understanding illusion in the great gatsby


”I bought a dozen volumes on banking and credit and investment securities and they stood on my shelf in red and gold like new money from the mint, promising to unfold the shining secrets that only Midas and Morgan and Mæcenas knew.”. this is an example of nick narrating the book giving deep allusions. midas is a greek god who is very rich as everything he touches turns to gold. J.P Morgan made his own banking company and Mæcenas was an extremely wealthy patron. nick is using allusion to say he is on his way to the top and about to earn the big bucks. this is why this quote is important to understanding illusion and allusion in the great gatsby.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Fletch, you are beginning to touch on some important ideas in the book but you have left many of these passages of analysis in a shallow state.

    An example of this is your analysis with the Green Light. You mention that Gatsby refers to it often however you don’t explore the idea of it “slipping” from its reach. You have not mentioned the gradual fading of the light at different areas of the book that would have supported your comments about obstacles being in the way etc.


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