“People have a habit of inventing fictions they will believe wholeheartedly in order to avoid the truth they cannot accept” This is an aspect of the art of illusion, some people create a fake identity to create themselves the perfect illusion so that they can fit into societies perception of what is “good”.Four texts that portray this are The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, Gossip Girl directed and created by Stephanie Savage and John Schwartz, New Girl by Paige Harbison and The Lost Decade by F Scott Fitzgerald.These texts show us living behind an illusion through their main characters who have all created illusions for themselves.
The Great Gatsby is a novel written by F.Scott Fitzgerald.In the Great Gatsby, the main character that we focus on through the text is Jay Gatsby.Gatsby portrays the illusion of a rich man who comes from family wealth when in reality he is a man who has built his rich image through illegal trades.He made this fake persona specifically so he could be apart of the upper class and more specifically so he could be at an appropriate status so he could win over Daisy and he could rekindle his relationship with her. Nick discusses Gatsby’s persona when he says “So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end” From the quote we can see that Nick believes Gatsby’s persona is immature and not representing his age as he gets older. Typically seventeen-year-olds are all parties, friends, and girls which is where Gatsby’s illusion began, He created someone who a young girl would want and hadn’t evolved his persona as he grew up.He never gave up on Daisy and was completely faithful to it to the personality he had made to win her over to the moment he died as he was waiting for Daisy’s call.Before we learn about Gatsby’s illusion it is hinted to us early in the novel at his party when Nick comments on how great the party is Gatsby responds by saying “i keep it always full of interesting people” When Gatsby says this he is revealing that he doesn’t know any of these people but is surrounding himself by them to make him make his illusion believable and people see him as the Jay Gatsby he has created and not the young boy he had worked so hard to make disappear.
Gossip Girl is a television series directed and created by Josh Swartz and Stephanie Savage, students are always being posted about by “gossip girl” who no one knows the true identity of.After high school, they think gossip girl is done with them but she follows them through their life constantly posting about them until the last episode where gossip girl is revealed as Dan Humphry. .Everyone saw the illusion that Dan wanted them to see, he wanted them to see him as the outsider who knew nothing and was totally irrelevant in their world, but really Dan was the ultimate insider who knew everything and could absolutely flip their world. When Dan uncovers himself as gossip girl he reveals why“Have you ever wanted something so badly where you just know you’re not going to get … well, that was my whole life.the moment I met you I knew I couldn’t pull you out of your world into mine, but I couldn’t give up” Dan was so enchanted by Serena and the lifestyle that he would somehow make his way into it.He had always felt like an outsider due to his status because everyone at that school were rich snobs who wore designer clothes, well he was wearing hand me downs from his family.Therefore he created the illusion of Gossip Girl so he felt apart of it the upper east side community. He, later on, says that “A membership into this community was so elite you couldn’t even buy your way in, it was a birthright. A birthright I didn’t have and my greatest achievements would never earn me. But I had an idea if I wasn’t born into this world maybe I could write myself into it… every writer has his muse.” This is referring to the fact that the upper east side isn’t somewhere you can simply have a lot of money to be apart of it is a community where you, your parents and your friends have been apart of and linked to for years.The advantages that came with it were never having to earn anything due to your name which is why Dan says his achievements would never earn him it, which is why he wrote himself in and then mentions that Serena is his muse and the reason as well. He created the illusion of Gossip Girl to feel apart of the upper east side and to win over Serena just like Gatsby made his fake persona to be apart of the east egg community and upper class so he could win over Daisy.However, Dan wanted people to still see him as the outsider so no one could suspect he was gossip girl this making the illusion of gossip girl seamless unlike Gatsby Dan didn’t physically insert him into the upper class instead he made up the persona to be his cover up or “illusion” but Gatsby makes himself the illusion which is not as seamless as Dans because people figure out his illusion whereas Dan reveals that the illusion of gossip girl was him
New Girl by Paige Harbison is about a girl who moves to a new school, she was the outsider at her old school and took the opportunity of being at a new school to reinvent herself and her personality.She came across a carefree girl who let nothing get to her.We later learn in the book that this lifestyle is taking a toll on her, making her do things she wouldn’t be comfortable doing before and she felt weak under the pressure of the illusion everyone saw of her. early in the book she mentions how it makes her feel seeing people in the position she used to be in “It was so incredibly nostalgic for a life I’d never, ever have again” This shows us that she wanted to keep her illusion strong and never wanted to be put in the place of feeling like a loser again. She also says how the pressure of her new personality was affecting her.“I felt determined and strong, but weak and alone all at once” She says she is feeling weak, the control is out of her hands now she built this illusion but is now trapped in it.However it made her feel strong because she wasn’t an outcast anymore, she had power over boys and girls at her school and was determined to keep it that way.Everyone sees Becca as a strong person with no insecurity or flaws.Like Dan, Becca had always felt like an outsider and similar to Dan she found a way to be on the inside.She created someone who was confident and popular who knew everything just as Dan did with gossip girl however, Dan did it anonymously making sure no one knows who is behind the illusion of gossip girl and had all the power in the upper east side.Becca, on the other hand, made herself the illusion so she could have the power of knowledge within the school but made sure people knew it so they didn’t question why she had this authority as the most popular girl in school.
The song cool kids by Eco Smith outlines the illusion that teenagers create during school so they can fit in amongst the so-called “cool kids”.The persona they create is something so similar to everyone else in the crowd so they don’t stick out in the crowd.This quote in the song “Yeah, they’re living the good life.Cant see what he is going through” These lyrics from the song show us that these people are living the illusion of being like the cool kids.The supposed cool kids cannot see through his illusion, but he feels the pressure and pain of being someone who he is not to fit in.Another part of the song that shows us the illusion these people create of themselves to fit into society is in the chorus the words “I wish that I could be like the cool kids ‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in” These kids in school wish they can be like these cool kids so their lives run smoothly and they have nothing to stress about when it comes to society’s perception of who they are, they just come across as someone who is following a trend or being apart of the “social norm.”Their wish to be like the cool kids and fir in pushes them to create this illusion of themselves so they can achieve these goals.The song Cool Kids and the novel New Girl both outline the illusion people present in order to be a Cool Kid within a school setting.They show the struggles that people go through in the background of their illusions they have created because that is supposedly who they are now.Unlike New Girl in the lyrics of Cool Kids, we see a lot more of the problems in the background of the facade and in New Girl, we only see this when Becca is at breaking point reflecting on her choices.
The texts The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald, Gossip Girl directed and created by John Swartz and Stefanie Savage, New Girl by Paige Harbison and the song Cool Kids by Eco Smith all present to us the illusion people create of themselves to fit into the society they want to be a part of.A status is a relative social platform or position, All these stories show us that these people created their illusion for a status.Some create their status for love some created their status for a craving to be apart of the top tier of society.People feel the need so deeply to be perceived as someone with a great solid lifestyle and aim for a high status, We want it so bad we create illusions of ourselves.Better versions to show because we are disappointed with the reality.The four texts show characters who create their illusions to escape their realities but in the end, reality catches up.