Williams and Fitzgerald both accentuate the effect to which self-delusions are used by wealthy individuals to create a superficial adequate world. Many forms of deception are used by all characters throughout both texts, elaborate pretences are created then linked to social issues present in the early 20th century. It is quickly presented that lies are a vital part of the characters’ lives as they shape their appearances around them. The authors portray falsehoods as being used daily and unconsciously, lies become reality and reality becomes a dream.
In both A Streetcar Named Desire and The Great Gatsby, central characters of a higher social class constantly formulate facades in order to fool themselves and others around them because they believe they live in a “grotesque reality”(1). In Chapter Five Daisy and Nick are given a tour of Gatsby’s spectacular mansion. With the intention of impressing Daisy, Gatsby states that he is never lonely as he keeps his house “always full of interesting people”(2). Fitzgerald uses such an obvious and unnecessary lie here possibly to remind us that lying became a popular character trait in all of his central characters throughout the novel. Rather than exposing the truth Gatsby chooses to lie to someone who he ‘loves’ in order to boost his perception of himself in Daisy’s eyes. Gatsby’s lying can be justified to the reader, as being dishonest wasn’t regarded as rude as Fitzgerald implies that all of his characters from the 1920’s lied. However just because Gatsby had wealth it didn’t mean that his lying went unnoticed, it just wasn’t questioned by others. This could be a satirical comment from Fitzgerald regarding the state of his society and the extent to which people go just to feel content with their lives. Lying was imperative in order to reach ‘The American Dream’, the ultimate prize, as not everyone was of equal social class therefore certain people had an advantage, but not Gatsby. His unnecessary lie is an example of his desperate attempts to be a part of the elite social class, meaning he could finally become equals with Tom and Daisy and have a chance of winning her back. A Streetcar Named Desire’s Blanche DuBois reflects this in her bleak relationship with Shep Huntleigh, however she believes they are both from the same strata of wealth therefore her lying could be for many different reasons. Whilst writing her inaccurate letter to Shep, Blanche laughs at herself “for being such a liar”(3), again it is prominent that the lies are most probably pointless as they are ridiculous. Blanche’s lies become her only way of gaining her primal reputation back in her ideal world. It is feasible that Williams used many lies during Blanche’s dialogue to emphasise her unhappiness with reality and to highlight her pitied attempts to delude herself on purpose. Blanche admits she adds “a little temporary magic”(4) to her life and to others opinions of herself when explaining to Mitch why she chose to deceive him. Gatsby and Blanche both purposely forget about the truth in order to create an elaborate persona for themselves. In Blanche’s case, her delusions are almost humorous due to the ludicrous extent to which she carries them on. Williams forms sympathy for Blanche using this technique as it makes the audience notice she honestly believes she has no other option of keeping herself sane, when in fact she is doing the opposite. On the other hand Blanche’s creation of fantasy’s could be interpreted as Williams shared view on reality, the reader already knows that Williams said “I am Blanche Dubois”(18) , so maybe all of Blanche’s vivid ways of expressing her opinions regarding reality are just ways of Williams letting society know how he interprets the harsh reality you are left with. She admits to her fault when confronted by Mitch