F. Scott Fitzgerald looked upon appearance and reality through the eyes of a great author. He saw that all authors live in reality, while everyone else lives in a sense of what is appeared, or not knowing the whole truth. He shows us that the author must question everything, breaking down the appearances that are set up by people and by our society. Fitzgerald shows that normal people don't question everything, and therefore are fooled by appearances many times. In The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald suggests many things about appearance and reality. I think that the strongest thing Fitzgerald suggests is that you create your own appearance, and with this, you shape the person that you are creating an illusion. All of the rich people in this book have some sort of illusion surrounding their persona, but Gatsby has the greatest of all illusions surrounding him.
Tom's voice, incredulous and insulting: I told you I went there [Oxford]," said Gatsby.
"I heard you, but I would like to know when."
"It was in nineteen-nineteen. I only stayed for five months."
Tom glanced around to see if we mirrored his unbelief (Fitzgerald 136).
This passage shows that even Gatsby has bought into the illusion that he has created for himself. It is as if he has thought out the answer for every question about his past, so that he can come off as being distinguished and honest. It would be hard to read The Great Gatsby without analyzing if the narrator, Nick Carroway falls into the illusion of Gatsby. With little hesitation I would say that Nick does fall into the illusion set up. From the first few chapters of the book we see how everyone collapses over Gatsby, and is in utter disbelief that Nick does not know the great and all powerful Gatsby. Nick reacts to what everyone tells him about Gatsby in a calm way, as the objective narrator that he is. "Well, they say he's a nephew or a cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm's. That's where all his money comes from... I'm scared of him. I'd hate to have to get anything on me."(Fitzgerald 37). At this moment, Nick has seen Gatsby for several seconds, has never spoken to him nor even really seen him. Because of Gatsby's appearance, people must make up wild stories and guess about his past. Catherine has drawn these conclusions about Gatsby, which feels as he would want; total mystery and illusion about his past. He is ashamed of his past leading him to keep it hidden, and making everyone think that he is living a great life, and has no issues. This is all well and fine until his illusion’s secrets spilled and in turn brings the departure of Daisy and Tom’s relationship, and his death. Because Gatsby created this delusion, Myrtle, Wilson, and Gatsby were killed.
The reality of the whole Gatsby situation, is that he is a crooked business man, a no good person, a cheat and a liar. Gatsby made his money in underhanded schemes, illegal activities, and the hurting of many people. All this was done for the center where his heart relied, the love he could not help but to feed, not being able to accept before because of his misfortune. Fitzgerald definitely does not absolve illusion, in fact, without it, this book would not be half the book it is. Fitzgerald is trying to tell us through this book that we should not fall for the mirage that people want us to believe in. I feel that Fitzgerald looks frowns upon illusions, as if people were to stop pretending what they are not and what they will never be. The author feels that illusion has a place in our life. Appearance brings us out of the troubled, dry, hopelessness that we live in every day.