The novel, ‘The Great Gatsby’ written by F. Scott Fitzgerald centres around the lives of five main character during a single summer in upper-class 1920’s New York. The characters lives are consumed by materialistic objects and their need to hide their true nature from each other. Fitzgerald explores the idea of illusion through his characters and their relationships with each other. The relationships I will be discussing are, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, Tom and Myrtle Wilson, Daisy and Jay Gatsby. In my analysis of these relationships, I will be explaining the facade people display to others to obtain what they desire most.
Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s monotonous relationship once seemed like the best decision they could possibly make but as time moved on, so did their feelings for each other. After Gatsby left for war, Daisy met Tom and together they fell in love, married and moved to East Egg. For a while they were happy, but soon the illusion of there happily ever after fell away in pieces. Daisy tried to keep their image intact but in the process lost all of her energy to feel emotions. “Distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belong”. Tom and Daisy live in a world separate from everyone else, to them the rules do not apply. It is a life they have been born into, they do not fit in anywhere else.
“impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire” Both Tom and Daisy are bored in their current relationship, their want for each other has evaporated leaving them both searching for something new.
– “It’ll show you how I’ve gotten to feel about – things. Well, she was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling”
Tom Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson’s relationship with each other was founded solely on Tom’s want for excitement and Myrtle’s desperate need to climb the social classes.
Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan’s poisonous relationship was destined to fail from the start, and as the lies dug deeper it became apparent that they would not make it out unscathed. After spending a single summer together before Gatsby went off to war, Daisy and Jay fell in love. Although their time spent with each other was fleeting, their emotions stayed with them all the way up to when they were reunited again, 5 years later. In Gatsby’s mind, once they are together again everything can go back to how it was when they first met, what he doesn’t understand that Daisy has moved on. She is married to Tom now and they have a daughter, “They weren’t happy … and yet they weren’t unhappy either”. Daisy knows that Tom is having an affair, yet she does nothing to stop it. She is too afraid that by she leaving him to be with Gatsby she might not get all the materialistic objects that come with a person of Tom’s social standing. The colour gold is a symbol of wealth and social class, Daisy and Tom are associated with gold but Gatsby is fake, a fraud, he lied and cheated his way to the top which is why he is related to yellow. Although Gatsby is associated with yellow, “yellow cocktail music…twin yellow dresses”, when he reunites with Daisy for the first time, everything surrounding him is gold. “gold-colored tie…Pale gold odour…pure dull gold. ” This is because at this point in time Gatsby undoubtedly believes that Daisy will leave Tom for him and that he could finally reach the very top of the social classes and become golden. Then as time moves on, Gatsby is stuck in the past and Daisy has slowly moved out of his grasp, leaving Gatsby to forever stay in his yellow life.