In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, he tells the story of Daisy and Gatsby,
two long lost lovers reunited after a long period of separation. Forced apart by war, they
left each other at the height of their love. While they were apart, Gatsby kept up a grand
dream. Five years later, they met again. However, things were much different the second
After their first afternoon together, the narrator explains his thoughts on what is
going on between Daisy and Gatsby. He says, “As I went over to say goodbye I saw that
the expression of bewilderment had come back into Gatsby’s face, as though a faint doubt
had occurred to him as to the quality of his present happiness. Almost five years! There
must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams- not
through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone
beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion,
adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No
amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man stores up in his ghostly heart.” I
think the words, “colossal vitality of his illusion,” are a perfect description. For five years,
all Gatsby thought about was Daisy. He only concentrated on her admirable qualities. For
him, there was no such thing as a displeasing feature about her. His mind just kept
building her up until there was no person more perfect in the world. Anyone reading the
book would have to realize that inevitably she would fall short of his dreams. Gatsby was
living in a fantasy. His house was just like the castle of a king. His parties were
unbelievably fun and carefree. There were no finer things in the world than his. And most
importantly, there was no person more marvelous than his Daisy. Nothing in his world
was real. He had created it all. I am surprised that everything held up as long as it did.
He believed in something very unbelievable for a very long time.
In the end, even as everyone else saw the collapse of Gatsby’s dream, he never let
go. Until the day he died, he still had hope that he and Daisy would live happily ever after.
I can’t think of a better example of his illusion than this.
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