2.4 Writing Portfolio- The Enlightenment Task

“No man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience”

 

The quote above was said by an English philosopher John Locke. I will be focusing on one of his most influential essays ‘Concerning Human Understanding’ where he explains that he believes all humans are born with no knowledge, or as he called it Tabula Rasa. We do not acquire any of our knowledge at birth, rather we learn and adapt through the process of education we will then gain skills, then being able to improve it with the more time we spend learning the given skill/subject. A famous novel that has many key moments throughout that show examples of Locke’s theory is Mary Shelly’s book written in 1818 – Frankenstein, throughout this well-known novel Frankenstein learns new abilities by observing what the people around him are doing.

John Locke was a philosopher and physician born in the seventeenth century on  August the 29th  in England. Locke mainly studied Western philosophy and then later studied his key interests which were philosophy, political philosophy, economics and epistemology, and was later said to be ‘one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers.’ A major part that stood out in his ‘Blank Slate’ theory is the fact that we are limited to the amount of knowledge we can retain and successfully use and perfect, he uses the words “to be more cautious in meddling with things that are beyond its powers to understand… to stop… at the extreme end of its tether… to be peacefully reconciled to the ignorance of things that turn out to be beyond the reach of our capabilities.” In that quote, Locke is trying to put across the idea the amount of knowledge that we retain can be satisfied and to be content with that, rather than trying got force yourself to try and remember more information. “… it is useful for the sailor to know how long his line is, even though it is to fathom all the depths of the ocean.”. This quote states that we as humans should be aware of the fact that we can only learn so much for it to still be useful, though we want to learn more.

Mary Shelley’s book Frankenstein is focused on a very intelligent yet mindless scientist named Victor Frankenstein, whose interest lies mainly in the science region. Victor decides to create a monster out of various body parts that came from separate deceased bodies. He claims to be creating this creature for the ‘betterment of mankind.’ whilst studying science victor becomes obsessed with attempting to create life out on inanimate objects that one would not imagine having a life. “A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe they’re being to me. I might in process of time (although I now found it impossible) renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption.” The quote above makes it seems as if Victor is more so creating this monster for his own satisfaction rather than something that will assist in the; ‘betterment of mankind.’ At the beginning Victor seemed to be going to great length on learning how to cheat death and to me this seems that he was genuine about helping mankind, but as he proceeded he let himself be overcome by his ego making him believe he will be on some sort of ‘high horse’ once he had completed his creation.

This all relates back to the quote  “… it is useful for the sailor to know how long his line is, even though it is to fathom all the depths of the ocean.”.  As Victor was unaware that though he thought he was helping,  his act in order to satisfy his own intellectual need was later going to cause more damage than he can imagine, but because he was so caught up in himself he didn’t think of what could and would happen once he completed the creation.

Another connection to Frankenstein became very clear through the birth of the monster. When he first came to life and to awareness he was unaware of his capabilities or surroundings, The creature was oblivious to who he was and how he was different from everyone else as he had never been educated before.  Slowly Frankenstein’s monster begins to learn new things. When he discovered the ability to walk, he said ‘…but I now found that I could wander at my liberty, with no obstacles I could either surmount or avoid.’ All of the monsters behaviours are very much similar to a newborn baby with the fact that he knew nothing when born, but is learning through observing others and being education from that. When the monster goes out by himself, he became aware of other sensations saying “I felt light, and hunger, and thirst, and darkness; innumerable sounds rang in my ears, and on all sides, various scents saluted me” as well as that he learnt was able to solve basic problems like building a fire to combat him being cold. when learning something new it filled him with such joy, yet he had not met anyone yet. So he did not know he was different.

Once Frankenstein’s monster was aware of what he was and shunned for his monstrous appearance, he became filled with anger and thirst for revenge on Victor and learnt that. Though he would have liked to hurt victor directly over time he learnt that it was more effective to harm victors loved ones, which ends with him committing murderous acts furthermore making not only himself but victor realise his true capabilities

In conclusion, we can see that as humankind, we  get carried aware in attempts to make a difference to either ourselves or the people around us, Victor started off his research trying to find a way to assist mankind cheat death but ended up solely doing everything for his own benefit though he could never be satisfied with what he was doing no matter the length he went to do so.

The monster, on the other hand, was forcefully created and throughout the novel we can see his transformation from being lost and innocent to ending up revengeful, murderous and malicious. It was all because of the fact that he wasn’t aware of who he was nor the purpose for him to be created, Victor’s abandonment meant that the monster had to educate and experience the outside world by himself. As the creature, Victor made was made up of body parts from many people there was no way to tell if any of the deceased people he had taken the parts from were also malicious and murderous and this could have been what lead the monster to become so aggressive once angry. We as humans tend to portray the behaviour of what we have been taught in our surrounding but when you aren’t educated by anyone and left to your own accord that’s when things can get out of hand.

To summarise, not only Victor himself but also the Monster he created show key behaviour that links back to John Locke’s theory because one of them is unable to be satisfied by his work and the other was abandoned and left to educate himself how he sees the best fit.

 

Significant Connections

Significant Connections

Character

Sometimes it’s not the person who changes it’s then either changing the mask they wear or taking it off altogether, This speech is going to be about the illusion of identity and how 4 texts are able to connect together with the same kind of illusion. In many texts the main character pretends to be someone they’re not, the people around this character begin to believe their false identity too. The texts I will be focusing on today are: The Great Gatsby- F. Scott Fitzgerald (Novel) In this novel everyone believes that Gatsby is a Great powerful and rich man and he is able to lie his way through to truth to keep this lifestyle intact, Easy A (Film) In the film Olive Penderghast tell a lie about losing her virginity and everyone believes this rumour once its spread around her whole school, though this is a bad image for her to have she plays it off and starts to live up to this lie, The LandLady (Short Story) When Mr Weaver first meets the LandLady he sees her as a kind and generous old lady but slowly he realises she not quite as nice as he once thought but the LandLady is very good at avoiding questions that will reveal her true identity. Finally, I’m going to be talking about a short story called False Identity (Short Story) it’s about a lady who commits a crime but she’s been planning her new identity so she doesn’t get caught for a very long time, she goes into great detail in the hope that people won’t see through her new self.

The Great Gatsby is about a man called Jay Gatsby, throughout the novel Jay is constantly adapting his lifestyle for a married lady named Daisy Buchanan, He started off in a poor family but once he met daisy during the war in 1917 he was determined to have her as his own. Jay inherited a large amount of money after a family he was very close too died after this he started to rebuild his life to the finest detail, Gats revolved every decision he made around Daisy, One example of this was buying a house directly across the bay from her. His neighbour Nick Carraway becomes relatively close to Jay and begins to observe his behaviour. When Nick asks Gatsby about his family he states “I am the son of some wealthy people in the Middle West — all dead now” Nick says that Jay says this ‘automatically’ which makes it seem like he has rehearsed the line… making it seem almost fake. The reader becomes aware of Jays obsessed with Daisy Buchanan but as the novel progresses the illusion jay has built up for daisy begins to crumble. After all the years Gats has perfected his lifestyle we see his true identity. Furthermore, another thing that backs up Jay’s fake stories is the fact that no one really knows anything about jay.. at all… some don’t even believe he exists. The reader realises from this novel that someone people go to great extents to impress someone but its difficult to keep the illusion intact when becoming close to people around you as eventually, the truth will slip out.

The reader realises from this novel that someone people go to great extents to impress someone but its difficult to keep the illusion intact when becoming close to people around you as eventually, the truth will slip out. Jay has been spending so much time trying to change himself for the one girl he loves but when she doesn’t love him back he becomes agitated letting is true intentions out

Easy A is about a young adult called Olive Penderghast… At the beginning of the film Olive lies to her best friend about losing her virginity, little does she know someone overheard this conversations resulting in the lie/rumour spreading around the whole school, initially Olive isn’t very happy about everyone knowing the lie that she told, Yet after she is called many names and judged but most people at her school she decided to live up to the rumour, Boys begin to pay her to lie about sexual activities they have done with Olive. Adding to this Olive changes her whole appearance too by purchasing and wearing things that most people would say is too revealing to wear at school but Olive is determined to continue on with this person she has embraced. After a while Olive realises that many of the boys in her school are lying to their friends about olive and that’s getting her into lots of tricky situations, she becomes to dislike the image she is portraying and wants to try a get out of the rumour that has been growing for many weeks if not months. Struggling to make people believe that the rumour is not true she realises she has begun to like a boy called Todd. Todd is willing to help her out of the situation she is in… From this movie we as the viewer realise that a rumour can be spread quickly and taken many different ways it gets to the point where the person whom this is targetted towards begins to believe it to a point where they decide to act the way others perceive them but once you box yourself in the illusion it is hard to escape as you have dug yourself a hole too deep to get out of and you have to rely on those around you to believe you and not the rumour.

From this movie we as the viewer realise that a rumour can be spread quickly and taken many different ways it gets to the point where the person whom this is targetted towards begins to believe it to a point where they decide to act the way others perceive them but once you box yourself in the illusion it is hard to escape as you have dug yourself a hole too deep to get out of and you have to rely on those around you to believe you and not the rumour.

The Land Lady written by Roald Dahl is a short story about an older lady who has a few sinister secrets which he hides upstairs in her B&B, A man named Billy Weaver is looking for a place to stay, whilst wandering down the street he notices a sign in a window saying ‘Bed and Breakfast’ peering through the window he sees a burning fire with a small dog sitting beside. Knocking on the door an innocent looking older lady answers it and offers him a room to say and of course, he accepts. After a while, Billy becomes suspicious of the Landlady and with only 2 people staying at the B&B in the past 3 years he began to question her and what she said. The Landlady claims that the 2 guests, Gregory Temple and Christopher Mulhollin have never left the house and live on the third floor together. Next Mr Weaver notices a realistic stuffed parrot in the corner of the room later coming to realise the dog that he saw laying by the fire was in fact stuffed too. He further says “it must be a difficult thing to do” with the landlady replying “not at all, I stuff all of my pets when they pass away.” Billy is still trying to make sense of all of this when he takes a sup out of his tea with tastes like Bitter Almonds. It is said that poison tastes like bitter almond so as the reader we because quite suspicious of the Landladys intentions. The short story finally ends of Billy exclaiming that there haven’t been any guest there in the past 2-3 years with the landlady replying “no dear…. only you.”

As the reader we are able to see the Landlady become more suspicious as the story continues, this shows the reader that people can be very good at hiding their true intentions when needed. The LandLady avoided all of the questions Billy Weaver asked but also a few giveaways slipped out when trying to conversate with him such as the 2 guest have never left. Though we don’t find out what happens to Billy as the reader we complete the story ourselves and personally I think the story ends with Billy getting stuffed like the animals and as I assume the other guests. But the landlady secret will only last so long because eventually her true intentions will be revealed

False Identity is a short story about a lady who has murdered a man whom she calls her ‘target’. Once she shoots the man she flees the scene where she then runs into an elevator to change her whole appearance in a matter of minutes. The lady who now calls herself Sharyn Smith has conjured up a whole story in the hope not to get caught by the police. Within the story, Mrs Smith has gone into great detail which she believes will not fail. not only the story but her whole appearance has changed too from her hear to her facial mannerisms. Sharyn became so focused on this story that it just looped over in her head, making sure she didn’t forget a single detail. The story ends with her evacuating the building and getting into a car in which she drives away and states ‘another successful mission complete’

From the story, the reader gathers that this lady is a spy but it is not clear what her aim is. Right at the beginning, she kills a man by shooting a single bullet that ‘buried itself in the targets handsome face.’ immediately after this that lady who was disguised as a man now identifies as Sharyn Smith. This tells us that she has been planning for this to happen for a very long time. she has had the time to create a new personality for herself and is determined that no one finds out about the crime she committed. This is significant as it proves people can lie about themselves to get themselves out of difficult situations. They become so focused on their ‘story’ that it’s all they think about, they almost unintentionally become the person themselves because of this unhealthy obsession

In conclusion, it doesn’t matter what the person’s intentions are. Everyone has had their own illusion but it usually gets revealed or the find reality within it all. But some people are that absorbed in trying to be someone else that they don’t realise how serious it has become. Some people live out their illusions for their whole life without thinking otherwise about it but some peoples illusion crumbles before their very eyes and they see through the filter of reality as everything they have spent time perfecting vanishes into nothingness.

In the Great Gatsby we learn about the lifestyle he created for his love of Daisy Buchanan but when he realises she no longer loves him he attempts to patch up the mistakes he has made with no real luck. In Easy A we learn that some people begin to dislike the illusion they have created for themselves very much but when they try to go back to their normal life people become too attached to the fake person who they were that they don’t believe their true identity. In the landlady, we learn that people will protect their secrets and true intentions to the best of their ability and though people might be a bit suspicious of what they say, they continue to lie or avoid their way out if it. Finally, in False identity, we learn that some peoples illusions take minutes to create where others take days to months and even sometimes years.

Though we are not, all the same, we all have our own illusions but its whether you decide to let them go or maybe they crumble before you without real choice or will you live them out until the very end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speech Draft

 

THE ILLUSION OF BEAUTY

BEGINNING

Am I ugly… Statistics show that over 330 people google this phrase every day, but what is actually beautiful? Are we stuck behind the illusion that we have to be a size 0 model to be “beautiful”?

Today I’m going to talk to you about beauty within our society. To be beautiful no longer means to see the interior of a person, instead, we focus the exterior persona they display but when did society become so absorbed in someone’s image. From the 1840s to the 1930s it was classed beautiful to be what we now call Rubenesque, plump or fat; A painter named Peter Paul has sold paintings worth thousands of dollars that feature women who are voluptuous, countless people have called the stunning yet they are unable to say that about themselves when they look in a mirror and it’s because of the standards that we see online and through media. When did it become not okay to love your appearance?

what I want to know is where did our perception of beauty come from? it’s only recently that we have been exposed to mass amounts of photoshopped images as technology has advanced, people of our age have started to critique themselves more than usual, we have begun to judge ourselves on whether or not our skin is clear or if our stomach is flat,  wishing we could look like that model that we saw on Instagram last week or the peers around us that we assume are perfect, we become so obsessed trying to make ourselves look like them with their perfect complexion this then causes us to turn to social media in the hope to find an answer, All we see are staged photos that have had hours of photoshop, countless of makeup and thousands of dollars worth of professional lighting and photography. We know that all of this editing happens, yet we start to believe that we have to be like them to become beautiful so we buy the overpriced cosmetics and clothing that those medias advertise. We are constantly chasing something that is at an unreachable distance but we don’t realise that if we continue chasing this one thing we so desperately want, we are going to end up with nothing. Yes, these models are real people but they aren’t an accurate representation of what we should be, what we should look like.

We are constantly chasing something that is at an unreachable distance but we don’t realise that if we continue chasing this one thing we so desperately want, we are going to end up with nothing. Yes, these models are real people but they aren’t an accurate representation of what we should be, what we should look like.

In the United States alone the average woman spends roughly a total of 8 years worth of her income which is around $600000 on cosmetics but only uses about $7 worth of the products a day so why are women buying 8 times the amount of makeup than they actually need? One word, media….. As well as makeup and cosmetics social platforms are also helping women and men hide their imperfections by creating filters, filters that make your face slimmer or blur any blemishes. Once people have used the filters they dislike their natural image even more so why is social media okay with this happening??

Take Emma for example, she is a 14-year-old girl who is struggling with acne, just like most of us in this very room Emma lays in bed at night scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Ads begin to pop up one after another, all advertising the newest anti acne cream that will cause all spots and scars to fade, Emma sees this as a miracle so of course, she purchases it. Days go by and still no sign of the product, Days turn into Weeks and weeks into months until finally, Emma receives the parcel at her front door, Without thinking she tears open the box expecting to be transformed. The product is on and she’s getting ready to see her new self yet she stands up and looks into her mirror to see herself just the way she was before. That night Emma lays in bed on Facebook once again and what does she see? another advertisement of a different brand selling a nearly identical product for twice the price and of course Emma purchases the product because she wants to look like those models that have taken over our TV’s, Laptops and phones. WIthout realising Emma spirals into a cycle. it was her routine to buy these overpriced products because she thought that maybe one day one of these products would work

That night Emma lays in bed on Facebook once again and what does she see? another advertisement of a different brand selling a nearly identical product for twice the price and of course Emma purchases the product because she wants to look like those models that have taken over our TV’s, Laptops and phones. WIthout realising Emma spirals into a cycle. it was her routine to buy these overpriced products because she thought that maybe one day one of these products would work. Hundreds of dollars and hours of Emmas time later she is standing in front of the mirror to see the reflection of a girl she once loved, she began to question when did she stop loving herself and it was because of the people around her, they were the ones who had brain washed her and put these standards into her head. But truly she did love her self because she was unique, she was herself.

Just like Emma we are surrounded by the media every day and the images we see become our normal but truly, Beauty is Power, it’s not about how much makeup you wear or how clear you skin may be because in reality, we all have our flaws and the way you feel about yourself is the way other people will see you. Beauty is about perception, not about make-up, I think the beginning of all beauty is loving you for who you truly are instead on looking through the distorted mirror the society has constructed. Thank you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Symbols

GREEN LIGHT

‘he stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way…involuntarily I glanced seaward- and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and faraway, that might have been the end of a dock.’ in the novel, there is a green light located at the end of Daisy and Toms dock that you can see from Gatsby’s mansion. The green light represents illusion and Gatsby dream on Daisy. Before they meet the green light is “minute and far away,” but as the novel continues the light gets bigger, like Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship but then when Gatsby thinks he finally got his dream the light becomes blurred and faded like Daisy’s feelings for Gatsby. For me, this helps me understand illusion because Gatsby has created a completely new life for himself in the hope to get Daisy back in his life and their relationship will be just as it was 5 years ago. The green light represents Gatsby’s hope his hope is an illusion as if fades he begins to realise that his dream probably won’t come true. so he was illuded by his obsession with Daisy.

DR T.J ECHLEBURG BILLBOARD

Dr T.J Eckleburg is an optometrist who painted eyes looking through a pair of yellow rimmed glasses in the Valley of Ashes. The billboard has been there for so long that people refer to it as God as its always watching over them ‘Over the ash heaps the giant eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg kept their vigil.’ they say that T.J Eckleburg sees everything so whenever something bad happens in the novel it’s always where the eyes can see.

WHITE

White is used throughout the novel and its a symbol of innocence and it’s mostly daisy that white is referred to. Before Daisy’s marriage her car she drives is white and now her clothes, belongings and even her home is white, her name is even a white flower which is another symbol. Daisy is portraying an image of flawlessness and beauty. But once you get to know Daisy she is far from that it’s just her outer image on the inside she is selfish, shallow and materialistic. This helps me understand illusion because Gatsby believes Daisy to be perfect but then he shows her true side but still “He is seeing the world without the filter of Daisy”

 

 

 

 

Settings

EAST EGG

  • East Egg is located in New York and Nick describes it as “Fashionable East Egg” those who reside in East Egg have inherited they’re money and are most commonly quite wealthy. Because of they’re wealth, they tend to be quite selfish and shallow. Although it was more fashionable Nick stated  “…though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister intrastate between them.” which lets us know as the reader that maybe East Egg isn’t as perfect as we had suspected. Becuase they are old money it means they don’t have to work to earn their wealth making them quite snobby to those who don’t have a life that is luxury like theirs.
  • This Setting helped me understand illusion as the people who live here don’t have to work for their money they just sit back and take it for granted their extravagant housed with their luxury food, clothes and belongings. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made. . . .” this shows us that they did take everything for granted and the ‘American Dream’ was all just an illusion to them

WEST EGG

  • West Egg is also located in New York, Nick describes it as “- the less fashionable of the two…” this is where the ‘new money’ people reside and new money mean they have earned they’re money themselves rather than inheriting it from family. It means they have to work for theyre lifestyle. Both Gatsby and Nick live in West Egg. throughout the novel, we learn that those who live in West Egg tend to be more selfless rather than selfish

VALLEY OF ASHES

  • The Valley of Ashes is located between East Egg and West Egg with is a very dark and sad industrial looking place. It got its name from all the smoke and dust floating around giving it the look that its made of ash. In valley of ashes there is a billboard with eyes looking through a pair of yellow rimmed glasses known as Dr. T.J Eckleburg whom plays a big roll in the novel aswell. People who reside in the Valley of ashes are looking for a way to escape. George Wilson a resident of this town work in his shop every day hoping to earn enough money so him and his wife can go East.
  • The Valley of ashes helped me understand illusion because they think of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg as a big firgure who watches over them Over the ashheaps the giant eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg kept their vigil, they truely believed that he was watching them when infact its just a billboard. Another form of illusion is thee believe if they work hard enough they will get the ‘american dream’ but the work they do most of the time is not paid for so the characters who live in the Valley of Ashes are illuding to the fact that they will get the american dream

NEW YORK CITY

  • Those whom reside in NYC are 2 class people who are living theyre trying to earn enough money to live the ‘American Dream’. At the beginning of the novel when Nick has his first trip there he presents it in a positive manner describing it as having “glowing sunshine,” Upon Nicks second trip to NYC he is once again positive saying “Over the great bridge, with sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up in white heaps and sugar lumps….is always the city seen for the first time, in it’s first wild promise of all the beauty and mystery in the world.” but when he goes again with Tom and Daisy he didnt have as much of a positive look on it. The room they were sitting in “was large and stifling,” and that ” opening the windows admitted only a gust of hot shrubbery from the park.” this showed us that the characters opinions can change very quickly due to theyre encounter and the people they’re with.

 

 

Characters

NICK CARRAWAY

  • Nick Caraway is the main character in The Great Gatsby as he is, in fact, the narrator. When we first get to know about Nick he reveals information his father told him that he has so called stuck by throughout his life. “Whenever you feel like criticising anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” Nick Caraway resides in a house located in West Egg, Long Island which he states to be “-the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.” Near the beginning of the novel, we learn that Nick came from a wealthy family and he attended Yale and then got into Bonding. Throughout the book,  we learn that Nick is relatively quiet and reserved but yet he is very observant of those around him. When Nick first sees Gatsby he is standing out on their dock staring out at a green light that is located on East egg very close to Daisy’s house. Further in the novel, Nick goes on a trip to Manhattan with Tom where he finds himself going to a party in a hotel drinking alcohol with a few of Toms friends. During this experience, he witnesses Tom’s relationship with his mistress Myrtle in which he physically abuses her. In Chapter 3 Nick gets an invitation from Gatsby himself to attend one of the extravagant parties that Jay held at his house every week. At this party, Nick finally gets to meet Gatsby himself where he makes this observation of Gatsby “He smiled understandingly – much more understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life.” This tells us that Nick and Gatsby are most likely to have a friendship as Nick is already quite fond of Jay. Nick continue to spend time with both the Buchanan’s and Gatsby as the Daisy and Jays affair become more evident yet he avoids getting into the middle of arguments or conflicts.
  • Nick is one of the characters in the Great Gatsby who lives in reality and not so much in illusion, he does not let money and materialistic items control who he is or how he lives. When he says “They’re a rotten crowd. You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” showing us that he understands what money can do to people and how it can change the way they present them selfs as a person.

JAY GATSBY

  • In The Great Gatsby, the character that is predominantly focused on is Jay Gatsby. Jay resides in a large mansion located next to Nick Carraway. When Jay was younger he was a part of a poor family in North Dakota but the life Gatz had wasn’t the one he wanted; he wanted to be successful, to be known, so he changed his name and learnt the ways of a rich yacht owner. After this Gats went to war where he met Daisy and he promised when he left that he would wait for her hoping that she wouldn’t forget him. 5 Years later Jay convinces Nick who is Daisy’s, cousin, to organise a time for them to reunite. As soon a Gatsby meets Daisy again his love for her flourishes once again and he becomes more obsessed with her more than before. Gatsby is then faced with the problem that Daisy is married so he starts getting competitive to win Daisy’s, heart. Slowly Gatsby’s life starts falling apart because he changed is life so attract Daisy in the hope to have her back in his life again but now that she’s withdrawing from him what he spent so long perfecting is crumbling to pieces. Most of what we learn about Jay is based around an obsession with Daisy Buchanan and how it flourishes but then dramatically disintegrates. Gatsby changed his lifestyle is personality and everything he owned and did for Daisy because he thought that if he was the perfect gentleman with lots of money and fame Daisy would come running to him wanting him back but that didn’t necessarily happen, although we began to see they’re love for each other Daisy slowly begins realise that she doesn’t know what she wants or if Gatsby is even the man for her. In the novel, Nick Carraway shows us that Jay is realising he’s losing Daisy by saying “He is seeing things through new eyes. He is seeing the world without the filter of Daisy.’ by saying this we can see that Gatsby has always seen the world with Daisy in it and now he’s beginning to see it without Daisy and to him it’s a completely new world. 
  • Jay’s love for Daisy is one of the main examples of illusion in The Great Gatsby. He believed that Daisy would be waiting for him when he got back from the war, when he arrived home he created this extravagant and wealthy life and he then ensures Nick “I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before.” when what he is striving to have and become was in the past and you cannot get the past back so Gatsby is an illusion to himself and by the end of chapter 7 Daisy’s love for Gatsby is no longer then, bringing him to reality to see once again “He is seeing the world without the filter of Daisy”, a filter he had seen through since they first met.

DAISY BUCHANNAN

  • Daisy is the main female character in The Great Gatsby and is Gatsby’s only obsession, Although Daisy is somewhat the centre of the novel we don’t learn very much about her, she seems to have a lot of secret that she is not willing to tell anyone and when she is put in situations between Tom and Jay she doesn’t know what to do or say because she wants to make Gatsby happy but also doesn’t want to ruin her marriage with Tom Buchanan. Though she portrays an image of flawlessness and perfection, in reality, she is far from that, with her selfishness and materialism we slowly become aware of who Daisy really is. Although she did once have strong feelings for Jay her life changed and she fell in love with a wealthy man from Minnesota who studied at Yale and fought in World War 1, those feelings for Gatsby slowly drifted back into her mind as she didn’t expect to come encounter with Gatsby, but in fact she did but she has to decide whether or not those feelings she once had are still there and strong enough to cause her to run back to the past. In Chapter 1 we first meet Daisy when Nick Carraway goes to her has on East Egg and her and Jordan Baker are both on a white sofa surrounded by white while dressed in white themselves. From this scene, we get the sense that Daisy is pure as the flower daisy is in fact white which seems to back up our prediction but as the novel continues Daisy’s true side shows and our opinion of Daisy changes.
  • Daisy displays illusion with her belief that her life is full of happiness, As the reader we are illuded by Daisy perfection at the beginning she seems like an angel, like the perfect most flawless woman that two men love very much but as we learn about her materialism we are shown that in reality Daisy is ugly on the inside, she is selfish and run by money and materialistic things. The more we find out about Daisy the more we realise she isn’t as perfect as a Daisy she is like a rose, pretty at sight when you try to have it, you get hurt because of the thorns, yet you still want it because of the beauty it reflects at first sight.

GATSBY & DAISY

  • When Daisy and Gatsby first meet 5 years previous to the novel they fell in love very quickly but at the time Jay was serving in the war so he had to part with Daisy in the hope that they would one day meet again and have a life together.  Gatsby became obsessed with Daisy and would go out of his way to ensure he had the lifestyle to attract her, He committed illegal crimes to gain money to sustain the extravagant life he had created for himself but most of all Daisy. Unfortunately, at the time, he was apart from Daisy she fell in love with another man whom she married and had a child with. Unknown to Gatsby her feelings for him had faded and remained in the past. But Gatsby could not let go of the past he had to have Daisy so he persisted and went to great lengths in the hope Daisy would change her mind. Daisy didn’t want to let Gatsby down but she also couldn’t leave her husband Tom so Daisy put a mask over her true self and in the scene where Gatsby throws an array of shirts down onto Daisy she says ”They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before.” this shows us not only Daisy’s selfish, materialistic side it also shows us that she isn’t willing to tell Gatsby the truth but they continue to spend time with each other. Near the end of the novel Daisy hits Myrtle with Gatsby car while driving, Jay still thought there was a strong chance of them being together to the point where he covered up Daisy’s murder but unfortunately for Gatsby Daisy never fully opened up to anyone and she began to act like Gats didn’t even exist.

NICK AND GATSBY

  • When Nick moves into his house on West Egg next to Gatsby he is oblivious to Gatsby’s plans. later n the novel after Nick hears about Gats from other people he is personally invited to one of Jay’s parties that he holds every week. While there he sees Jordan Baker again whom Gatsby has spoken to and has asked jordan to ask a favor of nick which nick accepts. This favour is for nick to invite Daisy to his house where Gats can meet her again. Basically Gatby uses Nick to finalise his dream of being with Daisy. Nick begins to observe gatsby and starts spending more time with Gatsby to find out he isnt as perfect as everyone thinks yet Nick becomes very fond of him as he can see gatsby likes him very much. Nick observes Gatsby so much that he notices the minor details. when both meet, Nick says that Jay has “one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life.” most people would not make observations like this on a first encounter. Nick experiences a few of the dodgy things gatsby does to sustain his lifestyle that he has strung together over many years and can tell that it is crumbling to pieces around him but yet stays reserved and never really questions Jays decisions.

NICK & JORDAN

  • When Nick and Jordan first meet at the Buchannans house Nick is attracted to Jordans beauty, as they become closer Nick can really see Jordan becoming a part of his life. In the novel it isnt vert obvious that they begin dating as they’re relationship isnt as prominant as other in the novel. Theyre reationship was slowly drifting apart and being forgotten about becuase of of these realtionship and as Nick saw what Jordan was like and how her selfishness overtook her became to dislike her more and more. Not hearing too much about jordan and nicks realtionship we are unable to have a full insight on how they felt.

 

 

 

 

 

Language Features

“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such – such beautiful shirts before.

  • The colour of the shirts can represent how long Daisy and Gats have been apart and the colours are those days without each other
  • when Daisy starts to say how beautiful the shirts are it shows how materialistic she is as in such a meaningful scene she mentions the hisrts rather than what really happening she is too shallow to show Daisy her true feelings. Gatsby uses this scene to illustrate Daisy for who she truly is, though she is in a relationship with Tom they are both cheating on each other and Daisy doesn’t want Gatsby to know that she regrets leaving him not that she can see how wealthy he is and she like the materialistic features in his lifestyle.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no mattertomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

  • Gatsby believed in the green light/he believed him and Daisy could be together once again. Orgastic future means he was hoping for exciting future with he that was slowly fading each year he realised his dream might possibly not come true. As time passes the dream Gatsby is chasing recedes and becomes less realistic.
  • this is referring to Gatsby chasing his dreams for Daisy and it can refer back to us as we will chase out hopes and dreams and think that we are nearly there but one day they might just disappear or we may realise that that is no longer our dream. Just when we think we have achieved out dreams they would be snatched away from us just like gatsby’s life at the end of the novel when Gatsby gets shot and dies in his pool, he had no plan of this but we can’t choose the future it’s inevitable for something to happen to us eventually
  • This is referring to Gatsby trying harder and harder for something that isn’t supposed to happen, something can’t change like Daisy and Toms relationship he can’t take Daisy’s love for Tom away so he can not change it yet he still tries to get the past back
  • This means no matter how much we try to change the past we cannot we will always be pushed forward by the current of life becuase its impossible to change what we have already done, you can try but you can never take that moment back

I lived at West Egg, the — well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. My house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard — it was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. It was Gatsby’s mansion. Or, rather, as I didn’t know Mr. Gatsby, it was a mansion inhabited by a gentleman of that name. My own house was an eyesore, but it was a small eyesore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbor’s lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires — all for eighty dollars a month.

  • Nicks house is directly inbetween both Gatsbys house and the Buchanans which gives him an insight into the both very different lives
  • Its mentioned to be an imitation of a fancy building that is trying to seem old when in actual fact it far from it, the swimming pool is a main part of this as we find out near the end of the novel but at this point in time we dont think of it as much
  • this is similar to Nick as he is sort of over looked by the rich people. he is more of an observer that not many people take notice of and its like his house against gatsbys.
  • Nick is able to be apart of this crazy encounter for only $80 a month when the people next to him pay thousands. it shows us that Nick is more sensible with the limited money he has

“That’s the secret of Castle Rackrent”

This is one of many allusions in the novel, Nick invites daisy to his cottage to meet Gatsby after 5 years, Daisy teasingly asks nick if hes inlove with and nick responds with “That’s the secret of Castle Rackrent”, this is referencing from an irish novel where the reader never find out the reason for a very important occurence and when nick says this to daisy she doesnt actually find out the answer and has to make a guess for herself about why she had to come alone to Nicks cottage.

Theme

ONE

In the novel, The Great Gatsby illusion is consistently used throughout. It mostly revolves around the American dream and how unrealistic it is. In the novel, there are two classes of people the rich and the poor, but both sides are overcome by the belief of the American dream. those they live is the Valley of Ashes are the not so fortunate people but yet they still believe that “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement”. but it’s all an illusion they believe that if they work hard and get enough fame/popularity this is what they will get but are let down immensely when weeks turn into months and months turn to years and they haven’t had any progress in the matter. Those who are rich have quite the opposite they believe that they are living the American dream with all the popularity and the materialistic object that take over their lives when in actual fact they are living a selfish shallow life full with parties and drunkenness the lead to affairs and secrets. But slowly as it continues their life isn’t so good and it begins to crumble then their secrets turn to lies and in the end, the aren’t happy at all and they are blinded by this image that the feel they have to portray.

TWO

I think as teenagers we are all consumed by illusion in school. The students who are high achievers get the attention and the praise but those that are struggling and pushed to the side feeling like they are dumb which pushes their confidence down. We believe that we have to be smart and that the only way we will get anywhere in life is if we are gaining excellence it gets to a point where students don’t want to share their grades because they are worried that others will judge them and that they will be thought of as dumb when in actual fact everyone is smart enough to do anything it’s just the amount to focus and if they teaching style that’s being used is right for them.

 

Now and Then – Karitane

 

Now and Then – Karitane

As I wander down the battered shore the tide slowly recedes, revealing treasures perfectly placed on the surface of the still damp sand. Looking into the distance, I am able to see ashy grey rocks peeking over the top of the uneven tide line. Perhaps hiding secrets that I yet to uncover. It was just me, there was no one else in sight but the loneliness didn’t bother me. This was my beach, my kingdom. I wade myself into the warm briny water letting out a giggle as I plunge under a perfectly blue hued wave. Deafened by the silence I swim towards the surface, as my head pops back up from beneath the water, sounds of waves crashing and seagulls squawking fills my ears once again. Reaching the shore my feet bury themselves in the sand with every step, salty wind dances around my body sending tingling sensations through me. I wrap my sandy fingers around the handle of my lime green bucket that is slowly filling with shells all of different shapes and sizes gleaming in the sun like gems, created in an aquatic world just for me. They were almost as beautiful as the ones I had seen on tv that sat proudly upon the queen’s crown. Continuing on the quest to find more treasure I prance along the glistening sand, constant rattling echoes from the shells bouncing around and the footprints I leave are soon erased by the constant lapping water that is laced with foam. Running my fingers through the warm golden grains pushing it into a mound in front of me, I arrange the shells that once sat buried beneath the water into my creation that would soon be washed away, never to be seen again. Maybe washed so far away that the shells that sat on my castle would wash up on a beach across the world for another little girl to treasure like I did. I sit on a sandy rock staring out into the horizon thinking of all my precious gems tumbling over the seabed, thousands of miles away with the beautiful fish with pigmented scales of every colour swimming gracefully around them. Lulled by the sound of the waves crashing on the sculpted shore I wandered back home awaiting for the next day so I could return to this very kingdom.

My toes reach the warm, sun-baked sand; the sudden feeling of anxiety fills my body. With every step I take the awaiting ocean approaches me. The tide seeps into the sand between my toes as I slowly advance into the water with my breath quickening with every cautious step I take. The cheering from children splashing around in the water next to me causes me to lose focus. In that split second a menacing wave sweeps the sand from beneath me causing me to lose my footing, Plunging under the turning water I am trapped. Deafening silence rings loudly in my ears as I get forced into the shell-covered sand, Wave upon wave pushing me down; panic sets in and my limbs rapidly try to detangle themselves from the seaweed that has wrapped itself around me like arms trying to tie me down. Right before I feel like I am going to faint I find myself laying on the cold damp sand, blinded by the white rays of sunlight that is illuminating the blue sky. Towering cliffs surround me, smothered with seagulls that are continuously squawking causing some sun-kissed people to leave in frustration. It is no longer my beach it has been taken over and the fear has set in. Countless numbers of people are sleeping on the now seaweed infested sand and surfers ride the waves like it’s their last but I just lay here, trembling. I lift myself out of the water and begin to wander down the crowded seashore, which has taken over by beach comers who claimed to know the kingdom that was once mine more than others who had walked the same path as oneself. Leaping over the unwanted seaweed my feet sink into the rough sand that used to be softer than any silk you had felt. The same water but now entangled with fear. It was the same place that I loved so much but it feels as if it’s completely foreign. Walking past the shells that still lay peacefully reflecting the sun’s warm rays of light but there is no urge to pick them up, they no longer seem as beautiful as I remember. Not so much treasure but more like litter scattered everywhere. Sitting down on a rock staring out into the horizon I questioning what’s beneath the deep green-blue water, something the innocent mind of my younger self would never have imagined but when the fear develops it’s all my mind races about. Endless darkness stretching deeper and darker with every downward motion. The unbearable coldness overwhelms my body but I just keep swimming whilst surrounded by fish that have an array of differently pigmented scales. Goosebumps rise from beneath my sand covered skin and all turns black, as my eyes force themselves shut.