Sometimes expectation can be a dampener, sometimes it can lead to disappointment in reality. If you expect the world of every simple thing, life will seem very dull, but if you expect reality from the world, then every simple thing can/will be amazing, and above expectation.
My topic is that of illusion and characters in numerous texts. These texts are:
- The Great Gatsby
- The Great and Powerful Oz
- The Harry Potter series
- The Rising trilogy
The most crucially important character in F Scott Fitzgerald’s world renowned novel, “The Great Gatsby”, would be the illustrious namesake of the book: Jay Gatsby (more commonly known as simply: Gatsby). Gatsby lives a lie, not to mention that his whole existence is an illusion to make himself more appealing. His real name is James Gatz, and he is the lowly son of some poor farmers, but he has created the illusion of Gatsby in the attempt (a very successful attempt) to make himself more enticing to others. The comparison between Gatsby and a carnivorous plant isn’t hard to make as they both use some form of enticement with the end goal of trapping their prey. Throughout his life, he creates and portrays a persona of himself that he pushes onto those he meets until they believe it. He eventually convinces everyone, including himself, that his persona is real. Gatsby seems to live and breathe his illusion, even though it is as fictional as the idea he built it upon; a possible relationship with Daisy Buchanon.” … 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.”
Gatsby’s whole life/lifestyle is summed up by this revelation of Nick Carroway, “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people—his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father’s Business, the service of a vast, vulgar and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception, he was faithful to the end.” This explains the life of the Gatsby persona, by showing that Gatsby never really accepted the financial position of his family, so he made up a persona and moved to West Egg to start over.
The second text that I have focused on is the film, “Oz the Great and Powerful” directed by Samuel M Raimi. the main character from this text is the ‘Great’ and ‘Powerful’ ‘wizard’ of Oz. This is also a persona. The human behind the legend of the “wizard of Oz” is called Oscar Diggs, and works in a circus in Kansas. Oscar Diggs’s job on earth and in the circus was that of an illusionist and magician. When he is swept away in a hot-air balloon by a tornado, he blacks out and when he wakes up, he is in Oz. He meets some of the local people from Oz and performs some of his magic tricks, thus pretending to be “The Great and Powerful” wizard of Oz.
The connection between the first text, “The Great Gatsby” and the second text, “The Great and Powerful Oz”, is within their titles/names. Both of these texts/films have the words… “The Great” at the beginning of their titles. The illusion part of the title words is that both of these characters are fake, are just persona’s. The Great and Powerful Oz was a fake magician who just uses science, machinery, smoke, and mirrors to create his so-called, “magic”. The Great Gatsby is just a persona as well, but this one is to get the attention of his previously unobtainable love, Daisy.
The third text that I focused on was the Rising trilogy/series written by Pierce Brown. The main character from this book is called Darrow, and at the start of the trilogy, he was what they call a ‘red’. This means that he is part of the lowest class possible, the workers and slaves. After his “death”, he was taken in by a rebel group called the “Sons of Ares”, who looked after him and genetically modified him to be like the highest class, the rich politicians, and royalty. He slowly gained the trust of the ‘Sons of Ares’ and soon became their leader, soon became ‘The Reaper of Mars’ and their figurehead to whom the low classes in the system flocked to, and believed in. However, like any rebel group, they are in the minority and this was no exception. Darrow led his army into several battles which had huge losses which always inspires doubt, “I can’t do this anymore, how many more people will die following me?”, about his abilities and about why he himself was chosen to be the leader, “But I’m only a bloodydamn red!”
The connection between the first text, “The Great and Powerful Oz” and the second text, “The Rising series”, is within the characters’ dependency on the main characters in both texts. The connection between these two texts is that both of the main characters have a reputation that proceeds than which means that they are constantly trying to appease the each and every whim and expectation of the people who believe them.
The fourth text(s) that I focused on is/are the world-renowned books written by JK Rowling, the “Harry Potter” series. The main character from these texts is the namesake of the series, Harry Potter. Harry is a seemingly normal boy up until his eleventh birthday when the half man, half-giant, Hagrid knocked his house’s main door in and brought him into a whole world of magic by saying the words, “you’re a wizard, Harry”.
When Harry was a baby, he accidentally destroyed one of the most powerful and evil wizards in their world with the powers of magic and his mother’s love. From that moment on, he had a huge weight on his shoulders to be some great and wonderful wizard even though he was kept more ignorant than most other wizards for the first 11 years of his life.
The connection between these two texts is that the main characters of both of these texts have the huge weight of responsibility and the expectation that they are great and wonderful, put on their shoulders.
In conclusion, all of these texts are linked together through the perception of others and through a perception of reality. They are linked by illusion and the other persona’s of ‘great’ people whether or not those persona’s are there by the characters choice and design.