Significant Connections

“We cast away priceless time in dreams, born of imagination, fed upon illusion, and put to death by reality.” If we choose to live under illusions, it shows we feel we’ll never be fully satisfied with our lives; and since every single person whos ever lived, has been caught up in some kind of dream, we know for a fact, there is no such thing as a perfect life. We can wish all we want to have the ultimate life but in reality that wish will never come true. The four texts ‘Almost Infamous’ by Peter Williams, ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald, ‘Clueless’ by Amy Heckerling,  and ‘Plain Truth’ by Jodi Picoult prove to us that no matter the amount of effort, not everything will turn out as planned. In the short story ‘Almost Infamous’ Brent Sandri considered everything to be famous, but in the end, he became known for something he didn’t want. As for Jay Gatsby, he was the master of illusion, he had a strong belief nothing was worth it until he got wealthy and got the girl he wanted. In the film, ‘Clueless,’ Cher Horowitz was spoilt, expecting everything to go her way, but this isn’t the case when she gets lost within her own illusions. All these texts are quite similar to the beliefs of the Amish in the novel ‘Plain Truth; they can’t handle when things don’t happen like they’re supposed to. “The ego is only an illusion, but a very influential one. Letting the ego-illusion become your identity can prevent you from knowing your true self. Ego, the false idea of believing that you are what you have or what you do, is a backwards way of assessing and living life.”

In the short story “Almost Infamous” written by Peter Williams,  “Brent Sandri always wanted to be famous. Or at least well known. ” The main character was persistent in finding his direction in life that would lead him to fame. He considered many options, many of which were ruled out because Brent Sandri didn’t hold the characteristics needed. Once Brent decided off an inventor, sportsman or actor, his options became significantly less. His ideas were beginning to reach out of his range of abilities, but he was so set on becoming famous he didn’t mind. He set his mind on becoming the best radio presenter in the world, well at least in his town. Brent was so caught under his illusion of being famous he began acting like one; even though he was only a small town radio presenter, “he even thought of changing his name.” He wanted to make it big time, he wanted his whole town to know who he was, with a respective title. He played in his role of where he wanted to end up, he committed fully to his dream to reach fulfilment. Brent thought “… he was pretty good although his programs didn’t get much reaction around town.” However, he gained the attention of everyone in town when he began thinking he was getting smart at his job. One night he decided to get his smokes out of the car, so he played a long song to give him time. But it wasn’t long enough, for he soon discovered he’d locked himself out of the studio. Brents dream of becoming a successful presenter came crashing down when he was fired. His dream took over his mind, and he became distracted by the reality of his job in front of him; he made a ‘rookie’ mistake because he was so focused on the big picture rather than the small tasks at hand. Instead of being well known for something with pride, he was known for his most embarrassing moment. His illusion was the reason his mistake was unveiled. Brent Sandri was trying to reach absolute fulfilment, to live in a perfect world but instead, all that happened was the failure of his dream. 

*too much plot, not enough analysis 

 

“The Great Gatsby” written by F. Scott Fitzgerald gives us an illuding insight to struggles of a man’s dream. Throughout a hectic 1920’s summer in Manhatten, we see the persistence of a man named Jay Gatsby travelling from poverty to wealth just to reconnect with his lost love from 5 years ago. He fell under the illusion that becoming rich would solve all his problems he’s ever had and would make his life fulfilled. After reaching a high in his life where everything was working out, he very quickly got caught in a low; he got taken down with his shattered illusion. The Great Gatsby is quite similar to the short story “Almost Infamous” by Peter Williams because of the passion and dedication both characters had for their dream of wealth and living in absolute fulfilment. Gatsby set his dreams high just like Brent Sandri. They were almost out of reach; “…the colossal vitality of illusion,” was his weak point, he’d put so much pressure on everyone around him to fit in perfectly to his imagined world. He’d created a greater vision of Daisy than what even she thought she was; Gatsby’s lover felt his pressure, she knew she could never live up to his expectations. But Gatsby was too committed to letting anyone get away now. He would try everything to keep Daisy within his grasp; Gatsby and Brent both pushed to find a way their dream would work out, with a happy ending. This never happened for them as their illusion held them back; however, they saw sight of their perfect worlds, just before the walls came crashing down. They came down hard on Gatsby, crushing his persona. He was deeply unsatisfied with his life “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.” He made the decision to change his name from James Gatz to James Gatsby so he would fit in more convincingly to the stories he spun about himself.  He started when he was young and continued on for many years, adding on continuously until it was too late to go back. He had to follow through with his original plan, it was too late to turn back or everybody would think selfish and greedy man.  Gatsby let his desires run his life, usually, this would be fine but Gatsby made his dreams almost unachievable. He became naive to the fact that anything could go wrong that would forcefully ruin his life. He fell into his own trap; himself mentally was his real murderer. 

 

The film “Clueless” directed by Amy Heckerling tells the story of a rich and meddlesome girl named Cher Horowitz who claims she has a normal life. She believes she is envied by all around her, even though she wished the size of her bank account scared people away rather than luring them in. After being successful in being the matchmaker for two teachers, she decides to befriend the new girl at school, Tai Frasier. However, after teaching her everything she knows and giving her the makeover of her life, her matchmaking skills backfired. She believed in her illusion that everything she did would turn out right, for everyone. But nothing did, she upset her friends, got taken over in the schools pecking order and even lost the boy that stood outside her illusion. Once her heart was broken, her world shattered with it. Just like Gatsby in “The Great Gatsby,” she didn’t see the problems in her life, they both thought they were living normal lifestyles, but that was just the illusion tricking their mind. Both characters would willingly but unknowingly take advantage of the people around them to get to where they saw they should be. Cher only sets up two of the teachers to make them happy just so she’d get good grades; Gatsby uses Nick to get close to Daisy, only causing him to have a mental breakdown. They were both too caught up in their own illusions to worry, or even realise how everyone else is going.  It’s like when Tai went through her breakup, Cher was too busy thinking about how things hadn’t gone how they should. Cher even admitted to herself: “I can’t believe I failed. I failed something I couldn’t talk myself out of?” She was overwhelmed that money and dad who’s a lawyer can’t make everything turn out right. She

 

*flow

One Reply to “Significant Connections”

  1. Annabel- too much plot at this stage and not enough analysis on how/why he constructed his illusion. Try to condense your summary down and delve further into the HOW and WHY behind your characters illusion.

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