1st September 2017

English Essay

Significant connections essay – Meg Harraway

Some people are living the illusion of others instead of living in the truth of themselves – Jackov Kanani

It is often said to someone who is anxious to make a good impression, “just be yourself.” What that means is, “I think you are fine. You do not have to pretend to be someone else.” by getting caught up on making good first impressions and trying to impress others we get caught up in trying to be the person others want us to be rather than become our own unique personality. But people don’t start off knowing who they are exactly. During all the stages of growing up, children are told how they should behave in different situations: at school, with siblings, with parents, and so on. They have to see themselves acting in a certain characteristic way towards friends in order to come to understand themselves as a friend. As the quote above states, we must live in the truth of ourselves, we have come to live in a world where worrying what others think is more important than what we think and who we want to be. We create our own personality and some people change for the better but some people use their negative mindset to then go on and create a personality that not many people approve of. Often our past defines our future and who we become because we use our knowledge of what others have taught us. The four texts I will use to show this idea are ‘ I Don’t Know My Name’ produced by Greg Wells, ‘the Great Gatsby’ written by F Scott Fitzgerald, the movie ‘Split’ and the ‘landlady’.

My first paragraph is a song titled “I don’t know my name” sung by Grace Vanderwaal and produced by Greg Wells. The illusion is shown through her lyrics of the song, we see the character change throughout the song. We see Grace express herself of changing from a young girl who doesn’t understand herself or what is going as she hits the pre-teens stage to than someone who grows and learns to discover and independent personality. My first quote I have chosen from the song is “ I don’t know my name, I don’t play by the rules of the game” this shows us how Grace doesn’t completely understand her personality or how to express herself yet. Grace is living this illusion where she thinks everyone has to grow up and instantly become a mature young girl. She has to do girly things such as paint her nails, do her hair and put effort into looking like a perfect stereotypical ‘girl’. Grace knows she doesn’t want to grow up like all the other girls so she is trying to break the illusion of what society wants and she knows it can be changed for the better. Feeling as if being different from the others is a bad thing it scares her. We see this in another quote “ I went from bland and popular to joining the marching band ” Grace is following up her previous quote and showing how the illusion affects her choices to grow up by stating how she doesn’t want to fit in and instead have her own creative personality. She refers back to the marching band because when usually when you’re in the band you’re often seen as geeky or unique. Grace went from popular and well known to be geeky and unique, Grace is attempting to find herself in an environment where she can be unique and geeky. The part that quotes “I don’t play by the rules of the game” shows how grace does not follow the rules or instructions and being rebellious, grace is still choosing to behave like a little kid and trying to avoid having to grow up into someone she’s not yet. she is afraid of becoming independent and having to enter the real world. “ I am lost trying to get found in an ocean full of people” – Grace relates this quote back to everyday life as we live in a world with so many people and having such heavy influences from social media and celebrity embracing their illusion of there beauty through photoshop, Grace’s true identity can sometimes get lost while growing up. Grace is still experimenting and trying to find her identity, one that will be unique and original. One that will keep her moving and succeeding in an ocean full of people and so she doesn’t drown in the metaphoric ocean as she describes in the quote. Grace is trying to avoid any pressure or comments from her peers, Grace is a young girl who is exposed to social media such as Instagram and Facebook with them being very popular among teens and pre-teens it, therefore, allows for them to be very aware and construct a perfect image of themselves that they think will impress everyone. Constantly being exposed to how others present themselves this can result in confusion for grace, she tries to avoid this by focusing on herself and finding out who she can become. At the end of the song grace now quotes “ I now know my name, I don’t play but the rules of the game” Grace now states how she has discovered who she is and shares her happiness through singing that sentence with more passion and no longer sounds depressed and confused we. Grace is now comfortable with her identity which is independent and does not follow in with everyone she is proud of who she has become. Over the song we see how grace has overcome so many faces, styles and friendships and now she is happy with who she has become. Grace’s experience can relate back to everyday society as it is a struggle that many young kids are going through during high school and middle school, as we try to impress and meet the expectations of teachers parents and friends all while trying to figure out who we are. With so many people growing up together rather than by themselves as an individual like grace. Grace is not living the illusion of others as she prefers to stay true to herself.

We see an illusion through The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. The illusion lies within Jay Gatsby also know as Gatsby, his entire life was an illusion. As a young boy, his name was James Gatz, he was born and raised in a very poor family living in North Dakota. In the pursuit of the American dream James Gatz worked hard to create himself into Jay Gatsby, The seventeen-year-old involved himself with people who he wanted to become, who could help him gain wealth this helped him create his new persona. Jay Gatsby then went on to buy a mansion on the edge of the bay. Gatsby fell in love at a young age with a beautiful lady called Daisy Buchanan, they were truly in love with each other. Jay Gatsby went away to serve in the war for 5 years and Daisy said she would wait until he would get back, Gatsby had waited so long, very excited to come home to the woman he loved only to see she had gotten married to another man who was also very wealthy and owned a big mansion across the bay from Gatsby. Gatsby was broken he did everything he could to bring Daisy back he would host the biggest parties with loud music and fireworks hoping one day Daisy would show. “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 far away, that might have been the end of a dock.” this is a quote from Nick the narrator of the story, Nick recognises gatsby’s unusual actions towards the green light the colour green is a symbol of Gatsby’s love for daisy as long as the green light that stands at the end of daisy’s doc is still shining Gatsby knows that she is still there.The green light is described as ‘minute and far away’ which makes it appear impossible to reach. This will prove to be true for Gatsby as now that Daisy is married it is almost impossible to form a relationship with her. During this novel green is seen as a symbol of hope for Gatsby and Daisy’s love. Gatsby quotes “if it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay, said Gatsby ‘you always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock” The hope that Gatsby had around a life with daisy is blocked by the past which is referred back to this mist in this quote, representing the 5 years that they have spent apart, shatters the illusion of the green light (the hope for a future together) by masking the light, we are faced with the reality that we can never take back our past and this past, therefore, shapes the reality of our future, sometimes despite the dreams and hope that we have. Gatsby had to change who he was to attract people like Daisy, as he went away in the war for a couple years, this time away allowed for him to change by the time Gatsby got back people had forgotten who he was. The Great Gatsby is similar to the movie Split both in the way that the characters transform into someone they’re not familiar with for other people’s sake. People’s pasts can often define their future and who they become due to their upbringing.

The movie split directed by M. Night Shyamalan has an illusion created the main character, When three girls are kidnapped by a man Kevin (James McAvoy) with 23 different personalities hidden within him, they have to work out which of those personalities will help them escape and which of those personalities will try to stop them. The girls try work together but Casey refuses to listen to them as before they were kidnaped she was seen as the weird geeky person, who has no friends. We see illusion created as the girls try and figure out what personality is going to let them out of the prison this man has created, he tries to trick the girls into thinking he is nice and can look after them, until the beast is revealed and nothing can stop him as he claims he has the most power. As a child Kevin was abandoned he was left by his father and mistreated by his mother, as a little boy he was abandoned so he created these personalities which most of them were mentally stronger than what he was. kevin was very lonely and these personalities were Kevin’s friends. Kevin created the 24th personality it was known as ‘the beast’ based on a series of animals from the zoo above were Kevin lives. Towards the end of the movie, James Mcavoy has fallen so far into an illusion that these mythical personalities have taken over his body and allow for the beast to come out and kill two of the three kidnapped girls leaving Casy to live due to her own troubled past. Although there is illusion behind Kevin with his 24 personalities the person whose backstory we learn about is Cast we see illusion behind her upbringing and how she has strange connections with James Mcavoy. We see a series of visual flashbacks of Casey’s childhood where her father is teaching her to hunt at a young age, at first this was seen to be the reason for her unusual view on the world but then another flashback shows the disgusting abuse of her uncle. The film shows a scene of her uncle being a pedophile, as these memories will haunt Casy till this day, it now takes responsibility for Casey’s odd behavior. The grooming scene, with the adult wanting to “play animals” is terrifying, as its the power the uncle applies even when held at gunpoint by Casy. The movie Split is about how people deal with abuse as it shows in two cases the product of turbulent childhoods that have lead them to become outsiders.There is an illusion between how the characters who have had troubled childhoods can connect together without really sitting down and socializing, they can feel the pain that each other has been through. The reason the beast did not kill Casey was that he wanted her to be set free and fix up her troubles from the past. The movie split relates well to my last text the landlady by Roald Dahl, these text relate well together as the characters both have personalities that take over their own body to put someone in danger they give mixed emotions to help ‘look after’ young people. this shows illusion because you fall deep into believing that they are good people until you fall so deep into the belief that it’s too late and they get into trouble.

The short story Landlady by Roald Dahl is The story that begins with young Billy Weaver. Billy was traveling from London to Bath, and it had gotten late. Billy was searching the streets for some wear to stay, as the neglected buildings stand tall and high they give of some illusion of decay and death. outlined by the bright yellow flowers symbolising joy,Yellow is a color of hopefulness, representing billies hope, but it is also a color of truth, representing the 2 personalities of landlady. Billie opened the door and inside stood an old, gentle-looking woman. The woman promptly invited him inside, offering a fee of five and sixpence, much cheaper than the Bell and Dragon. Billy’s first impression of the old woman was that she was terribly nice but slightly dotty. He also finds it odd that the boardinghouse is not filled with applicants, but just shrugs off any bad premonitions he has. The landlady then adds that he must go downstairs and sign the guestbook because it is the law. He agrees, then gets settled in the room before finally heading down to the sitting room to sign the guestbook. He found the guestbook and signed it, noticing that there were only two entries before his Christopher Mulholland and Gregory Temple. As he is studying the book, the landlady walks into the room carrying a large silver tea tray. She sits down on the sofa and offers some tea. The old lady welcomes the guest in to come and eat, clean, and sleep. her deviled persona hides beneath her soft delicate wrinkles. Before they head to bed she offers them a cup of tea that tastes like ” bitter almonds ” which is actually a disguise for the deadly cinonide poison that took the lives of the unknown guest she had a couple years earlier. this is her hidden persona coming out it is almost as if she has a devil inside of her waiting to come out and kill billie and stuff her like she did with the other two guests.

To conclude the summaries, people are stuck up in trying to live the illusion of other people instead of staying true to themselves. sometimes people fall so far into the illusion that they put the other people around them at risk. Illusion is a drug once we stat living in this illusion we have created it is almost impossible to escape. throughout all my text the characters are are living in the illusion of someone else or perhaps trying not to take the drug of illusion and are doing there best to stay true to themselves. this is still very common upon us today as there are many people trying to live in the illusion of someone else, with all these influences of models, social media, and older people around us.

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