Why has Gatsby created such a "colossal" illusion?

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price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ever since Gatsby met Daisy when he was younger and living in Chicago, he had one goal in mind, and that was to win Daisy's heart.  Unfortunately, Gatsby was poor and not of the same social class as Daisy.  After fighting in WWI, Gatsby came back determined to make her fall in love with him.  We bought a huge mansion in West Egg across the bay from Tom and Daisy's house in East Egg and proceeded to throw big, lavish parties for strangers in hopes of gaining Daisy's attention.  The main difference between Gatsby and Daisy is that Gatsby is "new" money, and Daisy comes from "old" money.  Old money meant a legacy, a tradition of being a member of the upper crust. Gatsby earned his money through illegal means, but no amount of wealth would put him on an equal plane as Daisy and Tom in society.  Gatsby went overboard in his attempts to woo Daisy.  He had the best cars, the most elegant clothes, and invited famous people to his parties. Gatsby felt that in order to be good enough for Daisy he had to go to extremes to show his worth.  He hid his past (his last name was really Gatz) so he would fit into Daisy's world.  His entire life was an illusion to gain the affections of a woman he once remembered and idealized from his past.

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The Great Gatsby

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