Prompt: Our understanding of ourselves and our world is more dependent on illusion than reality.
Key ideas and words – Understanding of ourselves, Illusion, Reality
• To what extent is this constructed by the society and culture we live in? For example, our society encourages the attitude that material wealth will make us happy and that we are better for being rich.
• Is this illusion dangerous and if so how? Can some illusions be perfectly harmless? This is an example of the chain of thinking that you will to need engage in to address the prompt.
• You cannot afford to present a superficial response.
An approach to the prompt
In Street Car Named Desire Blanche’s illusions are escapes from reality. Consider the consequences of Blanche substituting illusion for reality and how her deterioration directly results in her downfall. Furthermore, her illusions prevent her from developing any sense of self-understanding and development (understanding of ourselves). What links can you make between Blanche’s situation and people in society who idealise wealth?
The above ideas can also be applied to Death of a Salesman’s protagonist Willie and his misguided belief and faith in The American Dream.