Essay Sample about Fantasy and Reality in The Cat’s Pajamas
An individual's thoughts are filled with countless fantasies which drown the realities that are neglected. Always wanting what they can’t have, people submerge their ignorant minds in a world that simply couldn’t exist. Ray Bradbury, the author of The Cat’s Pajamas, uses fantasy and reality to oppose one another, and draw out the reality of unrealistic situations. The Cat’s Pajamas consists of short stories where Bradburry toys with the distance between reality and fantasy. Bradbury implements this to present the necessity of being realistic but to fantasize about the future and its alternatives to understand the value of life. Within the short stories Triangle and The House, these two worlds often contradict one another. Various stylistic elements present that being practical and realistic is a key necessity to survival, while fantasies are only temporary and unfulfilling.
In society, living realistically is a result of the mind's failed fantasies. Although fantasies are fun to hold onto, fantasies are continuously disappointing. In the text Triangle, a man named John Larson is Lydia's love interest. Lydia is in a state of mind that consists of only him and the prosperity of their relationship. Unfortunately for Lydia, John is in love with her sister Helen, but Helen is in no way interested in John. Eventually, it’s uncovered that the three had been placed in a love triangle, where not one happy relationship could be formed. In the text Helen had told Lydia, ‘“You be happy by being happy. I’ll be happy by being cynical, and we’ll see who’s happiest in the long run’”. This presented a foreshadowing of events that Lydia's fantasy was bound to fail. Helen had predicted Lydia's blindness would result in her fantasy fading away into reality. She explained that failing would only lead to disappointment, but by being realistic a person would be saved from this heartbreak. Ultimately, Lydia learned her relationship with John wasn’t destiny, and what heartbroken just like Helen had described. Helen symbolized the realistic side of the situation meanwhile Lydia symbolized fantasy. Since Lydia ignored Helen's remarks, she was quick to realize that her love for John wouldn’t matter if he didn’t love her. Reality showed John and Lydia wouldn’t prosper to her standards. Another form of symbolism confides in the statement,”‘She tried three dresses, and none fit her body,” said in the text. These three dresses symbolized John, Lydia, and Helen. None of the three could be together because someone would always end up unhappy, therefore none fit. Helen’s practical sense of the situation would have helped Lydia if she wasn’t stuck in her fantasy. The foreshadowing and symbolism within this text help provide a deeper understanding that believing in fantasies will always result in much more unfulfillment compared to reality. Due to Lydia’s unrealisticness, she was unfulfilled and utterly disappointed in the outcome of the relationship.
Many individuals push aside being realistic because they believe reality could never keep them happy. The House by Ray Bradbury brings truth to this very situation. Maggie and William are newlyweds, moving into their first home as a married couple. While Maggie grew up in much more luxurious homes, William did not. William adored the house, while Maggie faked her liking to the old, dirty home. She wanted their marriage to be unproblematic and wanted her husband to be happy, so she plastered a smile on to please him. Maggie continued to believe in this fantasy that the home was only temporary, and they would be somewhere more perfect soon. William quickly picked up on Maggies disliking and told her they could move somewhere else. After seeing how much he enjoyed the home, Maggie became motivated to love it herself and believed it could make her happy too. So she put effort into cleaning the house and making it comfortable for both herself and her husband. Her character development helped her come to realize that being realistic cannot only save you from disappointment but can provide happiness as well. By the end of the text, Maggie wasn’t faking her smile any longer. As the text stated, “this time her smile was whole,” which presents the true development of Maggie and her view on reality. Furthermore, Maggie symbolized the generality of fantasies. “When you have lived in a big clean house on a big secluded street all of your life... then what is one to think when confronted by a rusty mountain,” she says comparing the past to the present. Maggie’s difficulty adjusting to a different life is due to the failure of a perfect life she had been fantasizing about. While Maggie symbolizes this unpractical world, her marriage symbolized reality. The symbolism conveyed that sometimes you need to be realistic to be happy. Fantasies are only ever temporary.