In the novel Ready Player One written by Ernest Cline the author

In the novel Ready Player One, written by Ernest Cline, the author explores the role self-perception plays in reconciling the conflict between illusion and reality. This conflict is most clearly demonstrated by the protagonist of the story, Wade Watts, also known as Parzival. Over the course of the book, Wade shifts from preferring the illusion created by the OASIS, to realizing the importance of living within reality.

At the beginning of the book, Wade spends as little time in the real world as he can, choosing instead to live in the illusory world of the OASIS.

Wade has a strong dislike for the real world, as well as his place in it. In the world of the novel, poverty, famine, and a global energy crisis affect nearly everyone, meaning most of the population lead very difficult lives. This has driven all those who can afford it to retreat to the comfort of an illusory escape. Examples include drugs, like Wade’s Aunt Alice, religion, like Wade’s elderly neighbor, Mrs.

Gilmore, or, most popular of all, the massive virtual reality video game known as the OASIS. This mass exodus from the reality has caused the world to fall into a state of disrepair, which only caused more people to seek out an escape from their real lives. Wade is no exception. Not only is he very poor, but both his parents are dead, and he lives in a cramped trailer with his drug addict aunt and her abusive boyfriend. Even though Wade’s avatar in the OASIS has neither more money nor more freedom than he does in the real world, he still prefers the relative peace and safety provided by the illusion.

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As well as allowing Wade to escape, the OASIS also provided him with a purpose. Just before his death, the designer of the OASIS, James Halliday, created a contest to find an egg hidden somewhere within the simulation. Whoever found the egg would inherit Halliday’s massive fortune, as well as gaining complete control of the OASIS. Wade, along with much of the rest of the population of the OASIS, have made finding the egg their only goal in life. In addition to finding a purpose, Wade met his closest — and only — friends in the OASIS. Although Wade only knew them because of the OASIS, both Aech and Art3mis were major factors in Wade’s eventual shift to accepting the importance of living in the real world, rather than in an illusion.

Wade’s character began to shift partway through the book, after his trailer is blown up and he moves to Columbus. He begins to live almost entirely within the OASIS, only taking off the virtual reality goggles to eat, sleep, clean, and to relieve himself. He describes these few moments spent in the real world as the worst of his entire day, growing to hate the real world, as well as his real body. However, spending almost all his time inside the OASIS allowed Wade to make significant progress in finding Halliday’s egg, and his avatar is elevated to celebrity-like status. Wade and Art3mis are drawn closer together because of their common obsession with Halliday’s contest, but wanted to win it for very different reasons. While Wade wanted the money to escape Earth completely, using a spaceship, Art3mis wanted to use the money to help solve the problems Earth was experiencing. In this case, Wade’s desire to leave the world behind is punctuated by Art3mis’s use of the OASIS as a means to improve the world. As Wade focusses on his budding online romance with Art3mis, he begins slowly drifting away from Aech in the process. However, when Art3mis rejects Wade to concentrate on her goal of finding the egg, Wade falls into a deep state of depression. He begins to put on weight, spray-paints his windows so he would not have to be reminded of the outside world, and even begins to lose focus on finding the egg. At this point, the only contact he had was with his simulated home assistant. In a fit of loneliness, Wade even purchases a sex doll, to replace the sense of intimacy he lost when Art3mis rejected him. However, this is the very decision that led Wade to take a step back and re-examine his life. He began to realize what the OASIS really was; an elaborate contraption designed to deceive the senses, allowing him to trap himself in a world that does not exist. In other words, an illusion. While this realization helped Wade to begin reparations with his friends, and to lead a slightly more healthy lifestyle, it only caused him to redouble his efforts in finding the egg.

Although finding the egg was what drove Wade to become so reliant on the OASIS in the first place, it is also what eventually allowed him to be released from the grip of the illusion. In the final chapters of the book, Wade becomes the first to complete the Halliday’s challenge and finds the egg. A simulated James Halliday appears to congratulate him, but before bestowing him with the prize, Halliday offers Wade a few words of advice. During his life, Halliday was famously reclusive and socially awkward. He only had one real friend, Ogden Morrow, who he ended up drifting away from in the final years of his life, due to the fact that Morrow married the only girl that Halliday had ever been able to have a normal conversation with. However, the only way he was able to interact with her was through the illusion provided by the role playing game, Dungeons and Dragons. At this point, many parallels between Halliday and Wade become apparent. Both were extremely reclusive, never feeling at home in the real world. Both alienated their closest friends because of a girl, and both were rejected by the girl in favor of real life. In Halliday’s final speech, he tells Wade that the only world worth living in is the real one because, “as terrifying and painful reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.” Halliday also describes the regret he felt over never living in the real world, and encourages Wade not to make the same mistakes he did. Wade takes this advice to heart, exiting the simulation almost immediately after receiving his prize. He manages to reconcile with Aech and Art3mis, and meets them both in real life. Halliday’s final words to Wade are accented by the last scene of the book, in which Wade and Art3mis see each other in the real world for the first time. Wade tells Art3mis, whos real name is Samantha, that he plans to use the prize money to make the world a better place. This is a direct change from Wade’s plans earlier in the book. Wade’s shift in character is solidified in the final sentence of the book, after he and Samantha kiss. He describes it as being strage, new and wonderful, unlike anything he had felt in his life. The kiss also makes Wade realize that, “for the the first time in as long as I [he] could remember, I [he] had absolutely no desire to log back into the OASIS.”

At the beginning of the story, Wade views the world as a problem for the human race, something to be abandoned, and believes that the OASIS is the solution. Partway through the book, Wade begins to realize that the OASIS is not the perfect escape he thought it was. However, the most notable change occurs in the last chapter of the book, after the contest is completed. Halliday, along with Art3mis, help Wade to understand that the real world is the only world with any real meaning, the only one worth actually living in. In conclusion,

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In the novel Ready Player One written by Ernest Cline the author. (2019, Nov 15). Retrieved from

In the novel Ready Player One written by Ernest Cline the author
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