Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chapter 9

Why didn't anyone attend the funeral? Why did Gatsby's father attend? Does he genuinely care about Gatsby or is he upset that he will no longer receive the benefits of being his father? What was Gatsby's relationship with him like at the time of his death? Why isn't his father mentioned earlier in the book? Who would have been in Gatsby's will? Why does Nick care who attends the funeral? What is the significance of Owl Eyes? What makes this "a story of the West?" Does this have to do with west egg/east egg? Did Gatsby achieve the American Dream? If so, why wasn't he satisfied? Why does the green light come up once again?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Chapter 7

Why does Gatsby fire all of his servants? My theory is that to him, they represent his pursuit of Daisy throughout his many parties. Now that he has her, seeing their faces is only a reminder of his "green light" phase. Does Tom know about Daisy and Gatsby? He does seem oblivious at times, but this affair is happening literally right under his nose. Reading on, his knowledge is confirmed.  Why does Fitzgerald put Tom and Wilson into such similar situations? Perhaps this is to illustrate how the plight and struggles of humans are not class-specific. Why is it important that Daisy killed Myrtle instead of Gatsby? Was the "murder" intentional? I don't think it could have been. She was drunk, it was dark out, and her personality would not suggest it.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Chapter 6

After hearing Gatsby's real story, it is clear why his pursuit of Daisy is so perpetual. Gatsby is a very driven man and just as he stopped at nothing to achieve his money and status, he will stop at nothing to win back his true love(?). Are class and wealth the same thing? Gatsby's life would suggest that they are not. Jay Gatsby is just as wealthy as Tom, but the thing that separates them is the fact that there was a time when Tom was wealthy and Gatsby was not. This is perceived by Tom as a class difference, although it is not a wealth difference. Why does Nick insist that Gatsby's love for Daisy is futile? What does it mean when Nick says that Gatsby's dream is dependent on Daisy?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Chapter 5

Why does Gatsby approach Nick in such a startling manner? In my opinion, Gatsby does these odd and sometimes rude behaviors to assert power over others. Why does Gatsby confess his desire for Daisy to her own cousin? Furthermore, why does Nick agree to assist him? Considering both of their financial situations, why does Gatsby ask Nick to pay? Does Gatsby's lack of confidence have to do with why he doesn't participate in his own parties? Shouldn't a man like Gatsby have higher self esteem? Why does Gatsby feel the need to pursue a lost relationship?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Color of Water late stuff

Chapters 21-23 blog

Why does Ruth break her promise to Dee-Dee so easily? And why would she promise to stay with her in Suffolk forever if she knew there were no opportunities there for her? It's interesting how Tateh is so quick to discriminate despite the discrimination he must have faced in his life as a Jew. James' understanding of his mother's life is incredible, many people don't know or care much about their parents' past. James, however, is bent on finding the meaning behind it. Why does Ruth call it "the black side"? Chapter 23 is a good example of the power of religion. Although Ruth has been disowned from her family, her discovery of Christianity keeps her (seemingly) content.

Chapters 24-end blog

Why did Ruth want to attend the gala if she did not approve of the way the church had changed? Ruth throwing out her prepared speech is a pretty symbolic and important gesture. This idea of "starting over" is one that becomes one of the themes of this book. It is interesting how James struggled to find his identity well into his adulthood. Is this a side effect of his abnormal childhood or do many young adults experience this? Ruth begins to reconnect with her childhood self by going to a Jewish wedding and reuniting with Frances. Why did she decide that ignoring her past was no longer beneficial to her? After finishing this book, I found the overall message to be one of hopefulness despite your less-than-ideal circumstances.

18-20 Reflection

These chapters to me shared the theme of opportunity. James had the chance to get involved with jazz, which is something I can relate to, as music has also had a massive impact on my life. James had other opportunities, working for Mrs. Dawson and getting accepted to Oberlin College. Seizing these opportunities made James a more productive and happier person. Ruth also describes some fortuities, such as meeting Dennis and his family. However, Ruth's chapter is cast down by her family issues. James' big opportunity came in chapter 20, in which he learned a little about his mother's life and has time to reflect.

21-23 Reflection

For me these chapters shared a theme of liberty. Ruth leaves home (permanently) to pursue a new life with Dennis, despite her father's protests. Christianity was also a welcome change in her life, and it is the first time Ruth experiences a sense of freedom of religion. James continues exploring his mother's past, freeing up his previous ignorance of her life before him. This is a huge tuning point for him, as he now realizes that although his circumstances are not ideal, his mother worked hard to put him in a better position than she was at his age. In chapter 23, Ruth is finally free to marry her love. They establish a church together, but after nine years she loses Dennis. Although it is a tragic occurrence, Ruth recognizes the freedom to make a fresh start, and she meets Hunter.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Chapter 4

How does Gatsby get such high-profile figures to attend his party? Nick writes a page and a half listing the guests at Gatsby's parties. Why is this information relevant? Nick seems to be a little skeptical when Gatsby shares his life story. What is on Gatsby's card? Why would Gatsby befriend Wolfsheim, a man who corrupted a sport? Why has Gatsby not expressed interest in Daisy, despite moving into a new house just to be closer to her?

Chapters 2/3

It is interesting how this book features a protagonist who has his life together. Nick is socially adept, economically successful, and is highly intelligent. It is in sharp contrast to The Color of Water, in which James essentially grew up with nothing. Why is Nick friends with Tom? The Valley of ashes seems to play a contrast role in this book, being the exact opposite of East Egg in every way possible. Why did Nick decide to drink so much that night, having been drunk only once before? What is the significance of the dog?

Why does Gatsby hold so many parties? The girls in the garden seem to have heard many rumors about Gatsby. Where did these stories come from? Why are they so extreme? Why did Gatsby lie about his identity at first only to reveal the truth seconds later? Why does Gatsby watch his parties rather than participate in them?