Sunday, May 11, 2014

What It All Means

Based on our reading of The Great Gatsby, I would like us to have a real world discussion based on the text's values and messages.  Start your own rant but I expect you to challenge each other's thinking and use a line of inquiry to keep the thread of discussion moving.

First, you must each individually write about what this text made you see, ponder, or reflect.  W hen you are done I want you to ask a strong critical level question and begin responding to others from there.  Challenge each other's line of thought and keep the discussion going.

56 comments:

  1. This text made me read past what I saw. There were so many different emotions that caused everyone to see something. Time, eyes, and color were the big thing I noticed in this. I liked that there were a lot of "mini lessons" in the book. Each chapter represented something different and taught us something new. I think the thing that was the most eye opening for me was time. You don't really see the value of time until it's gone. That easy project or paper a teacher assigns weeks ago for a reason, suddenly becomes impossible. Time is gone. It makes us mad when it slips through our own fingers and it's all our fault. Fitzgerald showed us this a lot.
    Our world is always changing, yet things never really change. How can this be? Are we afraid of change? What makes us lose track of time?

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    1. Jennifer, I love the question "What makes us lose track of time?"
      I feel like everyone, except for a few are in such a daily routine that time just passes by because we do the same thing everyday with out stopping to think about what were missing.

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    2. What makes us lose track of time?

      I think what makes us lose track of time is the idea in our head that there is always time. There will be time later to do that project or essay. To me it kind of goes along with the saying "you don't know what you have until it's gone". We always think there is more time or that we will make time but in reality time is always running out.

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    3. I believe that things to change and we are so caught up in the moment that we aren't able to recognize the large changes that we create in people. This is something that I'm not saying in a condescending voice. I think it is very appropriate and the most livable to be caught up in these moments. How could we live in the present day if we are looking at the past and future all in the same moment? Time also has the same affect on people. Change is a good and inevitable thing when it comes to time.

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  2. I completely agree with you Jennifer.
    I like this book a lot because of all the emotion in it. Certain chapters would make me feel for one character and the next, for another. I think that time is what controls the world and this book really represented that for me. I liked how there was a moral of some sort in each chapter.
    Why is time so controlling?
    What would you do if you could stop time?

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    1. If I could stop time I would go back to all the opportunities that came my way but never followed through on. As we get older I feel like we look back and say "wow I wish I had done that" way to often.

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    2. I really like your question, What would you do if you could stop time? In a weird way if we stop time I feel likes it cheating, like you're trying to get away from reality, almost like you can't just live in the moment. We have the little time given and we just have to make the best of it no matter what.

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    3. I personally disagree with your statement Nina that "time control the world." I believe that if you find yourself saying " I don't have enough time for that." To me that just means that what every your doing isn't that important at all. Or when people say "im getting to old for that." People don't realize no one in this world or higher power engraved your life and how your going to live into stone, there is more then enough time in this life if you choose to live it to your fullest imagination. Also I believe you can stop time, to me that's just called enjoying the moment.

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    4. Life isn't about finding time. Its about making time.

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    5. Personally, I think we waste time and I think people take advantage of it. Every day, so many people just sit around and do nothing with their lives and waste time away while there are others who are wishing for even another day to live.

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  3. After reading the "The Great Gatsby" I view things a little bit differently. I always knew that you could never recover the past, and never relive it, but that doesn't mean that I can't be happy with my past and now. Gatsby is obsessed with his past and the feelings that he had with Daisy, so much so that he yearns to recreate them. He doesn't realize that he must move on and accept that his past was wonderful, but so is his life now. And one more thing this text made me realize is no dream is too big. We have to continue to want it and strive for it, if we ever want a glimpse of accomplishing our dreams.

    Why do we always want to back, into the past?
    Does money control this world?

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    1. Do you think it is maybe a good thing to regret what you did in the past to change it in the future? I think that we would never be able to learn from our mistakes or change who we are unless we had already done it in the past. Us humans are not perfect so to learn from our mistakes is the best thing we can do.

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    2. I completely agree with what you said Amy about being happy with the past. People need to realize that once you make a choice in life whether big or small it will stick with you forever and you have to accept the decisions we make and stand by them.

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  4. The Great Gatsby made me realize a few things; Real world things. In this text i felt like i needed to use further thinking and use all of the tools and things that i have learned in class. I had to read "between the lines," so to speak. All of the things that Fitzgerald used to explain Gatsby's love for Daisy were all tied together and occurred because something else occurred. Gatsby had a love for Daisy that was out of this world and more than anyone could love another human soul. He showed all of that through themes of anything. The green light that Gatsby saw every night was his little part of Daisy he could get every time he went to sleep Gatsby wants to make Daisy the happiest women on earth and she won't have it. Gatsby eventually lets this love take over his life and it ends up killing him. I believe that true love can kill you if you feel as strongly about a person as Gatsby did Daisy. This story had more depth to it that i think any person but Fitzgerald could reach. He wrote this story to how his mind worked and related Gatsby to himself. I believe that we can get close to reaching someones full potential in the story but will never interpret it the same as the person who wrote it.

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    1. Why do we strive to make others happy and not ourselves? If it was possible, would you do something over again? make it better?

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    2. I think we want to be wanted and fit in to our world so bad we are willing to do anything it takes. The second we know someone likes us we don't try, we know we have their approval.
      I think we always want redo's we are never okay the first time. That's why there are rough drafts. In our minds we think we are never good enough, and society tells us that. Why do people always want to get better. Second place in never good enough. It's gold or nothing in our world. It's sad to think this, yet it's kinda true

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    3. In response to Jennifer, is there ever a point where dreams/fantasies are bad to have? Is there any way to convince a person believing those dreams that they are wrong? Can there be dreams that are wrong? Are dreams like opinions?

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  5. I found it much more difficult to relate The Great Gatsby to my life. To start, I'm not an adult who has wealth beyond what I can imagine. Secondly, I realize that I have vanity, and maybe an inflated sense of it compared to others, but I refuse to believe that I am anywhere near as superficial as every single character in this book. Every single character of this book had such disregard for the future of anyone else. They would all use deception and manipulation to achieve what they wanted for themselves no matter what. What bothers me even more is that they would try to use constant, extreme displays of emotion to try to mask the fact they honestly only care for themselves. Maybe Gatsby disputes this with his overwhelming "love" for Daisy, but I don't think that that was genuine love. I thought that was obsessive lust. Because I don't believe you can truly love others without loving yourself, and Gatsby is debatably the most insecure character of this novel. I believe in rationality and this book tries to convince the audience that rationality isn't that necessary when living in a world of emotion. I could not disagree any farther with that. This doesn't mean that everything in life has to make complete sense, but just because you feel strongly about someone or something, doesn't mean you should throw away all logical thinking to chase them or that object. So if I did learn anything from Gatsby, it's to be the complete opposite of almost all the character traits displayed in Gatsby if I want any chance at reaching success in the sense of enlightenment, happiness, love, and patience.

    Why do people regret the past and envision some ideal memory instead of finding the silver lining, learning, and moving on?

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    1. First off I liked how you followed the prompt and really ranted about the book. But in all seriousness I liked what you said about the rationality that these characters don't possess living in the "emotional world" they're surrounded in.

      To answer your question, I don't see why people cant accept the decisions they've made in the past and live with them confidently. I pride myself in finding the silver lining your talking about and moving on with no worries behind me.

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  6. At the beginning of the book I wasn't really understanding everything I was reading. But as we had socratics, and discussed the chapters I started realizing all the little things I was bypassing. With each chapter that I read I found it easier to relate things happening in the book to real life things happening in my daily life. This book helped me realize that we all live in the past whether or not we admit it to ourselves. The Great Gatsby has a lot of lessons throughout its chapters, that when really thought about anyone could connect to and understand.

    Some people live their lives in the past, and others choose to envision their lives in the future so whats the in between? How do we find the perfect balance of remembering the past, living in today, and thinking about the future?

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  7. After reading "The Great Gatsby" it made me think about a lot of things in my life. It made me question what I value in my life. I realized that what I value most should not be the material things but rather my relationships and experiences. Gatsby had every material possession you could possibly imagine yet he had nothing; before he met Nick he had no friends. I realized that I don't want to be like that;I don't want to let material things take over my life and ruin all of my relationships. I want to be able to enjoy my life and all of my relationships and experiences.

    Why do people let money control them?
    Why do people value material possessions more than relationships and experiences?

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    1. We talked about money a little bit before. I agree that money means power. It's hard to think in this day and age that we can look past it, but we don't. If someone is rich, they are cool and can do whatever they want.

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    2. I think the reason why people sometimes value material possessions more than relationships and experiences is because a material object cant bring you emotion. And I think that some people are afraid to have emotions because they don't want to get hurt and go through pain.

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    3. I think we value material possessions more then relationships and experiences because material things make you think of a certain memory, and most of all the possession and the memory it brings you never changes.

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  8. What I liked most about this book was that it made me think about the idea of the past. Gatsby spent so much time and energy on the revival of his relationship with Daisy. At first I was completely rooting for their relationship to blossom again and for him to be happy, but after Nick said you cant repeat the past, it made me rethink. Gatsby wanted to repeat the past because Daisy was what made him the most happy at one point in his life and he felt that she would be the only source of happiness he would ever encounter. He was way too caught up in the past and he didn't think about the future. He didn't think what other opportunities would come knocking and that closed mindset was what killed him the most. We have all heard the saying, when one door closes another one opens, and that applies to this book and to our lives. Especially at this age we are blinded by the past and present and we don't envision our future. This book taught me that it is vital for us to always be moving forward. We can use what happened in the past as a lesson and it will help our future. As a society I think people get worked up over the smallest things that will soon blow over. No matter what happens, whether it is good or bad, life goes on and its your decision whether you're going to move on with it or let it leave you behind.

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    1. What keeps us hanging on to the past? What does it take for one to let go?

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  9. After reading this book, I started to realize that I enjoy my past because of the great memories, similar to Gatsby. Unlike Gatsby I realize that I cant go back to the past, but I don't want to forget those memories. This book has made me want to create more memories so that when I much older than I am now, I will be able to look back and remember all the fun I used to have. I will not try to relive the past, but instead look at my past as a good thing and always try to make it a fun thing to look back at.

    Why do we care so much about money?
    Can money turn us evil?

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    1. I think that we care so much about money because we want nice things in life. Maybe buy them in hope that it will bring happiness to us and these things will make us forget what we have done in the past.

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    2. How is it possible to keep yourself for wishing for the past when you have these great memories? How is it possible to continue to make lasting memories while still thoughtfully reflecting on your past?

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  10. The book “The Great Gatsby” made me realize that I cannot get back what has already happened in the past. I need to get over it and move on and use this knowledge in my future to get what I want and what will make me happy. I had also noticed that in this book that it shows a great example with money cannot buy true happiness. Gatsby had all the money he would ever need and could buy whatever his desires were. But, in the end without Daisy by his side he could never be a truly happy man. This had made take a second look at what I may want to do with my future and get a job that I enjoy doing more than worrying about how much money it pays.

    Why are we more worried about the past than the future?
    Why can’t we let go of the mistakes we have made?

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    1. I love that question, Why are we more worried about the past than the future? I think we look at out mistakes and think we aren't good enough, we have to do better. Be somebody everyone wants. Things in life get harder and harder as we get older. When we look back at the past things were black and white it was easy to see what to do.

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  11. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald has taught me many things. I have learned and interpreted a new understanding of what might be important in life. From this book Fitzgerald has helped me understand that there's a difference between a fantasy and a dream. A dream is something that you can strive to achieve. A fantasy is something you can’t achieve but can only imagine it.

    Why are we today lost chasing fantasies instead of dreams?

    Do you consider yourself a fantasizer or a dreamer?

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    1. Brandon, love your second question! How ever I feel like when you dream you also fantasize, about what happens in your dreams.

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    2. If your dreams are practically unattainable but they push you to achieve more that with having regular goals, are they still dreams? Or do we motivate ourselves with fantasies?

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  12. While reading Gatsby, I realized how dangerous the past can be. Gatsby builds up his entire dynasty on a cherished memory and the hope to regain something he has lost. His mind was clouded, and he couldn’t realize that he was more in love with his memories of Daisy, then the actual women standing in front of him. His inability to accept this ultimately cost him his life.
    Unfortunately, letting go of the past is not easy. We all have memories that we cherish and hold on to tight. Gatsby teaches that the past is just that, something that is done and over. Its important that you live in the present, looking towards your future, and your future happiness. I believe there are several types of happiness, each one unique, but never the same happiness twice. So no, you can’t repeat the past. Live for your future.
    Why do people hold on so tight to the past when they have worked so hard to get to where they are now?
    Do people tend to only remember the best parts of the past, and is the "Good ol' days" a real thing or was it invented as a copping mechanism?

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    1. I agree with what you say about the past being scary and dangerous. Sometimes I feel like we let our memories get to the best of us which let them control the way we act and feel.

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  13. From reading Gatsby, it is clear that the world does not accept dreamers. The world is a cruel place and most things are not fair. Dreamers don't really have a place because no one else believes which such a passion, that what they want, will come. On the other hand, whether it is viewed as good or bad, dreamers refuse to accept their lives. This can push them to achieve their dreams, but it can also tear down everything else around them. Dreamers, dreams: they're fragile. If tampered with, their worlds are rocked a little. They are thrown off course for a little while and for that little while they may destroy the present they are in. Maybe even the future. The past is not something to be taken lightly, and in many cases it should be forgotten. This book has made me be wary of the past and ever looking into the future, not forgetting to glance towards the future.
    Are we really born ceaselessly into the past?
    Are dreamers the reckless ones? (or is it the nonbelievers)
    Are we ever bound to the past? Is it a part of us or can we really separate ourselves from it and start anew?

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    1. Why should we forget about the past if we learn from our mistakes? Would the world end up in less war, have people treat each other better, and be a better place if we all had to learn the lesson the hard way?

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    2. I believe that the world can be a place for dreamers but I agree with you when you say it may not be the easiest of places. Not everyone is a dreamer and that is a passion or lack their of that most people are born with. We all know that there are successful dreams out there whose names we all know such as Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and countless other. They all had so much to overcome. There are so many dreamers out there whose names we don't know because they didn't have the luck, skill, drive, or any other factors that led them to be who they are. Dreamers are risk takers.

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  14. After reading the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald it didn't really change my views on life or was that ground breaking of a book to me. To me The Great Gatsby was a book pretty much about how this man tried to impress a past lover with money but since she was a rich girl from a rich family she had to marry rich and not follow her heart and ended up marring rich and living the rest of her life with money instead of Gatsby. My views on the past still have not changed after reading this book I still believe you can do whatever you want in this life, even if that means recovering the past, as long as it makes you happy then go for it but its pointless to always be looking back when life will always continue moving forward. I also think it's really dumb that Daisy choose money over Gatsby even though he was gone, if anything this shows just how materialistic people are. Gatsby is a prime example you can achieve anything in this life if you put your heart to it but also it comes with a double standard considering Gatsby didn't achieve his money legally. If anything this book didn't change my views on life but just highlighted them more, do what you want in this life like Gatsby and believe you can do it. Which is pretty much what I took away from this book.

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  15. What keeps us hanging on to the past is that we thing that the past was better. Everything about the past seems simpler and better. We wish we could go back to the better times and we can't so we try to recreate the past. I think to be able to let go of the past someone would have to realize that their life now is better than it was in the past.

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  16. Why do we believe that our lives how to be lived a certain way? Why can't we enjoy life for what it is and leave it at that? Why do we chase dreams that society has giving us to live and not dreams we truly desire? Why can't we see that a creative adult is just a child that survived?

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    1. Going off what you were saying about dreams given to us, I don't think you can ever obtain a dream that was given to you. You will never ever give the effort that it takes to reach a dream if it is not your own. Chasing a dream is utter suicide

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  17. The Great Gatsby. This book made me realize many things, One thing that really stood out to me was there is always more to people than what meets the eye. Everyone has their own hidden depths whether you realize your own or not. Gatsby to the eye seemed to be an extraordinary man, but not until later in the book do we really find out how extraordinary. Until you really get to know somebody you have NO idea who they really are, and even after you think you know somebody, you don’t. Another thing this book made me realize is not everyone can be a dreamer. Not because you have different circumstances or you came from different social positions. Being a dreamer means you never stop believing in what you want till the day you die. Dreamers have more grit more determination more of that shit that keeps you going long after you should. Not every ones got what it takes. That's why dreamers shine.
    In your opinion what other characteristics must a dreamer have?
    Why is it that Gatsby never felt bad for himself?

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    1. I think he never felt bad for himself because he really truly thought that he was going to be able to get daisy back. I think if he would have known he wasn't ever going to get her back he would have felt sorry for himself.

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    2. I'm going to disagree with you when you say that not everyone can be a dreamer. You defined dreamer as never stoping believing in what you want till the day you die. My example might not be perfect but it made me think of the people who believe in material wealth. They dream of being rich, (*hint hint* Gatsby) so all they do is achieve material things. Once they achieve it, theoretically they should stop believing in it right? So if the people who achieved their dreams count as people who aren't dreamers because they finished their dream etc, then alll the people who have gotten their material wealth, in theory should be happy because they have fuffilled their dream. It seems to me that I hear the most stories about unhappy people, if they have a lot of things. I would say that they are dreamers too. Because they might be miserable with all their things because that was not truly what they were looking for, but they won't give it up, because at one point it was exactly what they wanted. They won't let go of the dream they had to be wealthy even though it might be tearing them apart. The people who don't let go of their dreams are dreamers too.

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  18. I would say this book, The Great Gatsby was a complex novel. Not in the sense of challenging but that there was so much going on emotionally as well as physically. The portrayal of some of the characters seemed to be very self centered and always focused on themselves although not truly showing it emotionally. Fitzgerald definitely showed the wild demeanor everybody in the story possessed, especially Gatsby. To me no one seemed rational and didn't think about repercussions in the future for themselves or others. It just seemed to be one impulsive decision after another. Personally I don't think I learned to much from the characters in terms of life lessons because for myself I don't necessarily agree with how choices were done and made.

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    1. Why has our culture transferred so much from almost recklessness to the more passive lifestyle today?

      Why do people never look to the future for positives versus dwelling on the past?

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  19. The Great Gatsby really mad me think about if we can repeat some things we have done in the past and how we cant always look back into the past. But the way I look at all of these things hasn't changed to much. I think its good to look back into your past and reminisce every once and awhile. I also think you can relive some things from your past but only to a certain extent, you can never really bring back exactly what was. You cannot change what has happened either. It is good to be a dreamer too because it shows you have potential and you can do a lot.
    Why do we think about the past so much?

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    1. What does the past hold that makes it "better" than the present?

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  20. It’s sad that Fitzgerald has the outlook he has on life. He didn’t seem to be a very happy person, he believed in happiness, but also believed in the dismal. I personally wish that everyone could have a good outlook on life because they knew that there were going to be great things ahead, but it’s naive and innocence has started to become lost in this culture and Fitzgerald knew it. I’ve always wanted to believe that there could be a way where children could grow up in a place where they could treat each other nicely but still know that the world wasn’t always going to be a nice place. But how can children have an innocent childhood when their parents are being so corrupted by the world they try to hold at bay? Through the grisly end that Gatsby and Myrtle had, Fitzgerald truly showed that it doesn’t matter what you do to try to make the best of life because it doesn’t care about you, will chew you up, and spit you out. There are always going to be awful things that happen, greed and jealousy will continue to be prevalent in society, and really no one gets out in the end anyway. But it’s also a matter of perspective where things that suck are still going to suck, and nothing good might come out of it, but things can’t be bad forever unless you have a bad life and a bad attitude. Generally, our “bad life,” is not a bad life but rather a bad attitude.
    Why is this life worth living if there are so many aspects about it that bring us down?
    How is it that an abstract feeling called “hope,” is enough to make life worth living?

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  21. One thing that Fitzgerald made me realize while reading the Great Gatsby was that we do indeed live too much in the past. We try way to hard to recreate memories and events that have already occurred just because they made us happy. But like what Nick says, we can't live in the past. Life is about moving forward and making new memories. Not dwelling on the past . Another thing that Gatsby taught me is that it can be a good and bad thing to keep your dreams and not be afraid to go for them. Everyone has a dream of someone they want to be with, the life they want to live, their dream job, their dream car, etc. It taught me to always keep my dreams alive and not be afraid to go for them.

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    1. If you could go back into the past, would you?

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  22. For the first time ever while reading literature, The Great Gatsby showed the fault and the humanism in the auther, F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is so hard to write about something that isn’t nonfiction and doesn’t have to do with your life but relates so closely to it. F. Scott Fitzgerald constantly recognized his flaws and portrayed them through different characters. He knew that they were flaws but he wasn’t ashamed of them, and from the information of Fitzgerald that we learned in class, he didn’t try to improve upon his flaws after he wrote The Great Gatsby. I truly ponder why Fitzgerald has this demeanor. We all have flaws and I believed it was only human nature to try to rid of the flaws that are noticeable. I believe this ideal is very personal and makes me think about if I truly improve upon myself when I know I need to. Fitzgerald may be proof that humans aren't always the innovators that we believe we are. How will humans constantly better themselves when there is an eventual best level that we will reach?

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