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.  You can respond to my story or 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.

123 comments:

  1. Do you believe that morals have disintegrated today?

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    1. I think that it is easy for people to think like that because the world as a whole has changed so much. I do not think that we can say it is worse or better because I do not believe that there is an equal comparison to then and to today. If we were to take away all the things and stuff that make today different than what it was last year, then I think we would be left with the same morals. I believe that people really do have the best intentions and that is why as a whole we always try to do our best and act in our best way possible. I think that if we just keep thinking that we get worse and worse, then we will. If we decide to take the direction we are heading in and think it is good and try to make it better, then I think the future will look positive and like a great place to live.

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    2. I believe that in all generations throughout time- not just today- there is a level of corrupt values. Fitzgerald's novel shows that some people of the 20s were shallow and cared more about partying than about developing meaningful relationships or respecting others/themselves. Today, media and materialism continue to muddle what really matters in life; however, it is important to see that people of the past have also experienced disintegrated morality.

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    3. We live in a very narcissistic society-me, me, me...selfie time! Look at all my thoughts and problems! We believe in instant gratification, getting mine mentality, saying what we want, doing what we want, YOLO (yikes)-how does that contribute to the mentality. Do we have millions of people with false confidence that just want to put on a show...what are they proving? what do they seek through this?

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  2. I found The Great Gatsby to be a really inspiring book because one of the biggest themes I found the book said was to live in the moment. I think today it is so easy to get too caught up in the moment and live in the past or live in future, but if you think about it all we really have is the right now. We can not go back in the past and we do not know what the future holds, so I think it is really important to just accept what we have right now and make the best of it.
    -Do we find it easier to live in a different time or in a different world than the one we have right now?

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  3. Gatsby showed me that there is no one that you can depend on more than yourself. You can only experience your experiences. People come and people go, you never really know who people are and what they are capable of. In the end there was only one person there for Gatsby. Life is fleeting and so are the people that waltz in and out of it, the only true constant is yourself. It may be a selfish take but truly sometimes your only friend is yourself and to be truly content with everything you have to learn to be alone.

    In the end who is there for you?

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    1. I think a large part of this is learning to live with yourself. You need to be accepting of yourself before you can have other people that you can let into your life. After that, do you really need anyone? Then the people that are actually there for you are the people that understand who you really are.

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    2. Hannah, your statement draws attention to relationships and human values, nice job. Do you think that this justifies being selfish? Is this the mentality that is seen when we think of our last day and who truly cares for us?

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    3. I don't think it is necessarily all that selfish. I'm not saying that you should disregard everyone for yourself but I really meant the only person you truly know is yourself. With that the only person you really know will be there is yourself. In Gatsby people like Jay Gatsby spent their whole lives trying to be good enough for someone else, and in the end that person was not there for them. If Gatsby had done what he did maybe to better himself rather than for Daisy's love, less romantic yes, but it may have had a different ending. Before you can love or be there for others you must love and be there for yourself.

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  4. I am going back to what I mentioned after discussing the first couple of chapters; does who you run with or associate with say something about you?

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    1. I think it can because it shows what qualities you look for in relationships. However, what people don't realize is that you may see something in a freind that others do not. For example someone might see you and say your friend is a pothead and come to the conclusion that you are friends with him because he is a pothead. However, you might know him as a kind, charitable kid who might have had a rough life and actually devotes most of his time working with charities. So who you associate with does say something about you, but people have to look past the cover of a person and see what they are truly like before making judgement.

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    2. Does your background, how you grow up (if it be innate) determine what you will seek in life?

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  5. When it comes to the appearances or facades we put on-why do we do it? What are we hiding and concealing? Why do we cover our true selves? What holds us back fro not revealing? If we are doing this, then is anyone ever true? Do we ever really know people?

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  6. The Great Gatsby really makes me look at the value of relationships in my life as opposed to material wealth. To begin relationships should not depend on such wealth because it creates something shallow and fake between two people. If you start a relationships based off of something like that there is no true connection between you and that person and the relationship will seem unsatisfying because it is. In life you have to find someone who looks past anything physical and sees you for who you are. Gatsby could not truly look past the glamour and luxury of Daisy's life, and Daisy saw only the wealth that Tom had. A true relationship formed between Nick and Jay because they found companionship beyond each others social class. Nick did not use Jay for his money, and although Gatsby did require Nick's help, in the end he found that Nick was his only true friend. What is the most important part in building a relationship?

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    1. Well Nick-it depends on how that relationship starts, but reciprocity is key in relationships (in all facets); it has to be two people who mutually work together, that give and take, and respect one another as equals and partners.

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    2. The most important aspect of building a relationship is proximity. You can try and try to be friends with someone but if they are always too far away you will never build the necessary relationship. That is why Nick and Gatsby became friends. They lived in each other's back yards and they engaged in a multitude of activities other than winning Daisy.

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    3. Awesome Nick! I certainly agree with what you have said. I think that our society in general, is so focused and shaped around appearances and image, that we have a difficult time seeing past all of the fake to the truth of a person. In the book we just read, Gatsby was living a life in riches and glamour, but he was empty inside, he was not a man of substance, intellectually, spiritually, etc.

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    4. It all depends on the person. You can have relationships built on a foundation of trust, companionship or your own personal gain. People always seem to be searching for something more, the next best thing. You can love someone and still they will ditch you when something that accommodates them more comes along.

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    5. TRUST. Any relationship can last as long as there is mutual, true trust between the two. Nothing will ever set the two or three or however many there are apart.

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  7. This text haunts my life. I read it and we discussed it and now I see the ideas we brought up all around me. Specifically the pointless communication. We came to the consensus that the characters conversations were shallow and pointless. Daisy would gossip about the butler's nose or make some air headed comment about the beautiful shirts. It seemed almost like she was hiding her deeper self behind a curtain of stupidity. She did not want to dig deeper because she was afraid of what she would find. This scares me because I see it in my life today. Gossip. Social media. iPhones. Superfluous conversation. No one wants to risk deeper interaction. Why are people afraid to go deeper?

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    1. What differentiates between the meaningful and the meaningless? I think it's all a matter of perspective. To some, there is significance in the blunt insignificance of everything. While others must search for something more beyond the unsatisfactory lull of life.

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    2. People are afraid to got deeper because they are afraid of what they'll find. They don't want to seek the truth because sometimes, truth is scarier that fiction. People in general would rather live life pretending that everything is perfect rather than take the risk of solving problems that, when left alone, will ultimately make them unhappy.

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    3. To answer Gabby, I think that realistically, meaning is relative to the individual, and it really depends on what is deemed important on an individual level. Clearly money was meaningful to Gatsby, or he thought it was, but things with true meaning for me are things which we can't touch or hold. Things of meaning are those which can last eternally, thoughts, actions, the relationships we have with the people around us, our spirituality.

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    4. Individuals might be afraid to go deeper simply because they are disillusioned in the temporary satisfaction that gossip and materialism provides, most likely to make up for a missing element. I agree with Nate, I believe that the character in the novel and many individuals strive to find joy in materialism merely to make up for a lack of spiritual concepts, or faith in themselves. Materialism provides an easy solution and acts as a quick fix.

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  8. Is there a way for us to be ourselves and fit in with society? If you feel like you do fit in with society are you yourself? Everyone always says that society doesn't truly dictate how we conform, but in the back of my mind every morning I think about what I should wear and how my friends will perceive me in certain clothing. Will that really pretty girl down the hall notice me and maybe I will get her approval? Is it shallow to judge people based of their material items? Or is it important in our day and age to connect with those people that have the same items that we do?

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    1. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

      This quote also makes me think of The Great Gatsby and how what we have to say is more important than what we wear and what we do

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    2. That's an interesting quote Patrick. I would have to disagree with Roosevelt, in that life needs balance, we couldn't make it through life without discussing people and events in addition to ideas, but I do agree with him in that what we think (and do), says something about who we are and what we are made of. This was personified in The Great Gatsby in the characters who were always gossiping, they were hallow and empty people.

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  9. The pieces that stand out the most to me in the text are the lack of attendants to Gatsby’s funeral and the fact that the Buchanans left immediately after the deaths of Wilson, Gatsby, and Myrtle. Gatsby was hospitable to so many; people took such great advantage of his parties and celebrated wealth. Yet none cared for him as a person. They simply enjoyed the glamour, gaudiness, and superficiality of his parties but left it at that. Fitzgerald shows how abusive people can be and how they take others for granted. People are selfish and take what they want, never reciprocating if it isn’t of interest to them. This also shows how corrupted people’s values are; they strive to enjoy meaningless activities but they don’t strive to meet others and build relationships. In the end, what matters more? A life of partying and ingenuine interactions or a life of meaningful relationships? Furthermore, the Buchanans’ carelessness and selfishness display that even when there appears to be a deeper relationship and a history between people, it can still be abandoned and ruined. People are capable of changing or even hiding their true intentions all along. Through these two disturbing and depressing aspects of his novel, Fitzgerald comments on how sick and cruel people are capable of being. Is it true that all people, despite their perceived reputations, have an inner capability to hurt others? Are we all cruel inside?

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    1. Sadly enough, I would say yes Faith. We always have the ability to be cruel and heartless, but we also have a choice in our actions. There will always be hateful, spiteful, vindictive people and their hearts are jaded by something that they have never dealt with or refuse to see.

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    2. I believe that all people are capable of cruelty; we all have the capacity for evil and the yearning for frivolous glamour. Every day we make an active choice to mold the person who we would like to become, but sometimes that is all we create: a mold. We enact shells of ourselves, playing a role, but never really living it. We blunder through life with false investment and half-assed participation. Along the way, we damage others unlucky enough to play into our game. Just as Tom and Daisy use their wealth as a shield, we draw inside our molds, acting as a distant puppeteer following a script. Those who are cruel lose themselves in the attempt to embody the mold. They stand behind a glass wall, separated from the pain they cause others. However, those who are cognizant of their actions and strive to live undefined by any mold are free of the pressure to resort to cruelty.

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    3. The Great Gatsby and Mrs. Comp's story really made me think about the role of dreams in our lives. Dreaming is an essential part of the human life. We constantly aspire and hope for a better brighter future. Some dreams are small; the affect only a small fleetingly era in someone's life. Someone might dream of making a school sports team or getting that one thing for Christmas, but the realization or lack thereof of that dream only influences a person's life for a relatively small amount of time. Some dreams are big; these dreams envelope entire futures and consume entire portions of our lives. These dreams carry weight. The search for these dreams involves risk, but the ultimate payoff is fulfillment. Gatsby risked everything for Daisy. He risked his face, his wealth, his friendships all in the desperate hope that he could finally have the dream of Daisy. Dreams are individual and unique to each person. Some people dream of fame and fortune, others of humble modesty. Even if we strive for a dream and fail, we adapt, readjust. We always keep going through sadness and disappointment. If this means finding a new more realistic dream or continuing to believe in a better future then so be it. Dreams are like a shove into the future, but happiness comes from the steps along the way.

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  10. One of the many things which The Great Gatsby inspired in my life was the idea of money. And I think that money has no spiritual importance, nor does it make a difference in the grand scheme of our lives and our purpose as humans on earth. However, just as the Bible says, we should have moderation in all things. I don’t believe that money is always a bad thing. It really depends on the individual and their motives for money, and it depends on what they are willing to do to attain it. As in the book, Gatsby was selfish in his greed and want for money and everything he ever did was for himself, not for anyone else. I think, as the book conveys, that this type of greed and selfishness is corrupt and inconsistent with my beliefs of the purpose of money. It all comes down to balance, are we balancing money with spending time with family, sharing our good fortune with others, or are we so interested in ourselves that we cannot share and help others on our way? These, among many others, was one of the biggest ideas in Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby.

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  11. Why do we do terrible things to our world and other people?
    From this text, I have discovered that most of the characters lie and cheat throughout their lives and they don’t gain much good and quite a bit of bad. I know that this is also true in some cases for me and other people. I know the only thing some people do in their lives is lie and cheat. I’m wondering why as humans we are greedy and selfish? What do we gain from it other then a higher rank or more money? I do think cheating might get us somewhere better but is it worth it if it is really fake?

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    1. Amber, I think it is human nature for a lot of people to be selfish and often put themselves before others. People cheat and lie constantly in order to, as you said, get a higher rank and better money. I think people want to be established in the world, and sometimes they see doing things such as that is the only way to do so. Can someone become their version of successful without lying and cheating?

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    2. I think it is hard to talk about how we are all liars and cheaters because I don’t think we are. There is so much bad in the world, and people tend to focus on that way more than they focus on the good. Just like the first e-mail Mrs. Comp read us, we always tend to focus on the negative and just ignore all the positive that has come out of everything. What people need to fix is their attitude. If we constantly think about how people can act like liars and cheaters, then it will probably happen. Maybe if just one of us decides to be the good person we should all want to be, then others will catch on. In order to make a change and to stop people from acting like liars and cheaters, people have to start and take on the role of the leader. If one does not like something, they should change it and most likely others will catch on as well.

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    3. Nicole - I totally agree with you but I also do believe that everyone has greed within and lets it do terrible things to themselves. I also agree with you on the fact that if everyone had a better attitude a lot would be fixed. Saying that everyone should change their attitude though is something easier said than done. There are 7 billion people in this world stuck in their ways. I don't know how to change it but hopefully we will slowly get to the point where less than 50% of Americans can say they are happy.

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  12. The Great Gatsby offers different views on who people really are and what they truly desire. I think people have many different sides to them, and depending on the level of trust one has with another, depends on what side of that person they will be able to experience. As I have gotten closer to certain people of the years, I have seen people act as an entirely different person at points, and not every time was I happy to welcome the new personality. People put up a face when they first meet new people, why? The Great Gatsby has taught me that sometimes the people you think you know most, don't turn out to be exactly what you thought they were. It's a sad thing to hear, but something I think we all should accept in order to keep ourselves from getting hurt and lied to in the future. Why are people so afraid to show their true selves right from the start?

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    1. People are afraid to show their true selves because they are afraid of failure. They think that if they don't show people the "right" stuff then those people will not like them and they will be a failure because they are not friends with those people.

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    2. To some extent, I don't think it may always be that people are deliberately hiding their true selves. I feel that spending time with new people begins to influence who we are and brings out different aspects of our personality. I believe people change all the time and develop new traits based on the people and things they expose themselves to. When people "don't turn out to be exactly what you thought they were," it may just be a result of changes in their lives and identity. I see your idea about how people hide their intentions and personalities, but I think another aspect of how people end up different may also be due to humans' impressionability.

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  13. This text was a good indication of how immoral, superficial and sad Americans are. Throughout Gatsby there was almost no times at which one of the characters was grateful for what had been given or for what they had achieved. Gatsby was always wanting more (Daisy), Tom kept cheating on his wife and never fully understood how lucky he truly was to have Daisy, and all Nick did was judge. I think Fitzgerald was implying that Americans take everything for granted which is why we are never happy. This book taught me to stop focusing on the negative but instead to focus on the positive. Ultimately, Gatsby taught me to be optimistic. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

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    1. Great question...I asked in a subsequent post if we are limited in what we can do? If we have so much we can do and want to do, then why don't we risk it? We hold ourselves back way too often. We fear what could be instead of just taking things as they come. I don't believe we risk enough; we are too scared; we have allowed our world to put us in a perpetual state of fear to drive us to its conformity; I am guilty of this more ways than one, and it makes me sad. I don;t want to end with What if....

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    2. I think the main reason people do things they don't like is because of money. And things we like to do mostly involve spending money, like going on vacations, concerts, or even a lot of the activities or hobbies we love to do involve spending money. So in order to do the things we love to do, we have to do things we don't like to do.

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  14. Do you believe in dreams? Do you believe they can come true? Why aren't we pursuing everything right now? ( I will admit that i am guilty of this). Are we limited? Are we on borrowed time? Do we only have so much time to do what we want?

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    1. Dreams are something that I believe everyone has. Whether it be something someone wants or something they want to achieve. Without dreams I just see there being not much point to life. Dreams encourage us and get us to places that could seemingly be impossible to reach. Dreams can come true depending on the dream and how hard the person is actually willing to work for it. Of course, there are some instances where someone gets handed what they want but those people usually aren't as hard working. I think we are not going for what we want right now because we don’t know what it’s like not to live. We know about death but we haven’t experienced it ourselves and don’t fully understand the limited time that we have. It’s hard to wrap our minds around the thoughts of dying at an unexpected time so we don’t go for what we want because we think we will always have tomorrow.
      “It’s the oldest story in the world. One day you’re seventeen and planning for someday. And then quietly and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And that someday is yesterday. And this is your life.” - Nathan Scott

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  15. The Great Gatsby really made me ponder about the time I have left in this world, and what I've done with the time I've already been given. Now I don't mean that is a sad sense it has just made me wonder about what I have achieved in my life, and all the goals I still strive to complete. Also all the aspects of time trhoughout the book really stuck with me, because it's true, although somewhat depressing to think about, that all of our clocks are ticking. We really have to make the most out of the life we have, not take things for granted, not get lost in our own selfishness, not see the world through a shaded lenses. Instead relish in the moments of joy, laugh a little longer even when every else has stopped, smile more until your cheek muscles beg for a release. Take off the sunglasses and really look around, your life is just that, it's your life, it's whatever you want it to be. Most of us spend too much of our lives trying to convince our shadows that we are someone worth following, what we need to realize is our shadows are there to remind us that we in fact are someone worth following. The biggest judgments come from inside ourselves, but what makes us judge ourselves? Why do we compare our lives to others? Do the people around us and the environment we place ourselves in dictate how we look in the mirror everyday?

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    1. If we do not compare ourselves how else do we know what to do. If we do not see what others have done or dreamed what fuels our dreams. That is why literature is so important, it gives us the thought and the information to fuel our dreams. Without it we are crippled. That is why censorship is effective at controlling a population.

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    2. I think we compare ourselves to others and judge ourselves because we are looking for answers. We are insecure about our purpose and our lifestyles. With an unidentified amount of time on this world, we only have so long to find answers to the point of it all in the first place. We look to others to see what we're missing, what others know, what we should be doing with our time. The truth is, we may never know our purpose- or we may not live long enough to find it. In the meantime, we are desperately searching to come to some conclusion, even if it is false or misguided- we just need some thought to hold on to.

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  16. I know you guys are young and have lack of experience in certain aspects when it comes to romance, but is love the greatest thing worth living for?

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    1. I personally think that love and having meaningful relationships is one of the most important things in the world. I believe you can't be truly happy until you have people in your life that love you just as much as you love them. Those people might be friends, family, or a significant other, but it doesn't matter, all love is the same. Do soul mates exist?

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    2. Can you love more than once in your life?

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    3. It's difficult to answer this question, not only because of lack of much experience, but it's also difficult because I just think everyone experiences love is such different ways and expresses it in such different ways. None the less love can definitely make you feel like you are floating above the world and that nothing can touch you but at the same time it can crush you. Love is one of life's greatest paradox's in that way. Love can also be deceiving, it can turn someone you thought you knew into a completely different person. People often lie in order to gain love, or in order to make themselves look more grand than they are in order to impress the person they love. Love can make people do all sorts of things and while I cant say that is the greatest things worth living for by itself, I'd say if it brings you joy and makes you feel complete than yes.

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    4. Although I have never been in love (but I am a very romantic individual), I would say that love is the greatest thing worth living for if we are chasing happiness. I have been in relationships and being with someone who makes you happy is great. You cant wait to spend time with them and when you do you forget about all your worries. Love is the gateway to happiness.

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    5. I believe love is a very important aspect of life. Love creates life. When people are lonely, they tend to become too focused on school or their jobs. It's important to have other people who you can share life with. It gives you more viewpoints and experiences that you couldn't have alone. I believe making impacts on others is important. Ideas are sprung from the sharing of thoughts and sometimes when you can't make sense of something, someone else will have it laid out exactly for you. Having people who love and care for you gives support and help when you need it. Love is a strong emotion that I believe creates happiness.

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    6. I think it is possible to love more than once, because the first time you see someone or go on a date is so special. The rest of the relationship, I feel like is trying to recreate memories like the first, and if people change and you no longer feel the same connection you did that first time, that love you felt the first time. Then maybe the love is gone, whether the person has changed or not, and that is when it becomes time to seek love again. If your significant other dies they would not want you to continue your life solely longing for them, they would want you to find love again.

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    7. I think love comes in many forms and is equally important in all of those forms. Love can both make you ridiculously happy and just as easily kill you inside. When we look to love to make us happy we abuse it. Love should come easily and that person should make feel full inside. The right kind of love is something to live for. When you're not secure in yourself is when it can go wrong.

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    8. Romantic love is nothing to worry about at our age. There are many different types of love we need to focus (family, friends, passions, food).

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  17. This text really made me think about the Lost Generation. I think that the end of the book when Nick was the only that attended Gatsby's funeral, really encapsulated this whole idea that people spend so much time, even their entire lives, on things that don't really matter. It showed the significance of having deep and meaningful relationships. Gatsby had entertained, worked with, employed, and knew thousands of people, yet none of them came to his funeral. Whether it was giving people a good time or working a business deal with any of these people, none of it ever meant enough for them to care about him as a person. I think that this displays that making deep relationships is very easy but people aren't willing to make that easy extra step to make those relationships happen. I think that Gatsby was a truly good person. He put his money and effort into giving people a good time, regardless of his motivation, he still put in the effort. I think that people just saw him as this supply, something that they could take from to fill themselves up. I think that the "Lost Generation" is so significant and is important for people of any generation to look at as the epitome of a life focused on the wrong things. The technological advances of today are making us less human everyday. What are people doing, and what can be done so that we never lose sight of what really matters?

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  18. This text really made me think about the Lost Generation. I think that the end of the book when Nick was the only that attended Gatsby's funeral, really encapsulated this whole idea that people spend so much time, even their entire lives, on things that don't really matter. It showed the significance of having deep and meaningful relationships. Gatsby had entertained, worked with, employed, and knew thousands of people, yet none of them came to his funeral. Whether it was giving people a good time or working a business deal with any of these people, none of it ever meant enough for them to care about him as a person. I think that this displays that making deep relationships is very easy but people aren't willing to make that easy extra step to make those relationships happen. I think that Gatsby was a truly good person. He put his money and effort into giving people a good time, regardless of his motivation, he still put in the effort. I think that people just saw him as this supply, something that they could take from to fill themselves up. I think that the "Lost Generation" is so significant and is important for people of any generation to look at as the epitome of a life focused on the wrong things. The technological advances of today are making us less human everyday. What are people doing, and what can be done so that we never lose sight of what really matters?

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    1. I was watching a video yesterday and it showed an example of a man who forgot his phone at home and because he asked a girl for directions he ended up falling in love and marrying her and having an amazing life with her. But the video ended saying, "but he brought his phone, and never looked up to see her walking by," and so he really never got to live that happy life and never knew what he missed. So it really goes to show that when we put our tech away and look at life we will see so much more, and miss out on so much left. We put to much stock into social media when it really is making us less social instead. So if we all just stopped to smell the roses, life could be full of so much more. Can you remember a time when you didn't have a phone (nor wanted one) or Facebook, Twitter or much social media? Were you happier then, or now?

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    2. That's an awesome story. Whats the name of the video? And yeah I think that there was a time when I was young and I never felt the need for a phone. But I think now I just see it as a tool and just try to make the most of it and I'm pretty sure that I am the same person with my phone than I am without it so I'm happy about that.

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    3. I don't remember the name, it was in a long playlist of videos. And I agree, but I feel like I could go back to having a slide phone and be just as happy. All I get out of the phone (in terms of happiness) is being able to communicate with people and plan ways to see each other in person.

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  19. Is it possible to be satisfied with our accomplishments? Is that being complacent? Do we need to create fake achievements to make ourselves feel better? Does that even work? Gatsby seemed so caught up in his new, overachieving self just so he could impress Daisy. Is he too unsatisfied with his real self that he is ashamed to show his real side to Daisy? Are people’s expectations too high? Do we feel that we need to be better than we actually are to impress people?

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    1. I think that yes, we do in fact feel the need to stretch our personalities a little, but think about the reverse side of this. Everyone creates that list of ideals for their perfect mate, or a list of requirements for friendships. Is that helping us find the right person for us or is it giving us tunnel vision and blocking out everyone that doesn't fit into the mold exactly? Why do we feel that "brown hair" or "tall" is necessary in a person? We spend so much time trying to become someone we aren't for the person we love, but we never get to see that list before we start trying, so we may have already been on it, but in morphing our personalities, slip back under the radar, which in turn leads us to believe we haven't changed enough about ourselves and continue reforming our appearance or personality. If we have such high expectations, we should let other people read them first, since they are going to change to fit them anyway. I don't like the list, it makes everyone so narrow minded, and encourages people to change themselves blindly. The other thing is, when you love someone and you change to meet their requirements, how do you know they aren't doing exactly the same thing? Maybe you are perfect for each other just the way you were? Or, maybe you would both despise each other's real personalities. If everyone laid aside the masks, it would be so much easier to see who was right for who...

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    2. I think we let other's expectations of how we should live our lives get to us far too much. Why do we let those people set our own limitations? I do feel that people feel the need to pretend or say they are better to impress certain people because they have a need to feel more important. It's that sense of whose done this or that, who is cooler, and so forth. All the time people make up stories of things they have done or places they have been in order to feel like they fit into a certain place. As if we are all just scrambled puzzle pieces looking for our spot. But why do we feel that need to fit in?

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  20. F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, has taught some great lessons to me and probably to the other hundreds of thousands that have read this book as well. The main thing that I took away from this, however, would probably be the idea that people shouldn’t force whats not there. People need to live in the moment and let whatever happens happen. This was expertly exhibited through Gatsby’s character throughout the novel as he kept striving to recreate the past and have his golden girl, Daisy. However, the more he started to force it, the more distant this goal became. Every thing and experience in our life has a purpose, we just have to find it.
    Why might people seek so hard to create something that isn’t there?

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    1. I think people like Gatsby spend so long trying to seek things because it is their dream. I think dreams are an important part of our lives because if we don't strive for anything in this life and just let whatever happens happen, then we are just playing the role of a character in a movie. It is important to leave your mark on the world, and if you do not set goals, and do not dream about what you could make this life, than you will not achieve anything special. He doesn't really ever make his dream come true, but he devotes his life to achieving that goal. Once he sees that he Daisy might not truly be as special as he thought the dream kind of dies, because he has nothing else to live for. If you don't set out to achieve your goals than you might as well not be present at all. Life is about dreaming and making dreams come true.

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    2. I think people try to force relationships and experiences because we are desperately trying to fill our lives before it's too late. We try so hard to achieve our goals and go after what we really want- yet often, they may not work out the way we envisioned. At that point, people try to force it and create it themselves, if only to ease their mind and make them feel like they have attained some feat even if it's not entirely true.

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    3. Faith is it important to force those relationships, and strive to make those dreams come true or does everything happen for a reason and we just need to take a back seat?

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  21. The story of Gatsby made me ponder love, and not in some stupid cliche way, but in a way that is meaningful even in our lives today. The main question the book brought up in that sense was what should people do when they are in love with someone deeply who already belongs to someone else? This is a major problem, because there is a sense in which you have to do what's best for you, but what if they don't love you back? Then it is a terrible thing to take them away. Is it possible for true love to be one-sided? What happens when someone that you love so much they consume all of your thoughts, then they don't want you? I personally believe that there is a divine aspect to all of this, and that God wouldn't pair people that are already taken. If you love someone, but they don't love you back, does that mean that you should go search for someone else, or should you wait? The Gatsby Daisy Tom chain thing really bothered me, because I feel like Tom did love Daisy, and his sin just happened to be adultery. Everyone has a sin that they fall prey to, and who are we to rank these sins? Whichever one is upon our own shoulders would surely seem less evil than that which troubles your neighbors. If we rank sin, it is a mere defense mechanism, meant only to bounce the spotlight to those next door so that you can hide your own faults behind you for a while longer. By judging Tom's cheating, we ignore Gatsby's temper and not to mention the fact that he is a stalker. We also ignore Daisy's falsehood, and Nick's over excessive nosiness. It all is counted as equal, but I stray from my original point, which I now return to: Tom loves Daisy. Sin and love can coexist, as long as it is reciprocated and combined with understanding. But what then, when you don't love someone anymore, but they still love you? Is it more important to look out for our own happiness or the happiness of those around us? Does one take precedence over another, or where is the balance?

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    1. I do not think that people should take the love in The Great Gatsby as some sort of love they should want. In Gatsby, all the characters have money and greediness cloud their judgement so none of them possessed true love with anyone. While it may be cliche, I think that when someone has TRUE love, then nothing else about the person should matter except their character. In some people, it is possible for money and status to enter into their character, and in order for someone to love them they will just have to accept that. And I think if what someone feels is true love, and not just jealousy or want, then I think it will be a mutual feeling. Love has so many unknowns that it is easy to get it confuse with other emotions, but when someone has it for real I think they will have no doubt about it.

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    2. I think this is a difficult question to answer. Love is a strange and random thing. Sometimes you can't control when you fall in love or who you fall in love with. I think it depends on the moment and the time in your life in which you do. You may fall for someone who has already moved on to other greater things that may not include you. It takes time to realize this and I believe that if people focus and remain stuck on that one person they miss or waste a good part of their own life in which they could be searching for the right one. Again I think it's hard to really know what to do and that's part of the unpredictable future.

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  22. Do we really have control over the path our life goes? This question will never have a definite answer. Whether you believe in a god or you believe in yourself, it is not possible to know if you have “choices” in your life. While you may get to pick the little things in life such as what clubs you join or what classes you take, what some people call fate and what other like myself call God, we have little to no control over what we make of ourselves. Even if you choose to be a part of the cooking club or decide to take jewelry, you are going to meet people that influence where you go in life. The biggest struggle for myself and everyone our age is deciding what we do with our life. The only way we could truly find out if we have control over our lives is if we do it again and try a different route. While I wish with all my heart I could do that, no one has made that possible, so whats the point of worrying about what college to go to or what job will pay the best? We only get this kind of life once. Is it better to live this one life worrying about the future or making others future come true? I used to think my place in the world as “I am just a foolish kid looking for hope in a hopeless world.” I thought this true for a very long time, and the only thing I recieved from this mind set is disappointment, because there is no true hope in this world. Yes there are hints of hope, but cloudy days will always come until The Day. I have changed this mindset of mine to be a little more hopeful and less self centered. “I am a foolish kid trying to BRING hope to a hopeless world.” I know that the only thing I can really look forward to and know my future for is my place in the afterlife. It’s hard to put a meaning to this life if there is so much greater promised after it. But I find that my meaning for my life is to bring meaning to everyone else’s life. So I will ask my question again. Do we control our path in life?

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    1. I think we have more control in our lives than what you think, Davis. We can control bigger things than just the clubs we want to join. We can decide for ourselves where we want to go to college, what we want to study there, all leading up to what job we ultimately choose for ourselves. Yes, it is cloudy, but if you put your mind up to it, you can accomplish just about anything in life that you want. If life is just a predetermined order of events, that takes the fun out of choice. As an atheist, I think that we do the things we would like to accomplish whenever we feel the need to. If i wanted to get a degree in English, I could do that, but I do not want to out of choice. Our path in life is what we make of it, not a series of events that are laid out in front of us.

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    2. But are we the ones truly deciding these things. Are we just choosing this college and job because God or fate chose it for us first?

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    3. To some degree, I think that we do choose our path, but the the fact of the matter is that we are victims of others' choices. We may do all we can to direct our lives, but there will always be the unexpected.

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  23. This text got me thinking and wondering about how people view the world and their lives. What is the most important aspect of being human and living in this world today? There are many answers to this question. For me, doing what I love and being with the people I love is a big part of this answer. I feel sometimes questions like these bring up some sort of existential crisis within people. I think in an attempt to avoid becoming overwhelmed with the meaning of their lives people will ignore important values and won't take time to reevaluate their lives to live the ways that make them happy. I don't think many know what happiness is. We live lives of repetition and comfort. No one wants to go beyond the normal expectations of going through school, getting a job, or maybe making a family. Everyone is set in their ways and there is no straying away from those paths. They don't know how to. I believe that when people get caught up in what they want and what they see for themselves they lose sight of things like family and building relationships and experiencing new things. Life offers so much for each individual, but it eventually comes down to whether or not they are willing to go after more. For some just being content with their lives is good enough because it ultimately is your life and it shouldn't be directed any other way except the way that makes you feel fulfilled. I feel the happiness of others effects people's wants for themselves. They misjudge their own happiness and think that the ways someone else is happy will make them happy as well. An example would be how much money people have. How much of our lives is dictated by the people around us? How much do relationships affect your life? To what extent should we do things for ourselves and disregard others? Are there people in your life who, in your rush to success, forgot to include in your future? Is our future solely based on our own needs and wants?

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    1. It is a sad thought but if we do not look out for ourselves who will? If we do not fight for our happiness who will? Who can? No one but you knows what makes you happy.

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  24. Throughout The Great Gatsby, there are many instances where it is implied that the moral values of today’s society are becoming questionable, such as if we spend too much time relaxing, if we are moving too far away from the past, if we rely too much on money and the “comfort” that it provides. And a lot of these questions are legitimate. Comfort cannot come from simply an inanimate object such as money, but it comes from the people around you that you love and the memories of both good and bad times. Money is becoming a huge problem for people today, whether it is the fact that the country is in trillions of dollars in debt, or the fact that people are greedy and try to obtain money simply to spend it all in one day.
    The past is slowly moving further and further away, too. Like Mrs.Comp just said today, activities like writing letters have become obsolete in the eyes of our generation because technology makes sending messages instantaneous. But if we lose sight of our past, we will have nothing to guide us in moving to the future. The Great Gatsby is incredibly insightful, and these are only some of the many things this book made me think about.

    Do we rely on money and wealth too much?
    Has the attachment to objects and possessions impacted the way people think about one another?

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    1. I think as a society we certainly rely on money too much. What ever happened to trade, not money for product, but product for product or service for service? I think that our society has shifted so much into this mindset of getting the most wealth, instead of contributing to society and helping each other out. We charge the most we can for our products and services, and we rip each other off all the time. We have a decreasing conscience for what is right in getting money. True happiness comes from, as you said Ethan, the people around us and it is rarely ever anything tangible, its in the experiences and the memories. So ultimately, money has altered the way we treat one another in that we are often less that fair with one another in regards to money, and we no longer try and help each other out and trade services, but its all focused on the money.

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  25. Does time break us, or do we live to remake it?
    Are we focused on merely creating a future to change the past?

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    1. Well one thing for sure is that time definitely ages us, in many ways, In knowledge, experience, morals, etc. And as for creating a future to change the past half the time I think it is quite the opposite. I feel as though we often try to relive our past, to make a set future. We morn for the past because the future is unknown.

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    2. Whats the point of trying to change the past? We learn from the past and we try to forget it. The future and the past have to different influences in ones life. The past can mean regret, grief, disappointment. It an also be something we wish we could experience again because it was so amazing. The future is our hope. The future is potential. The past future should not be related but they shouldn't be pursued.

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    3. The future is the one thing that we all want to be in, the one place that we have the comfort in one day being in. But what people want in the future is that comfort that life is going to be better. I don't think that we try to create a future to change the past, but we create a better future for ourselves to fix the mistakes that we have made in the past, so we can achieve more through what we fixed.

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    4. I think that those who live in the past will never be able to have a future because Davis is right, we can't change the past. It is that tricky balance between looking back to the past for guidance but making sure to come back up and apply that to the future. Some people get stuck in what they thought they knew in the past instead of what they can know in the future.

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    5. What do we learn from. The past. When we dream of the future what do we dream of. A day that is better than the current one. The past is what motivates us to change our future. Without the past driving us we would not have a future because we would have nothing to return to or escape from.

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  26. The Great Gatsby posed so many life questions. I try answering them all and become overwhelmed with my inconsistency. Although I have the ambition to be the best version of me and leave a great impact, another side of me just wants to lay back and float wherever the water takes me. There is no test that asks you who you are, so I don’t need an answer. I have a deep seeded belief that whatever you say your life’s purpose is doesn’t matter unless your actions follow. You are the sum of your actions. Do everything you want to do, you don’t need a set path because you will stray from it. In the end looking back at your soul driven actions, you will discover who you truly are, you don’t need to waste time wondering now, just live.

    Is it worth defining yourself before you have the time to live with your instincts?

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  27. How would you live your life if you had a week to live? How would you live your life if you had 5 years left to live? How would you live your life if you were going to live forever?

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    1. If I had a week to live I would gather every single one of my friends for an enormous party for a day. Hang out with my closest for a day all to them for a couple days. Be with my family for a few days. I would write everything down I always meant to say to people and never got the chance. Then go and say it. And then I would go sky diving because that would be rockin. With five years left I would devote my time to being with the people I care about, and I would try to leave a lasting impact in my community. If I could live my life forever I would try to form lasting relationships, but it would be sad to watch them all die. So i would focus on trying to make the world a better place.

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    2. I would live my life much in the same way that I do now. Every moment for itself, every little thing is important. I would pick up sparkly blue pencils in the hallway and be thrilled about it for the rest of the day for no reason. I would cry for joy because someone I admire paused to say something, anything, to me. I would continue writing, drawing, crafting, and singing my life onto the fabric of eternity. My stress, so monumental, but still lesser prioritized, would vanish entirely with the certainty of either life or death, and my behavior would not change at all. I only would lose the ever hanging burden of fear. I would not change my behavior around people. If someone makes me mad, I pretend they never did, if I make someone mad, I right the wrong and move on. I would still feel so much happiness over small things, like getting a nice comment in the hallways. Or, better yet, someone stopping to talk to me for a while. My greatest pleasure would still dwell in hearing my own name from the mouth of another student, and realizing they know I exist.

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    3. Davis these questions are great. If I had a week to live I probably try my best to sleep very little. I would do all the stupid and fun things that I hadn't done such as skydiving or taming lions or hitting on girls out of my league (very few). I would see all the important people such as my family and my friends and I would try to see as much of the world as I could. This question really makes me think about how much of my life right now that I am wasting and how I want to live my life from now on. How much time of our lives do we do we waste? Should we be focusing on more important people/things in our lives?

      I will leave you all with a deep quote:
      "No one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep"

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    4. I think as the time window that you have in your life shortens, the magnitude of your dreams becomes bigger. For example, if I were to think about what I would do in the next week if my death bed was waiting for me next Tuesday, I would try to do all the huge things that I missed out on in life. On the other end, if I were to live forever, I think that I would be able to focus on the smaller things, and perfect the things that weren't perfect. This has to do with the idea that time is the destroyer of everything, and that while living your life to a deadline, life is more demanding and scary.

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    5. I wish I was able to live my life as if I only had a week to live every day. If this were true, I would literally live life to the fullest and pack it with the most meaningful things I could. I would become who I would want to be, I would instantly lose the fear of what others may think of me, and I would be spending more time doing things that make me happy rather things that don't. I think many realizations about life would come to me if I only had a week to live and I could learn many lessons.

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  28. Time is the one thing humanity will always obsess about. We will never stop wanting more of it but never realize we already have more of it. People always wish for more time but even as they say those words they have already received their wish. More than this, time is the greatest paradox of the world. While one person is wishing for more time another is wishing it away. I think the reason people are so transfixed with time is because it is the one thing in the universe that cannot and will not ever change. Time is the only rock humanity has to hold on to because everything else, though somethings may seem steadfast, will inevitably change. But not time. Time will tick on unaffected but anyone or anything, always moving at the same pace, never slowing, never speeding. Time will go on until there is no where left to go.

    How does time shape us, change us?

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    1. Each of us want to leave a legacy; something that holds true when our bodies cease working. We are all using time to create that legacy-to shape a vision of ourselves and to make others better hopefully. Unfortunately there is a lot of evil in humanity-people with the wrong intentions, purpose and deeds. We see it all the time. When did their time go wrong?

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  29. What is the true/ultimate sign of wealth, money or happiness?

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    1. If you did something with character, integrity and honor (I guess that is subjective) because to paraphrase Emerson, to do what is right for you is all that matters. If you do it pure of heart and you have a definitive WHY, then you don't need a sign?

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    2. The ultimate sign of money and wealth is power. If a person has enough money that they can use it to control others then they have won the wealth game. And if power and money is what makes a person happy then a persons power over the world is the ultimate sign of their happiness too.

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  30. Time is a tricky, fickle business! It is moving so fast and we are too. I am always asked if I regret anything and as I can say I do (not many, but I do based on not taking risks or making certain decisions in my life), all of those choices brought me to this moment in time and I probably would not be the person I am or have the people in my life that I do now if I hadn't made those choices. Everything you do now is creating the life you desire and you may not know what you want to do (and believe me YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW young ones) or where you are going, but the present is a gift and you must live it. I know I need to stop fussing, and worrying so much because it detracts from the way I see things; it makes me sick and unhealthy; it jades my point of view, and I do not want to be some curmudgeon who is critical of everything. Just have a purpose in what you do, or you will be doing it for the wrong reasons.

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  31. The Great Gatsby made me rethink my whole perspective on the possibility of the American Dream. Maybe it was because growing up in Centennial my whole life has kept me mostly shielded from the hardships millions face everyday. I live in a normal house and was born into a middle class family, and we never throw our money around, but we have never had to worry about how we were going to get our next meal. I would hear stories about people becoming homeless and I would wonder why they didn’t just work harder to gets A’s when they were in school, because that’s what has been ingrained into my head my whole life. Now I know that everyone is born into a completely different and unique situation, and some just end up luckier than others. The Great Gatsby has taught me that the American Dream isn’t a guarantee, but a gamble. The American Dream is only possible if you work hard and persevere, and you also have to risk everything for it. So is attempting to achieve the American Dream truly worth it? After accomplishing the American Dream are you always happy and problem-free? Is it even possible to achieve the American Dream? After reading The Great Gatsby, I would have to say that the American Dream is nothing but what it appears to be: a dream. However, I do believe that it is possible for someone to achieve a successful life. You just have to shift your definition of success from being wealthy to being happy. Aiming for a successful or happy life is what makes life worth living, not attempting to capture a illusion.

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  32. While reading The Great Gatsby, many thoughts come to mind. Fitzgerald puts his subtle commentary into the book in many aspects, including the aspect in which Americans can never seem to be satisfied. This is especially exemplified when Gatsby dreams about his "perfect" Daisy. Gatsby's dream of Daisy is just that; a dream. He made her so perfect in his mind that no human could be able to capture everything that he wanted. This is similar to how people in our society are today. I think that the reason that Americans are so unhappy and ungrateful is because our dreams are so big that reality couldn't ever actually fit the bill. As our nation continues to advance and reach goals from the past, the idea is to continue moving onto bigger and better things. The problem is, is that as we find it more difficult to find “bigger and better” things to move onto in the future, we begin to look into the past, to see what could’ve been done, but wasn't.

    Why do we let ourselves get so caught up in what could’ve been when it’s already all said and done?

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    1. Clare, I think we get so caught up in the past and what could have been because the future scares us. We never know what will happen, but we can also dream about what could have happened and what we want. Also, we are greedy people and the grass will always be greener somewhere else. Even though something is already over, it can give us hope and something to work for, or it can be a reason to give up and stop working; it depends on the mentality of the person.

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    2. We let ourselves get so caught up in what could have been because so many people live their lives with regret. Instead people have to say what they want to say and do what they want to do without be scared. And instead of looking back to imagine what could have been, to look forward to new opportunities, and the future.

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  33. The Great Gatsby hammered in the phrase it isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. This whole book is Gatsby’s struggle with wanting to repeat his past with Daisy. It was a great past, but he needs to look on and continue his journey through life. We need to start living in the present and enjoying what is right in front of us rather than dwelling on the past or being eager for the future. A big example in my life is during the second week of summer, I’m going on a yearly trip to Montana to fly fish. A day after we get back from that trip, I go to Hawaii for a week and a half. Right now, its hard to focus on where I am. I keep getting excited for what I have to come, but now that I think about it, for all of Summer Break, I won’t be surrounded by my friends day in and day out. I’ve been wanting to skip straight to summer instead of enjoying what I have. Gatsby also showed me that a strong longing for something can create selfishness and a self centered attitude. When Gatsby wanted to have Daisy for himself, he forgets how Tom would feel if he stole away his wife. After all, this is exactly what Tom did to Gatsby. Shouldn’t he have known what Tom would have felt like if this happened. Also, after the car hit Myrtle, Gatsby panicked and drove off. He didn’t call an ambulance or even check for certain that she was dead. He had no regard for how the people who knew Myrtle would feel. All he cared was that he and Daisy were safe. So many things corrupt Gatsby in this book and change him from a respectable, wealthy man to a love driven chaotic mess.

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  34. After reading The Great Gatsby, I have been really thinking about my life and how short it is. My big thing lately has been to “experience thing” and live life to the fullest! As dumb as this is, I have started to realize that life is made up of moments. It is so easy to look at life as a window and you see what you can see and be satisfied with the whole picture, but I want more than that! I want to look back and think about all of things that I have experienced and tried in my life. I want to look back and laugh at how dumb I was and how ridiculous I was to try something new. I don’t want to sit back and say that I am content with living life successfully, I want to sit back, wipe my brow and say, lets do it again. I don’t want to just survive, I thrived. I want to say I wasn’t happy, I was joyful. It wasn’t easy, it pushed me. It wasn’t perfect, but it was poetic. I am so tired of living life with no drive to push myself. Those who don’t think that they have more to see, more to do, well they are just living a lifeless life. It has never been so prominent to me that we don’t know how many days we have left, so we have to cherish every moment. I was sitting on my couch the other day and thinking “what am I doing?”, there is a world outside that is so magnificent and so great and I just find myself wasting it so often. I want to sit on my death bed and exclaim, “I lived a life that is worth talking about”. As cliche as it is, life is what you make it. I am so sick and tired of living for the next thing, instead of living for today. I so often think about the future and what I will do in the future and what job I will have, what my life will look like, instead of what it does look like now. Yes, I am a teenager. Yes, I am only able to do certain things, but does that mean that I can’t live life passionately? Does that mean I have to mumble through everyday waiting till the next stage of my life to come? My dad once told me that “if I can’t live into today, then all my life will be wasted looking for the next thing.” That was the best piece of advice that my dad ever told me not because it was something that I needed to hear, but it was something that will guide me for the rest of my life. Even within my faith, Christ has taught me to live for today and not stress about the future, because it is in his hands. So I live for today, I live for the experiences, for the moments that I will never forget, for the seconds that I can’t get back, because you get one life and if you’re not living it to thrive, you might as well be living it to die.

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  35. The Great Gatsby made me think about how society interacts with one another. I realized that people constantly use each other for personal gain. We have become selfish people who are only concerned with personal matters or those that affect us personally. Our actions appear to be thoughtful and caring, but there is always a deeper motive. We think about how our actions will affect us, but not how they will affect others. People cheat and lie to make it to the top. Some might say that it is the result of a capitalistic society and that it is the only way to survive, but can we truly blame society and others for our actions? Are all of our actions somewhat controlled by deeper, selfish motives? Is there such a thing as a selfless good deed?

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  36. Many times in our lives we look forward to the future in order to escape our present, but once we reach the future and it becomes our present, we realize the past is what we really want. What makes the future appear so alluring, but yet disappointing once we get there?

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    1. Humans are funny this way, we seek the unknown, we crave it. But at the same we fear it. It is a great way to convince someone not to do something. The future is so unknown it is unwritten and there is no knowing what you'll be and have in the future. You can still create it. But while we create this future we make it to fantastic, too perfect, and too good. We create a place that can never exist and in doing so ruin our future and our happiness.

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    2. Jackie, I think people spend so much time looking to the future and creating unrealistic scenarios, but when we reach that point it cannot live up to our expectations. It was better in our minds, so we become disappointed and want to return to the past, before we were disappointed. If, in the future, you end up being a millionaire, but you expected to reach billionaire status, you will be somewhat upset that you don't have as much as you thought you would. The future is so alluring because it can be what ever we want it to be. No one knows what will happen in the future, but we make impractical guesses and end up discontented with the results.

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    3. I think its really interesting how we do build up these huge expectations, much like Gatsby did with Daisy. It makes me ponder whether we should build up this expectations or if we should just go with the flow and let whatever happens happen.

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  37. To be happy is a matter of choice, not a gift given or received.

    From a large glance, life appears to be centered around aiming for the future. The image of a dream becoming reality is marked by the work that we put in for today, and tomorrow and the day after that. However, do we ever reach the day where we make our dreams our reality? Will we ever be satisfied with what we have, or is life a journey yearning for more. Whatever it may entail, life is a continuous journey of self improvement. The hankering desire to alter the tenacious forces of the past and future contrast among one another like formidable imaginations. It is easy to become disillusioned in what could have been, or what might be, but what good this do for today. Perhaps our purpose might be to create a future that changes one’s past, but it is important to remember “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door”. Live to change yesterday, fix tomorrow, but more importantly for today. Perhaps they are all interconnected, yet humility plays a large factor in differentiating these aspects. It takes practice to think like this, perhaps a lifetime, but what must be understood is a holistic perspective when viewing life.

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    1. I think you have pointed out something very interesting in that it almost takes a life just to learn how to live a life. People are constantly learning and discovering new things every day. Finding a new philosiphy on how to live, trying to think in a certain way, learning how to react to certain situations, etc. Sometimes it is important to plan for the future and reflect on the past. But there is also a point where one must live simply for today, and hope that they will live it to the fullest.

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  38. My question is: How is time, the only thing money can't buy, the most valuable thing of all?

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    1. I think that it is the most valuable thing because it is so definite. It never stops, and it always continues at the same pace, nothing is as definite nor as necessary as time.

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    2. Time is all we have to spend with the people and do the things we love. So therefore time is the basis of everything in life. Without it there would be nothing.

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    3. Why can't money buy time? Money makes things easier. If you have enough you can buy your way out of working or other commitments. Time is money and money is time.

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    4. Money is the focus on humanity, and the one thing that can allow you to get that money is time. Time to get an education to get a job to get you that money. Time is not only for the earning of money, though, and that is why it is the most valuable thing of all. Time is relative and uncertain, time has infinite possibilities. You can do anything given time, and as it is limited to our life, we cannot waste it.

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    5. Time is scarce. The time we spend on Earth is not a lot, but it also isn't a little. What would you do if you had an infinite amount of time? Wouldn't life be boring? We would have nothing to motivate us to become better. Value is determined by how rare something is. Since time can not be sold, its “rarity” is heightened and its value increases.

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  39. Through reading the Great Gatsby,I have learned and noticed many things about life.I think life is great and beautiful,yet it is poisoned by the actions of humans. Who are we, humans, to dictate the fate of the world? Why do we have so much power over each other? If we think about life, everything is controlled. Yes in America we have freedoms, but why is their even a need for a place where we are considered free? In nature, there is no power over one another; there is no discrimination. The Great Gatsby reveals many thing to the audience;lesson about life. Fitzgerald really can make the reader think about life and the direction they are headed in. For me I realized how horrible humans are. The Great Gatsby is a book in which there is plenty of glitz and glam, yet beneath in all lies darkness. The tenants that the characters represent within the book are dark ones, besides Nick. They represent and illuminate the darkerside to humanity. It shows that people struggle to find purpose in their life, but when they do, they stop at nothiung to achive it. They do what it takes to get their goal, wether it be spending money, ruining relationship, and even cutting down what they stand for. The individuals in this book throw away morals in an effort to achive their so called "happiness". But who am I to tell the world not to chase and achive happiness? Nor am I a person certified to direct what happiness should be, yet what I have noticed of these actions as a side effect are darker undertones. In the nature there is a food chain, not a ruking species, but a way of life dependant on abilities that each species is born with. Many may say that we were born with our brains and our thinking power and as humans we should rule the animal kingdom due to our high intellectual capability and complexity. But when I look at the human race, I see some very primitive actions that show bad morality not intellect capability. Now I'm not trying to say that everything in the world is evil and darkness. After reading The Great Gatsby, I see darkness in those all around me. It has been said that the poorest people are the happiest people, and the rich are the unhappiest people. Why is this?Why does the world work this way? Wouldn't you be sad if you have nothing and happy if you have everything?

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    1. Continued on next post

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  40. One may say yes, but those who have nothing actually do have something, they have a purpose and a reason to live. they strive for survival living day to day not knowing if they will make it to tomorrow. The rich and wealthy have assurance that they will live for a long period of time, yet they have no purpose. They have worked their way up so high that they forget to look down and see those who are less fortunate. Along with the enormous wealth of the rich, they also have developed a lack of human characteristics.They have lost their sense of morality and have thrown many morals out of the window. Not having a sense of empathy and sympathy for those who are less fortunate is a sense that has been lost in their many stacks of money. The rich live fast but don't die young. It can be said that this is how nature works; survival of the fittest. Society is split into the haves and have not's, but why is the world like this? How does wealth or success mean that somebody is better than a person who is less wealthy or fortunate. Survival of the fittest should be determined by characteristics of the body, brain, and heart. Those who can feel for their fellow humans, provided the world with positive solutions, and live free from greed and selfishness are the people who deserve to achieve happiness. Money has evolved to a point to where it runs our live, mind, and world. We see success as having a lot of money. Many say that monetary means are a direct example for how successful someone is. I say the amount of experiences, good and bad, show how successful someone is. I plan to live my life to the fullest, appreciating everything around me, and to have as many experiences as possible. When you are lying on your death bed what will you measure your life in? Or will you even measure it at all? Does your life need comparisin to something? What do you need to prove by convincing yourself that you had purpose in your life? Shouldn't the drive to reach one's full potential and happiness in life be their purpose, and shouldn't it be innate? I today's society it is very hard to live a life like this. But just knowing what you live for a reason can help a person live a full life. I disagree with modernist ideas. Life is fulfilling and there is a purpose to everyday in ones life. I think it is the individual who makes life purposeless or unsatisfying. Your life is in your hands. Be what you want to be. Do what you want to do. Who or what is stopping you?

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  41. I think that both The Great Gatsby and Mrs. Comp’s story both show that money really isn’t the most important thing in life. While it may look glamorous to be rich, wealth itself does not bring lasting joy and happiness. I think I have learned that to be happy you must do things that you enjoy and spend time with people that you love being around. Life has so much stress and difficulty packed into it, so why focus on things that will only make you feel more that way if it isn’t absolutely necessary. I believe that people should take time to notice the beauty of life around them and to see the things that are right in front of them. In the summer my mom always points out the flower beds planted near the sidewalks or on the sides of the roads. She always tells my sister and me to look at the beautiful flowers and she goes on and on about how pretty they are. When the fall season starts to approach she says, “Look at the flowers girls! They won’t be here for long!” I used to think it was kind of ridiculous how excited she got over flowers but now I get it. Even those simple flowers bring beauty to everyday life, and we might as well enjoy them while it lasts. My grandma does the same thing with the mountains when she comes to town and says, “ Oh look at the mountains, you girls don’t know how lucky you are to get to see them every single day. I don’t get to see the mountains in Oklahoma.” Now I really appreciate the mountains, flowers, trees, clouds, sunrises, sunsets, stars, and the moon that I see every day and night. They are absolutely beautiful and I don’t want to miss one ounce of that beauty. I take time to notice these ordinary things each day. I hope I can apply this to other areas of my life and will soon learn to notice and focus on the beauty of everything and everyone and not the bad parts of life. Life is to short to worry about being filthy rich, or about what kind of car you drive. Life is to short to worry about all the problems you might have tomorrow. But life can be very full if you fill it with good things and good people.

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  42. Question:
    What makes people focus on things that are unimportant or negative? Why isn't it natural to focus on the good instead of the bad? Why do people tend to think certain things will make them happy that never do?

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  43. Do we have a right to judge these characters?

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