Week 6, Discussion Board — Is this dystopia (an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.)?
In Sandler, Kamp, and Cooper’s work, we get a sense of the American Dream unraveling.
a. Is the American dream today, as you understand it, really just about attaining wealth? Or is that model crumbling due to economic pressures that don’t seem to be easing? How are we faring, given stiff competition in the global world? According to the definition of dystopia above, are we there? Explain.
b. What is the lesson of Jay Gatsby’s experience? What did he hope to attain? Was his a rational and attainable dream? Would he ever have fit in with Daisy’s world? What is Fitzgerald getting at, exactly, in this American classic?
c. Analyze the character of Daisy’s husband Tom. What is his type? Who is he and who does he want to be? Why does he “win” in the end? What is the author’s message, then?
d. The Rolling Stones once claimed, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes… You get what you need…” Is this true of the characters in The Great Gatsby? Did they get what they needed in life? What did each need?
e. Finally, select four quotes from The Great Gatsby that you think encapsulate this story’s essence and post them in your discussion board posting. Tell why you selected each one and relate the quote to both the tragedy of Gatsby and to your own connection to the quote.
For instance, I might select, “They had forgotten me, but Daisy glanced up (at him) and held out her hand; Gatsby didn’t know me now at all. I looked once more at them and they looked back at me, remotely, possessed by intense life” (96).
Here Nick sees Daisy and Gatsby totally engaged with one another. In this moment of emotion, no one else exists for them in this world. I wonder if that is really how love is when it is first uncorked and acknowledged, or if that is just romantic fantasy. The world around them has ceased to exist and they are riding on passion. There is no room left for thought or rational awareness. Love is the drug…
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