America: Land of the Free
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Sandy and Gatsby

Sandy and Gatsby | America: Land of the Free | Scoop.it

When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast I bet you that a literary connection to “The Great Gatsby” was the farthest thing from Northerners minds.  I bet that if you were able to go into the mind of Jay Gatsby that he would be thinking the very same thing.  Throughout these past few weeks in the United States we have seen New York go from one of the busiest cities in the world to one of the most desolate and disaster stricken locations in the world.  Basically New York went from First to Worst, all in a matter of a day even.  Jay Gatsby felt the same thing.  He had gone from one of the richest men in the world, who had successfully wooed his love, to the most distraught, creepy and eventually dead man.  Gatsby’s life turned completely upside down, but I want to talk about the aftermath.  Depending on the way you look at it, there are similarities and differences in the way both of these disasters were handled.  For New Yorkers you could make the case that they too didn’t have anyone to turn to after the disaster.  FEMA promised several hundred generators which magically disappeared when the disaster struck. In the same way, Gatsby had several hundred friends who magically disappeared when he passed away.  On the flipside, New Yorkers have family.  They have a family who loves them and has helped in this recovery process.  That is the opposite for Gatsby.  The only family member who came for him was his father.  All in all, Gatsby faced the biggest hurricane of his life, a hurricane that eventually took it.  And New Yorkers? Well, they have a bright road ahead of them.

 

Just decided to rescoop your post. I have a really similar post on my blog relating basically the same events to the house explosion in Indianapolis. You should definitely head on over there and check that out. It really is quite amazing how quickly things turned from a respectable level of contentment to just absolutely awful. I'm almost a little jealous I didn't use this huge story as the backdrop to my scoop. You portray the comparison so eloquently. On the point of Gatsby's funeral, I wasn't too suprised by the fact that no one showed up, aside from Gatsby's own father. Many people "wanted" to come, but really had other "pressing matters" or just didn't want to get mixed up in the ordeal. I think a comparison between Gatsby's funeral and those who say they want to help New York is appropriate. Millions upon millions upon millions hear about this terrible storm that tore through the Northeast but only a few are willing to do anything substantial, or even donate ten dollars to the Red Cross. There are many of these types people all around the world, ususally called hypocrites, but what are you gonna do? Anyway, great post, keep up the good work.


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Jay Gatsby Tries to Find His Wing$

Jay Gatsby is a man chasing something that seems unobtainable. He is in love with a married woman, Daisy Buchanon, Nick Carraway's cousin, who lives in East Egg across the bay from his mansion in West Egg. Gatsby feels that now that he is getting a second chance with the woman of his dreams, his "golden girl", he needs to impress her with how much wealth he has collected. He tried to show off all of his nice clothes, by showing up to tea at Nick's clad in silver and gold. He also gives her a tour of his big mansion, and throws extravagant parties in hopes that she might one day show up. This materialistic point of view, and how it doesn't give you real happiness, is precisely what Macklemore is trying rap about in his song Wings. This song is one of my personal favorites. In it Macklemore talks about how when he was a kid, he thought that having expensive Nike shoes would make him cool. And to a degree, the other kids were impressed. But eventually the pursuit of happiness through materialistic property became a vain endeavor. Gatsby is learning that in his quest to capture Louisville's golden girl. That's why Wings is a perfect theme song for Gatsby.

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What is YOUR American Dream?

What is YOUR American Dream? | America: Land of the Free | Scoop.it

Land of the free and home of the brave. The words sung by many Americans before sporting events or other special occasions that we have become numb to those words. Every time we finish the national anthem of our nation, we are declaring the greatest part about this country. George Washington, the Father of the United States, and thousands of American soldiers, devoted their lives to the belief that America should be the realisation of this motto.  As we know, they succeeded and now that phrase is the major draw to those that would wish to leave their own country for the opportunity and freedoms of America. We call this wish for a better life in the USA the American Dream. But the American Dream is not just for those who would travel long distances across land and sea, but also for those who were born here and haved lived here their entire lives. For some, this entails making loads of money, for others this may be going to college, and for a great many people, this Dream means settling down with someone they love and living happily ever after. Obviously, this Dream takes many different forms for many different people. For myself personally, there are many things I wish to accomplish in life, just a few being going to business school and being successful in my field, but it is ever changing, as I am sure that it is for the rest of my fellow Americans. Dreams, however, do not come easy. No one is going to hand you your goals on a silver platter. You, and nobody else, are responsible for your future so go and make it happen. As the great transcendentalist thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Shallow men believe in luck".

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Gatsby's Explosion

Gatsby's Explosion | America: Land of the Free | Scoop.it
A huge blast in the US city of Indianapolis destroys two homes and damages 14 more, killing two people and forcing hundreds to evacuate.

 

As I was reading through the news on the BBC this morning I came across a tragic story that happened just a little south of me in Indianapolis. During the night, there was an enormous explosion that obliterated two homes and damaged 14 other houses in the near vicinity. After thinking about this horrible tragedy for a while, my mind began to wander to its relation to the ending of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, "The Great Gatsby". Just as a disclaimer, I am in no way trying to compare the gravity of death to the collapse of a fictional character's social life, only explaining the way I relate Gatsby's final chapters to an explosion. To me, Gatsby's death is the climax of Fitzgerald's novel, but the events leading up to his death happened so fast, or it seemed that way while I was reading. First there is the arguement in the city, on the hottest day of the year, between Gatsby and Tom over Daisy's love. Then Myrtle is found dead in the Valley of Ashes. After her death, Nick realizes he is done with his "friends" in the East. Gatsby then waits outside of Daisy and Tom's house that night and tells Nick what really happened to Myrtle. Boom, boom, boom, boom, BOOM! Mr. Wilson takes Gatsby life, believing that Gatsby was responsible for the death of his wife. This explosion of events affect much around them, destroying familes and taking lives, just as the explosion in Indy did. To end, my heart and prayers go out to the familes affected by this tragic explosion.

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Drake Gardner's comment, November 11, 2012 8:17 PM
That’s actually a really good point. Since this doesn’t have to be relevant, I thought the news of this tragic incident was pretty breath taking. I didn’t really know much about it until I was researching something else and I saw it on Fox news which is nationwide. After I read the news article online I later saw it on the local news channel where they interview several victims of the explosion. One of the victims explaining his version of the boom said that he’s never experienced that loud of a noise before. The man’s wife said she was used to it because she was a former marine, but when he stepped foot outside his house he couldn’t believe what he saw. Engulfed in flames where his neighbors homes. This was only one of the numbers of gas line explosions that have occurred in the past fifteen years. Two are dead in result to the incident and homes are completely destroyed. This forced many people out of their homes which put people in touch situations. The Red Cross has been called to help out which is a sign of extreme tragedy.
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The Jazz Age Divide

The Jazz Age Divide | America: Land of the Free | Scoop.it

The Jazz Age, a term coined by author F. Scott Fitzgerald to describe the decade from 1919-1929. This time was also known as the Roaring Twenties, and for good reason. Times were changing. Women were dressing with their legs and knees exposed, a taboo practice up until this time. It also seemed as if everyone had money, whether it be new money or old money. There was a large divide between those two categories, those who created their own fortune and those who had a wealthy family background and were used to being rich. The people that had earned their own fortune were thought of as very improper by the old money families. Those new to being rich would throw extravagant parties and behave at those parties in ways that the old money people deemed uncivilized or improper. This divide is one of the main themes in Fitzgerald's arguably most popular book, The Great Gatsby, where one of the main characters, Jay Gatsby, who has made his own fortune, is contrasted with a couple, Tom and Daisy Buchanon, who come from old money. This divide was a big part of the culture back in the 1920s but nobody was safe from what was to come in October of 1929, the collapse of the Wall Street stock market.

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Banned Books and Children

Banned Books and Children | America: Land of the Free | Scoop.it

But commitment to anti-censorship beliefs gets tested when kids come along.

 

This particular article comes off of the First Amendment Center's website. The First Amendment Center is an organization that wishes to promote the freedoms granted to Americans including the right to free speech, free press, and others, through information, media, and entertainment. One of the rights that the first amendment, and the organization that is so named, protects is the right to read. This right, however, has been challenged across the country, whether it be by parents, government, or citizens who don't want the impressionable youth of today reading what they deem as unworthy or filthy. But that is really the heart of all this trouble isn't it? Children being molded by what they pick up in libraries and becoming something else other than what their parents want them to be. This is the problem that the author of this article is wrestling with. It may sound cliche but books are doors to different dimensions.  Readers are put in the shoes of heroic knights or clever detectives when they flip through the pages of a book. These books that many people want to get rid of are actually just the books that children should read. They contain important lessons and morals that the kids of today need to learn and should remain forever on the shelves of our libraries.

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I'm American.'s comment, October 29, 2012 11:48 AM
Wow. Hands down the best article out there! I agree Matthew and I think that the more we restrict children from making their own decisions and determining what they believe, the more our country becomes blinded.
Kevin Feller's comment, October 29, 2012 11:57 AM
I agree with this Matt because the restriction we have on books is limiting our youth from learning about very important things that could be going on all around the world. It should be a childs parents that say if they can read a banned book or not.