Banned Books in the U.S.
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Rethinking the American Dream

Rethinking the American Dream | Banned Books in the U.S. | Scoop.it

The American Dream. What was an idea of glory and power now has changed. It was exploration across American from sea to shining sea, it now is now maintaining 401ks and holding the worthless job that is just enough to get you by until your next paycheck. Many people do not feel the need to travel the world and make changes on your own accord whether it would be trying for kids or finding a wife or getting a new job. To me the older version of the American Dream has gone and is replaced with stability, which is nice, but less adventurous. However, the Vanity Fair article show the same values that shaped this nation are different from the values that shape American home's today. Today the values of fame and fortune that are throughout the homes of the Generation Y are of fame, fortune, and the idea of perfection being the only thing that’s being told. But the real world is filled with different realities. The real world is filled with failure and trial and error. Overall the real world is not what we make it out to be it’s a lot harder.


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Joe O.'s comment, November 11, 2012 7:17 PM
I agree with the points you make in this article! I also feel as the older perspective of the American Dream has vanished and has been replaced by a new dream of wealth and greed. However, I feel as the two American Dreams both share the pursuit of happiness. No matter what the other objectives are to achieve the American Dream, I believe that someone hasn't achieved the American Dream unless they are happy, regardless of the generation. I also agree with your point on the real world v. the American Dream. Too many people are stuck in the world of what they wish they can have and set unrealistic goals, when in reality, they should prepare with what is really manageable and base their American Dream off of that. Nobody is perfect and having an American Dream that consists of a $5 million mansion and a Lamborghini is unreasonable, while having an American Dream of a comfortable home and a healthy family would be more realistic. However, if someone works to their fullest potential, then any dream is reachable, but for the most part, these exotic dreams are a mere fantasy. I also agree with your point on how the real world is a lot harder than how we put it out to be, which I believe causes many of these unrealistic goals.
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What's He Building? Lyric Meaning - Tom Waits Meanings

What's He Building? Lyric Meaning - Tom Waits Meanings | Banned Books in the U.S. | Scoop.it

I feel as the song "What's He Building?" by Tom Waits represents Tom Buchanan the best. This song is told from a wife who is suspicious about her husband, leading her to believe the worst about him, even though she's not 100% sure of what he's up to. In The Great Gatsby, Tom is having an affair with Daisy and is secretive about his other life with Myrtle. However, Daisy is suspicious, which can be seen when Tom has to take a phone call when Nick is over at their house. In the song, there's a line that says, "He's hiding something from the rest of us...he's all to himself...I think I know why..." This line is almost identical to the situation that Daisy is in with Tom. Daisy is suspicious that Tom has another girl somewhere else, but she just can't connect the dots. Also, the song gives off a mysterious and dark tone, which are adjectives that thoroughly describe Tom. Tom is mysterious by living another life with another women and not giving any information about it. He's also dark because of the way he acts, from pushing Nick around to hitting Myrtle and breaking her nose. Lastly, the song is full of questions, which summarizes Daisy's take on Tom. Daisy is full of questions about Tom, and none of them seem to be answered due to his secretive ways.

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Zach Z.'s comment, November 11, 2012 9:56 PM
The way you described that song was able to fit Tom Buchannan perfectly. Everything about it was spot on. Tom Buchannan was a perfectionist; however he was a perfectionist in bad way. He says he goes to make a fool of himself, but I think it’s more often than not. Daisy is also suspicious at the beginning of the novel but realizes what was actually going on with Tom and Myrtle so she begins her own affair with Gatsby. I did look up the song and you are completely correct when you said that the song has a dark and deep tone to it. It is a very mysterious sound and it deservingly fits Tom. His mysterious was could have caught up to him earlier, and I believe that they should have. Daisy has suspicion during a phone call early in the novel just after she hears Gatsby is in town. However she does not truly act upon her suspicion until much later in the novel when she begins her affair with Gatsby. From that point in the novel, it begins to pick up the climax occurs when Myrtle, Tom’s mistress, is hit and killed by Daisy and when George kills Gatsby in his pool.
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Is the American Dream Still Worth It?

Is the American Dream Still Worth It? | Banned Books in the U.S. | Scoop.it
I'd like us to ask ourselves if our quality of life and our level of fulfillment are as good as we had hoped it would be, or if instead we are letting ourselves be ruled by greed vs. goodness and compassion toward others.

Before I give my opinion on the American Dream, I think it's fair to say that the description of it has been changing over the years. I believe the reasoning behind this is because the American Dream changes when the condition of the United States changes. Toni Emerson, the author of this article, believes that the American Dream is comprised of goodness and greed, whereas greed has been increasingly preferred, and goodness has been slowly decaying. However, I feel as people who want to achieve the American Dream actually want to have goodness, and aren't just out to make the most money . My view of the American Dream is that someone is financially comfortable, but also has a sense of peace and happiness. I agree with Emerson that many people want to out do themselves by earning enough money to buy the big house or fancy sports car. However, I think that people realize that they must be happy and generous before declaring that they are living the American Dream. Also, I don't think the American Dream can ever be obtained. Emerson tells readers in her article that she strived to achieve the American Dream, but never got it. I believe that she never achieved it because it is impossible too. What I mean by this is that the American Dream is just a concept, and not an actual label that someone can have.

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Ian Seal's comment, October 29, 2012 12:09 PM
I agree that the American Dream is not all about getting richer but about obtaining peace and happiness. But I disagree with you on achieving the American Dream, because I believe that the American Dream is real and not a label. I believe if you work hard enough you can achieve what you want. That's what I percieve as the American Dream, whether it is shopping till' you drop, or to retire early and have a relaxed life. So I agree that the American Dream is hard to reach but it is reachable, and it drives America because people have reached thier dreams in the past, and they believe that they can achieve their ultimate dream, the American Dream.
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Ex-police chief gets 2 years for beating restrained inmate, breaking his nose

Ex-police chief gets 2 years for beating restrained inmate, breaking his nose | Banned Books in the U.S. | Scoop.it
A Georgia police chief repeatedly slapped and punched a restrained inmate, breaking his nose – and it was all captured on the jail’s video surveillance camera.

On Monday, an ex-chief of a local police department was sentenced to two years in prison for physically assaulting an inmate, resulting in a broken nose. Although Tom Buchanan was not convicted for his abuse on Myrtle, the crime was identical. Tom brutally assaulted Myrtle, breaking her nose, because she was repeating Tom's wife's name, Daisy, even when Tom requested her not to. The ex-chief's behavior can be viewed as aggressive and cruel, which can also be used to describe Tom. Tom is not only aggressive and cruel to Myrtle during the nose breaking incident, but he also shows these personality traits to other people. An example would be when he finds out about Daisy and Gatsby, in which Tom is aggressive in when trying to prove Gatsby wrong about the situation and cruel by attempting to make a fool of Gatsby. Also, the ex-chief abused the inmate with no good reason, which is also the case with the Tom and Myrtle situation. Myrtle was only speaking her mind, and didn't deserve the punishment she received. The same goes with the inmate, who was restrained to a chair at the time of the abuse, making it impossible for the inmate to do any harm to the police chief. I feel as if Tom continues to have the dark personality that he has, then he could end up being in prison like the ex-police chief. 

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The Jazz Age

The Jazz Age | Banned Books in the U.S. | Scoop.it

In the early 1900s, jazz emerged as a popular style of music that had a strong influence on the new generation of that time. The Jazz Age inspired Americans to experience new things (i.e. faster cars, shorter skirts) because people wanted to direct their attention on things other than war, science, and society, which were the main concerns at the time. Some of the effect of the Jazz Age can be seen in The Great Gatsby. For example, Gatsby is known for throwing huge parties, which involve bands, dancing, and exotic dresses. Likewise, the people of the early 1900s enjoyed these ideas, and centered them around the faster and wilder type of music called jazz. However, not everyone enjoyed the new generation that was forming around jazz. Some people accused jazz of being "a willful ugliness" and "a combination of disagreeable sounds." These opinions can be compared to how older generations view hip-hop in today's society. I feel as the Jazz Age has had a strong influence on modern society by people today wanting to have the fastest and fanciest car, which orginated in the Jazz Age. Also, the music preference keeps on changing from generation to generation, with the Jazz Age being the starting point of wild music, and each generation has been building off of that (i.e. dubstep and hip-hop in today's society).

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Zach Z.'s comment, October 30, 2012 10:12 PM
I agree with you 100%. The Jazz Age showed many different changes that could be influenced by the mainstream music at the time. The music of the time was considered a little bit edgy and it showed in dancing and dress style. As its it displays in "The Great Gatsby" many people who had just become wealthy do not behave as others do and were much more rambunctious throughout the party. As you said there was a group of people who viewed the crazy partiers of the Jazz Age as "a willful ugliness" which I believe is a great description of what some people thought at the time.
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Banned Books Week: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Freedom to Read | American Library Association

I support Banned Books Week because I feel that people should have the freedom to read whatever book they choose, regardless of the content in it. If people are limited to books that are censored, they are going to be oblivious to the graphic activity that happens in the real world. I'm all for censoring books at the elementary level, but once students start to mature, they should be granted the freedom of reading books that have some more graphic material in them. I feel as events like Banned Books Week should be increasingly spread throughout the nation to convince schools and libraries that students shouldn't be hidden from graphic content when it occurs in every day life. If students aren't exposed to the graphic content at an earlier age, then it's going to give them false conceptions about the world, making them oblivious to all the dangers, when in reality, they should be aware of them so they can prevent those dangers from happening to themselves. However, as I stated before, students shouldn't be exposed to the graphic content until they start to mature because young children don't need to learn about such gruesome realities at such a young age when they don't clearly understand them.

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