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censorship and burning books
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Jay McInerney: why Gatsby is so great

Jay McInerney: why Gatsby is so great | burning books and censorship-eng11 | Scoop.it

      I agree that Gatsby’s story mirrors Fizgerald’s and telling the story from Nick’s point of view is the key to reveal 1920s society from Fizgerald’s version. Nick as an outside observer becomes emotionally involved in the story he is telling. Through a series of events, he discovers the decayed inside of the seemingly golden life of upper class. Neither an old wealthy aristocrat nor a newly rich man, Nick stands outside of the corrupting influence of material excess so he possesses the nonjudgmental quality that only a few could have.

      In reality, Fizgerald watched how golden material changed people’s mind and the overall value of America. Although characters in the Great Gatsby are fictional, the way Fizgerald portrays them is representative of real human behaviors. People like Tom and Daisy, who inherited old family money, did not have a true career; instead, they were so bored that only something gorgeous could attract them and only something exciting or on the verge could satisfy them.

      However, there is one argument in the article which I disagree. It says that telling nothing of his appearance seems like a fault in the book. Either Nick or Fizgerald are common ordinary among the rich so he does not possess any quality of the Eggs. Without any specific description, he seems mysterious, mysterious enough to isolate himself. He reserves judgment of superficial outside and his identity belongs to valuable inside. No any meaningless appearance is needed in the book because at the end, you will find out that every gorgeous man or event turns out to be absolutely decayed and despicable.


Via asuph, Lynnette Van Dyke
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{Music} Tong Hua (童话) Cover (English/Chinese) by Jason Chen and J Rice: Such a beautiful song!

{Music} Tong Hua (童话) Cover (English/Chinese)  by Jason Chen and J Rice: Such a beautiful song! | burning books and censorship-eng11 | Scoop.it

      Tong Hua, an English version of one of the most popular Chinese songs of 2000s, flicked over my head when I was thinking about Gatsby. The opening suggests that this pair of old lover has been separated for some times. The guy still could not help but thinking of the girl. When this guy meets the girl, he wonders if he brings about all her sadness. She told him that he was not her prince charming. However, once the guy has fallen in love with her, he cannot forget her; instead, he changes his life as much as he can to meet the girl’ expectation. He wants her to know that he is the angel lives in her fairy tale dream and he will always open his arm to her no matter what she chooses.

       That situation quite fits the one that Gatsby and Daisy are undergoing. Gatsby has fallen in love with Daisy a long time ago. Passing times only reinforce his love of Daisy but not mollify. He was poor at that time and Daisy was from a rich, well-known family. War, fortunes, and social status broke them eventually. After going back from war, Gatsby put himself into his business. With luxuriant fortunes he has made, Gatsby shows up in front of Daisy and tries to prove that right now he becomes the man who exactly suits for her no matter what kinds of challenges between them. As soon as he perceives that Daisy is not happy with her life, Gatsby wants to take Daisy away from Tom. He desperately believes that they are vehement in love with each other and he has the ability to give her whatever she wants, she loves, or she dreams about.

       The most impressive part of Gatsby’ love is that he acts like the angel in Daisy’ fairytale story, who cares for her, loves her, forgive her always and forever. As the song title “Tong Hua” which means “fairytale” indicates that this kind of love is too fabulous to survive in real world. It’s hard to overcome all the obstacles ---a woman’s reputation, money, her family, and so on---between them in 1920s. It seems that fairytale is destined to vanish in front of reality.

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The American Dream - The American Dream - Lesson Plans - For Teachers (Library of Congress)

    From my own knowledge, American Dream of 1920s generally conveys the ideas of prosperity, successes, and industrialization. Since the fast-paced industrialization launched the U.S. into a rapid boom, every individual eagerly ran into competition, and hardship in the pursuit of material satisfaction. Their dream was that everyone had the opportunity to achieve success and make life better, richer, and fuller according to his ability and hardship, but not according to his social status or family story.

   I agree that the original objective of American Dream tent to be positive, virtuous, and moral. For some cases, however, corruption had aroused from individual scale to leading executives of big companies scale. In my mind, everything has its setbacks and benefits. While the American Dream was the embryo of the rapid economy growth, the dream also set a increasing gap between the poor and the rich.

   Personally, the 1920s of American history is my favorite era during which combined romanticism, idealism, and realism. While people were eager to pursuit success, they enjoyed party, music and dance and other romantic elements of life. As the economy growth heated up around the U.S., people began to make lives full and colorful and that kinds of entertainment spread out and set the fundamental social structure of today’s American society.

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Alexis Johnson's comment, November 4, 2012 2:58 PM
The American Dream has changed a lot over time like you've said. It's less about family and friends, and more about material items. I think it shows that over time people have changed their opinions of happiness. People no longer bring other people happiness, it's more material items like money.
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Love and romance in the 1920s

Love and romance in the 1920s | burning books and censorship-eng11 | Scoop.it

      This article above covers some changes of women in the 1920s and how those newly changes women are being narrated in novels. As a result of guarantee of women’ rights and employment demand of rapid economic growth, millions of young women left rural and small-town life and moved to live in a big city. Many of them got new jobs, adopted the custom of a big city, fulfilled their social activities. As they grew up more and more independently and thoughtfully, women aspired to a new living style---flapper culture---in which women are young, charming, independent, brash and sometimes a bit of “naughty”. Women at that times pursued to live in the same manner as men did; they smoked, they drank, and they enjoyed casual love.

      This kind of culture best depicted the female characters in the Great Gatsby such as Jordan, Mrs. Myrtle and Daisy. They are easily allured by great appearance, social status, and big fortunes. Daisy, for an instance, is strongly attracted by Gatsby’s splendid mansion. Young women are not longer trapped into a marriage or dominated by male. Mrs. Myrtle and Daisy are both in a marriage while they have been seeing someone else. Daisy even has thought of divorcing and living with Gatsby at some moments. However, she cannot give up her extraordinary life associated with wealth and a high social status. When Tom spreads out rumor about Gatsby in the Plaza Hotel, Daisy’s heart wavers regardless of how strong her love of Gatsby was.

      In the 1920s, although women tended to be more and more independent and mindful, many were trapped into kinds of temptation such as money and success rather than love and romance.

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1920s Charleston

     Roaring Twenties marked many crucial events in Jazz. Since the prohibition of alcohol launched in 1920, the advent of the “speakeasy” provided many opportunities for musicians. Thus, in order to fit in new living-style and social needs, a brand-new music style was introduced --- Jazz music. As the video has shown, Jazz not only brings a wholly distinctive music style, but also involves listeners into fast-paced brisk dancing.

     Compared with former music such as Blues, which invites a sense of melancholy and sadness, Jazz, best fitted in 1920s living style---busily running for pursuit of material satisfaction and metal happiness. Take the video as an example. Dancing are based on improvised and casual steps with fast-paced rhyme. For me, the free and busy wheeling plus upbeat music keep me immersed and that forget everything in life and release my negative emotion accumulated from constant competition. It’s widely spread that individual can achieve success according to his ability and hardship regardless of family story and social status in 1920s. For that reason, people at that time were putting themselves into struggling for good lives. Harder they worked, the more results they would get as well as pressure.

    It seems that Jazz music is the avenue which invites a sense of freeing and happiness, while the 1920s is the street where was full of stressful pedestrians. The moment they meet each other, a crossroad is formed, making success of Jazz and relief of pressure inevitable.

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Censorship and Book Burning

     Censorship and book burning have always been one of the top debate topics around the world. Ever since there were books being published, there were kinds of reasons of rejecting certain opinion in those books.

     Furthermore, as I have known about censorship, each nation has some similar principles of choosing banned books. Most notably, government wants to hide its dire, and obscene history. For example, many died due to corrupted government or wrong decision made by high-level executives. Also, nations try to ban the book which repluse its value or might have a negative influence on its people.

      However, I have different opinion. "Every burned book enlightens the world." "You have not converted a man because you have silenced him." As the quotations suggest, books not only contain information we need, but also show up authors' values which can be good or bad for us. No experts or educators can decide whether a certain kind of books should be moved away from our bookshelves. We can also learn something useful from failures, injustice and dehumanization. For an instance, reading about catastrophes due to corrupted governments can help nowdays governors to avoid certain mistakes.

    Each book' value mostly depends on how readers think and respond to it and that means every book might have possibility to be positive or negative.

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Alexis Johnson's comment, November 4, 2012 2:54 PM
I agree with you. Banning books denies you information. Each books teaches you something useful and offers something beneficial. Banning books only shelters children from making their own decisions and opinions.