February 12, 2004

You raise an interesting point...

And just when I thought I had my opinion set in stone (duh, when does that ever actually happen?), someone goes and raises a very interesting point...

As Jerz had us look at his weblog in class today, there was a comment in there from Sherry Sparato raised an interesting point. Jerz wrote an entry stating our American Lit class was slamming on Gatsby saying he was a horrible, rotten man, who did nothing great. Then Sherry came along and replied as the"Anonymous Coward" (lol) and said that Gatsby was actually a huge romantic who did everything in his life for Daisy and even died for her in the end so she would not be punished for what she did to Myrtle. And I realize she is right! It's the ulitmate romance! What girl wouldn't want a man that would die for her, that would give anything just to be with her? Daisy wanted desperately (probably) to be with Jay Gatsby, but the circumstances that she was in (already married to Tom) did not allow her to pursue him. Of course she is going to be attracted to him; It's not because of his house or his parties or his money, it's because he did everything for her!

I looked through the book to try to find some examples of how he did this, and I came across in Chapter five Gatsby was trying to make everything at Nick's house just right for meeting Daisy. He had the grass cut, he ordered flowers for the house, got just the right kind of tea...What obsessive stalker do you know that goes through all of this? not too many...he just loved her, plain and simple.

Posted by MeghanKite at 08:02 PM | Comments (0)

Re: living in the past

Lorie Lawerence made this comment to one of my blogs: I think that the past is all Gatsby enjoyed. He is living his life to relive the past. He wants so badly to have what he once had with Daisy. I definitely would have to agree with this statement wholeheartedly. I feel that it is kind of a sad state that Gatsby is in that he only enjoys what happened in his past and feels he has to continually live his life in search of Daisy. Even if he was happier five years ago, he could try to better his future and make something of himself aside from his parties and wealth. He doesn't have to live in the past and make himself miserable; he chose that himself. I feel badly for him.

Posted by MeghanKite at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2004

How to measure success

I feel that Melissa Whiteman makes a good point where a person’s success isn’t measured by how much money or all the things a man may possess, but by his character and if he is an honest and moral man. Gatsby showed a lack of these qualities as the story developed. The one instance that stuck out most to me was the part where Mrytle was run over and Gatsby showed little remorse for such a tragedy. This showed his true colors and that he was a man who clearly cared for him self and ironically was laid to rest by him self with no one present or to mourn his passing.

Posted by MeghanKite at 11:52 PM | Comments (0)

the 'other' question....

On the test that we took last week in class, one of the questions that we were given had two parts: Which character in Bernice Bobs Her Hair would get along best with Nick Carroway, and Which character from A Jury of Her Peers would feel the most comfortable in The Great Gatsby. During the test, I chose to answer the first question; however the more I think about it, the more I wished I had answered the second. I feel that Minnie Foster (Mrs. Wright) would get along well in The Great Gatsby. She was lonely, her husband wasn't very loyal to her it seemed, and she probably desperately wanted to get out and find her place among the world. The Great Gatsby was full of people being unloyal; I feel that Mrs. Wright would have taken advantage of this to try to find a world outside of the doom and gloom that filled her days at her house. I feel that she would have done this because of her past, "'Wright was close!' she exclaimed, holding up a shabby black skirt that bore the marks of much making over. 'I think maybe that's why she kept to herself. I s'pose she felt she couldn't do her part; and then, you don't enjoy things when you feel shabby. She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively-when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls, singing in the choir. But that - oh, that was twenty years ago.'"

Posted by MeghanKite at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2004

Living in The Past

As I read The Great Gatsby, I noticed that the storyline continually ventured into the past. I understand at times it was necessary to do this in order to flashback and give valuable information to the reader. However, most of the time this just confused me, and I couldn't figure out if that particular part of the story was in the past or the present....

I know this is supposed to be a question for all of you to answer and give your opinion on, but I think I am going to actually answer it myself as well. To me it was as if the characters were living in the past throughout the story. Gatsby always seemed to be saying he could make things better and the way they were five years ago....So as a result that is why it is important that the story keeps going back. Any other opinions on this matter are surely welcome. Also, do you think it is wise that Gatsby insists on living in the past? How does that make him any "greater"?

Posted by MeghanKite at 07:57 PM | Comments (3)

February 02, 2004

Phil Saw it again...

Well, today is Groundhog's day, and over in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Phil saw his shadow once again. This means we have 6 more weeks of winter. Lovely.

Well I decided that i would research and find a little bit of history on where this day came from...

Groundhog Day, February 2nd, is a popular tradition in the United States. It is also a legend that traverses centuries, its origins clouded in the mists of time with ethnic cultures and animals awakening on specific dates. Myths such as this tie our present to the distant past when nature did, indeed, influence our lives. It is the day that the Groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow.

If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole.

If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground.

The groundhog tradition stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe, and for centuries the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people. Even then, it marked a milestone in the winter and the weather that day was important.

According to an old English song:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

According to an old Scotch couplet:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be twa (two) winters in the year.

Another variation of the Scottish rhyme:

If Candlemas day be dry and fair,
The half o' winter to come and mair,
If Candlemas day be wet and foul,
The half of winter's gone at Yule.

Pennsylvania's earliest settlers were Germans and they found groundhogs to in profusion in many parts of the state. They determined that the groundhog, resembling the European hedgehog, was a most intelligent and sensible animal and therefore decided that if the sun did appear on February 2nd, so wise an animal as the groundhog would see its shadow and hurry back into its underground home for another six weeks of winter.

The Germans recited:

For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until the May.

this seems to be the earliest evidence of when Groundhog Day started. Of course, people realized that even on the cloudiest day on Feb. 2, there usually was still more winter to come and spring wasn not going to miraculously appear. Oh well....more winter to come for us!

Posted by MeghanKite at 07:34 PM | Comments (0)

BBHH movie and story

The differences between the short story “Bernice Bobs Her Hair” and the movie version seem to be mostly due to budget problems. The first major difference is clear right from the beginning. The short story starts out describing the scene from the outside of the country club, which shows all of the caddies and workers huddling around windows watching the many people dancing on the inside. However, the movie begins by scanning a table full of women’s purses and shows several girls clustered around mirrors in a rest room fixing their hair. I feel that the reasoning for starting out in a bathroom rather than showing all of the people that are dancing at the country club was due to the fact that the director could not afford to hire so many extras to play the parts. Also in the film, along these same lines, Marjorie and Bernice invite just a few friends over to their house to have dinner and dancing. They dance in the living room, and records are used for the dancing music. This way, the director could keep within the budget by not having extra dancers or a live band playing at the country club.
Another difference that does not seem to have to do with money is the fact that Marjorie and Bernice do not possess the same personalities that they have in the short story. For example, according to the short story, the day after Bernice over hears her aunt and cousin talking about her, Bernice “burst into tears” and “Marjorie’s eyes showed boredom.” However, in the movie, Bernice seems to remain rather calm throughout, and Marjorie is a little less harsh than she is in the story. She seems a little bit more feminine, and even chats with Bernice and dances with her.

Posted by MeghanKite at 07:24 PM | Comments (0)