Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Please answer the following questions in a thorough response; please pay attention to fluency and conventions. I would like you to repsond to at least one other person within your reflection.

If you are a dreamer, do you have to be more careful or vigilant? Explain.
Do the characters in Gasby have a dream? Is idealism a way for people to escape reality?
Nick says to Gatsby, " You can't the repeat the past." What do you think? Are there repercussions? Can we reinvent what has already happened?


HannahG said...

I think when it comes to dreaming, being more vigilant allows you to create a life that you want, rather than a life you want with restrictions. When people dream carefully, they aren't dreaming to their full potential. Dreaming is all about staying away from rules and restrictions, and instead reaching as high as you can go. I understand that some people are more careful when they dream so they don't run the risk of being hurt, but if you try your hardest and allow yourself to reach your full potential you can not fail. Dreams allow people to escape reality, because they allow you to invision a different way of living. Dreaming gets you away from the ordinary, and instead thinking about what you can do to make your life even better, and to make your goals and aspirations come true. I think everybody has a dream, even the characters in Gatsby. They are living their American dream, having all the riches, friends, and alcohol they could possibly imagine. They are living in such a fantasy world that they probably dreamed about when they were younger. Most people look up to them thinking they have the ideal life. I don't think that you can repeat the past, only learn from it. You can't un-do the mistakes you've previously made, but you can learn from them and use that knowledge for future reference. What has already happened must remain a memory in the past, but what you can look forward to is making new memories to treasure. What's done is done, but what still remains is the future. And with the future, anything is possible.

Spencer B said...

Everyone has dreams. I believe type A personalities are very vigilant about their dreams and goals. Not everyone is a type A, and that's okay. Dreams and goals keep the human race going.
Without dreams there would be nothing to look forward to. I believe there is a happy medium because life throws curves that one does not expect. If a person becomes too consumed in dreams that might not become reality, than I think the walls come crashing in. Gatsby is a good example: He is a type A personality that needs perfection and instant gratification with no repercussions. Life is not perfect, and sadly there is always repercussions. The idea is to continue to not lose sight of your dreams ever, do not let anyone tell you that it will never happen. Never say never. In conclusion, trying to relive the past is not a very good idea, that was then this is now. Live in today and find ways to make it better. Hold on to what you have learned and use it to your advantage. Hannah mentions living a life you want without too many restrictions. I somewhat agree but I know there will be restrictions, just redirect the problems so they can turn positive.

RebeccaT said...

I agree with Hannah, i think that you should try your hardest to reach your dreams, but I also believe that dreamers do have to be more careful because if they are too set on a certain dream, they might miss oportunities for other things that could make them happy. For instance like "Winter Dreams", Dexter is so set on Judy that when he is with Irene and sees Judy, he automatically goes for Judy, which ruins his chances with Irene. Though you have to be careful it is good to have dreams, because like spencer said, that is what drives the human race. Without something to dream or desire, what would we live for?
I believe that all of the characters in Gatsby have a dream, though some, like Nick and Jordan, I dont know there dreams yet. I think Daisy wants Tom to be jealous of her and Gatsby, that is why she keeps on giving little hints that she loves Gatsby. I think that Gatsby's dream is to be with Daisy, and Myrtle's dream is to be rich and have the "ideal" life. And Lastly i think that Tom dreams for things to be less real. It is as if he is afraid of things, like relationships, getting too real. That is why he wont leave Daisy for Myrtle, because that would make their relationship real, and that is why he is having an affair with Myrtle, because that will give him an escape from his real relationship with Daisy. I agree with Nick, you can't repeat the past. The past is the past, and if was a good past then you should remember it but there is a point to where you have to move on. It has been so long since Gatsby has seen Daisy that I don’t think that they can continue from where they left off, I think that they sort of have to start over in a way. They both have grown, and with growth comes change, and because of this change repeating the past is almost impossible. I think that the only reason that Gatsby wants to repeat the past is because he wants to relive a good time in his life. Though i think it would be better to make happy memories in the present then relive the happy ones in the past.

Ariel K. said...

I believe that no dreamer should be careful of vigilant, the reason they're dreams is because they should be the highest goal that you can possibly think of, and in return you should be willing to do anything to obtain your dream. I agree with Spencer when he says dreams and goals are what kept this race going. Dreams and goals are what inspired inventors and thinkers to change the world. I believe the characters in Gatsby have dreams, beneath all the fakeness I'm still looking to be surprised by someone showing they have depth. Ive seen this a bit with Gatsby, he has a want and desire for Daisy and that alone shows more depth and real emotion then any of the characters have shown so far. I absolutely think these characters are hiding behind the idealism of a rich life, again, I'm hoping to be surprised by someone breaking out and reveling what they are really thinking this whole time. Not repeating the past isn't at all impossible. I think our society is so stuck on learning from the past and keeping it the past we have convinced ourselves we shouldn't try to repeat the past and just move on, but if the past is what makes who we are, then revisiting what shaped us should be acceptable.

Emily F said...

I agree with Hannah. I think that when you restrict your dreams there is no point in dreaming. Thats why people dream because it creates something that may not quite be reality. Some people hold back from dreaming because of the chance of getting hurt or getting your hopes up, but why go through life with restrictions? Dreaming takes you away from reality. It brings you to a world with endless possibilities that anyone can fullfill. I think everyone has a dream including the characters in Gatsby. They all have dreams of living in a fantasy world with money, friends, huge houses. Are they living the "American Dream"? I don't think anyone can relive the past because the situation is always different. Whats done is done and you can only create a greater future.

AdrienneB said...

I think idealism is the way that people in Gatsby escape reality. The world is corrupted with too many bad things and the only way to keep some alive is to encourage dreams.
I can get sick of too much "glass-half-full" crap but for some, it's what they need.
I agree with Hannah that the characters seem to be living their American Dreams, however, Gastby wants more: love.
I think some dreamers need to be vigilant and some need to use idealism to escape because some people set low standards and when they pass them, it motivates them more. Some need idealism because a ream keeps them going.
Although Gatsby seems to half it good and seems to have lived a full life, the romanticism he discovers with Daisy has given him new purpose and motivation. All he can think is "I will repeat the past" or his dream is lost.
I disagree with Ariel. I think Gatsby is simply a "surface soul". I agree that Gatsby has been hiding in the idealism of wealth but not in the romanticism of love.
I don't think we can repeat the past because it is past for a reason. We can reawaken emotions but there is the prime portion of lifetimes between Daisy and Gatsby.
There will be repercussions for trying to repeat the past because there has been too much time passed and experiences people have experienced as individuals which can create tension between us. Sooner or later the tension is too strong. Guilt or jealousy gets to someone in the web and it will snap.

Paul D. said...

If you’re a dreamer it takes both carefulness and vigilance to complete your dreams. For example, if you want to win a championship in sports, one has to give their all but still has to be careful not to injure themselves or get thrown out for the season. When it comes to dreaming, I was always told to aim high so if you missed my goal I would still get somewhere near where I wanted. In Gatsby, to me, Nick, Daisy, and Gatsby all have dreams. Daisy wants to get married and live a happy life; Gatsby wants to marry Daisy, the girl of his dreams. Nick dream is to be equal like every other man. Idealism is a way to escape reality because if one creates a dream world for themselves, they can live without having to deal with the day to day problems. People can repeat the past; it may not be the exact same but the past does keep recurring. War keeps recurring even after the losing millions of people in the two Great Wars. When people want to stop smoking and quit the urge is always there to go back. When the urge gets to strong some fail and fall right back into the grips of addiction. To the extent of how the past keeps recurring is up to the people in control of time. The only way to not have the past repeat itself is up to the individual’s thoughts and actions.

Phil E. said...

If you are a dreamer then you should not be careful. you should let the dreams flow freely and not let external worries damper your dream. That is what a true dreamer does.

The characters in Gatsby all do have dreams. All of the dreams are very different from one-an-other. For example Gatsby dream is to be with Daisy. The problem is that most of the characters hide their dreams away behind a social mask that is so relevant in the time and place they live. They try to drink and party reality away but it is always there and until the characters learn to cope and work with reality they cannot be happy. If life gives you lemons make lemonade. It is interesting that Gatsby gets truck loads of lemons to make lemonade. Do you think Gatsby really makes lemonade with his life?

There is no reason why we can not repeat the past. It happens extremely often. people need to learn from the past and better their selves but often people do not learn from the past and because of that they repeat it.

I agree with Hannah g that when people dream carefully they do not dream to their full potential. That is the truth and dreams are dreams until you make them into reality, so you need to take the dream filter off and dream away. You can never hurt yourself by dreaming.

Liz S. said...

I think every character in Gatsby is trying to live life in a dream state. They stay in their own little worlds in order to escape the harsh reality of their situations. They do all need to be careful living in a dream because when they least expect it reality will hit them and knock them on their asses. For example, in chapter 7 Daisy was driving with Gatsby and finally starting to live her dream of running away with Gatsby, but when she’s not expecting it she hits and kills Myrtle and that is reality. It proved to be a wakening for every character and it knocked them all into the real world.
I agree with Adrienne, the past is the past and there is no way to repeat it, but you can repeat the emotions felt in the past. Gatsby and Daisy are both attempting to bring back the past and live in the days where they were young and in love, but what they don’t realize is there are new dangers in the present. It’s not ok for them to run around like carefree kids anymore, they need to face the situation and try and work from there. By doing what they’re doing and trying to drop everything and be kids again it’s proving to screw up both of their lives and relationships with others.

cshippley said...

I think that if you are the dreamer you do not necessarily have to be careful but you do have to vigilant in a way to watch out for certain opportunities and potential decisions that could pass you by. I think that all the characters in the book have a dream, with Gatsby I think it shows a lot more because he is so dedicated to getting Daisy back into his life. When you want something you will do everything it takes to get it, if you’re willing to take a risk/fall for something in the end it should be worth it all. Most of the characters haven’t really revealed their wants yet but soon to come I think we will find out what the truth is behind everyone. Idealism is definitely a way for people to escape from reality especially hiding your true self behind wealth and they use it to their advantage, good or bad. I would have to agree with Ariel about the past being repeatable because the past is who we are and it’s what got us to the point where we are now. Without the past we wouldn’t learn anything.

Fishman L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LoraineF said...

Vigilance is a key characteristic a dreamer must have. To be a dreamer you need to have hopes and ambition. It means you are willing to see yourself being anything you want to be. There is nothing careful about that. For me, that shows strength and courage. If you want something then go after it, and never hold back. Giving up or being scared is a sign of weakness, and that will only lead to your inevitable failure.
I think each character in Gatsby has a different dream. For example Daisy; I can see her wanting to learn about compassion and love. I feel like in the story the narrator is trying to perceive her as a fool who lives a cold unhappy life. I have repeated this so many times, but she is only happy and beautiful on the outside. Inside she’s trying to discover herself, and what she’s capable of, and that’s when Gatsby plays in. Aside from the fact that Gatsby's own personal dream, I believe, is to break away from the person he has invented of himself, and show his true colors, but that Daisy is his motivation, and he’s hers. There learning to discover themselves through love, and appreciation for one another’s existence.
As for Nick's comment about the past, I couldn’t agree more. No one can repeat the past, but everyone can make something of their futures. It’s never too late. Reinventing something that has happened can be done by learning from it, and moving on.

GracyB said...

I think that if you are a dreamer, then I think it's important to be vigilant. When you are vigilant, you are always watchful and alert. You have a more open mind and are open to more things. When your careful you restrict your limits. I defiantly think all the characters have a dream. They are all a little different, but they strive for what they want. I really like what Phil asked, he said "Do you think Gatsby really makes lemonade with his life?" I think that he attempts, but in a way he is just living this artificial life.
I think that we always can repeat the past. Sometimes we learn from our past, and sometimes we don’t. If we don’t learn from our mistakes and find ways to change our futures, then there is always the possibility of repeating the past.

davidh said...

To say vigilance is necessary for dreams seem to be silly to me. You need to follow your dreams not protect them. You can let people tread on your dreams and if them your true dreams that will someday become a passion then it won’t get to you. I think what’s wrong with all the characters from Gatsby are that they don’t have souls anymore. Therefore they don’t dream anymore. This is because they are so corrupt, gossipers and cheaters. The only character that seems to have a conscience at all is Gatsby. Gatsby separates himself from the gossipers at his party because as far as I know of the man, he’s better than that. He also seems to have a strong dream of finding the love that fueled his heart. The past is the past and it can’t to this day be changed. One can build or rebuild from one’s past but to change all together is not happening.

Natalie H. said...

I have to disagree with Hannah. I believe that being too much of a dreamer can be very distracting and in the long run hurt your goals. A character within Gatsby named, Myrtle whose only dream is to be much richer, is missing out on so much more in life! Myrtle is completely blinded from what really matters and what happiness is really about. Dreams do allow people to escape reality and therefore can be helpful every once in awhile. For instance, dreams can help motivate people to really strive to be better at their job so that they can obtain their dream. But at the same time dreams may not motivate one to be a better person, just like Myrtle, her dreams seem to make her more and more greedy and fake. All she seems to care about is Tom's money and not his love or her "love" that she may or may not have for him. Everybody does have dreams; it is perfectly normal to have a fantasy world to escape to. If one works hard they are most definitely capable of obtaining their goal. However,I believe dreams are more distractions than set goals. As for one's past: it is still a part of them always and forever. People do change all the time, but their past is who they once were. Who you were and who you are, are very different; but your past does define you. I think that Nick is trying to tell Gatsby that Daisy may be a totally changed person and what has once already happened between her and Gatsby is in the past and may never come back. When people do change it is very likely that, that one thing in the past is lost forever. You can not just snap your fingers and expect someone to be something they once were. Maybe they forgot who that was, or don't want to be that person; which is why they may have changed. Or maybe simply it is just impossible to feel that way once again. Some things really are a one time deal because of new experiences and alterations in one's life. Moving on is moving on. There is no looking back in my eyes.

Maureen K. said...

I think Paul has an excellent point. I think that a healthy balance of vigilance and carefulness are neccessary. If you throw yourself out there with all that you have, you risk a massive backfire. The risks might outweigh the rewards.

I do think that the characters in Gatsby have dreams. Gatsby's dream is, in essence, Daisy. He has built this ideal image of himself into someone who can take care of her and love her.

I think that idealism is an easy way to escape from their lives. Imagining what could be is so much easier than dealing with your life right now, and honestly, it takes a lot less work.

There is no way you could repeat the past. You can try and recreate situations, but people change. Events change people. You can't erase however long you were living between now and then. The occurences around you have already changed you little by little, like the ocean smoothing out a pebble. There is no way to change it, and why would someone want to?

Amanda G said...

When it comes to dreaming, being vigilant is better because you can create the life you want. If you are dreams and are careful about it your dreams might not turn out the same or they could be different. I agree with Hannah, if you are dreaming carefully you are not dreaming to your full potential. Dreams are about going for your goals and not be careful about it. Doing what it takes to reach your dreams. Dreams help me people live there and strive for something amazing to happen in there life when they reach there dreams. Everyone has a dream even if they are in a book. The characters in Gatsby all have a dream. They have dream on what they want to do in life. The characters in Gatsby are ultimately living the American Dream. Money, big houses, firneds what else do they need? I think idealism is a way for people to escape reality because it is always easier to escape reality rathen than face reality face to face. I think to a certain extent you can repeat the past. I dont think you can reinvent what has already happened because what has happened is in the past and over with. People just need to look to the future.

McKenzieM said...

I think that if you are a dreamer, you don’t worry about being careful or vigilant. Most dreamers keep there heads in the clouds, making it hard for them to be alert with what’s going on right in front of them. I think that there are dreamers who don’t need a reality check while others do. Dreamers who are aware of circumstances are as careful and vigilant as any other person. You don’t have to be a dreamer to be those things. Even someone who’s not a dreamer has dreams. I think that many of the characters in Gatsby have dreams. Every one of them imagines what life would be like if things were different; if they lived in a different place, if they married someone else. Though many of them just dream about the possibilities, Gatsby actually tries to accomplish them. He has dreamt about what life married to Daisy would be like for the last five years and he finally decided to go through with meeting her again. When Nick says, “You can’t repeat the past,” I agree for the most part. Nothing will ever be the same as it once was. It could be similar, but never the same. For example, just because Gatsby sees Daisy again doesn’t mean that they will feel the same about each other as they use to. People can change a lot in five years. Daisy could want many different things now. Something that I always keep in mind is, “Just because you want it to be, doesn’t make it so.” Just because Gatsby wants Daisy and him to be how they once were, doesn’t mean they will be.

Alyssa B. said...

If you are a dreamer you either have to be careful not to lose touch with reality, or you have to be vigilant to create a different one. Dreaming is, by no means, a negative trait. It inspires progress, innovation, and art. However, it is important not to lose sight of reality in the process of chasing a dream. Many people create their own reality in order to fufill otherwise impossible dreams. Fitzgerald illustrated this with James Gatz’s transformation into the infamous Jay Gatsby. How many moments of joy, contentment, and vitality did Gatsby miss because of his relentless pursuit of Daisy?

I am, however, interested in Phil’s point that “[dreamers] should not be careful [and] let the dreams flow freely and not let external worries damper your dream. That is what a true dreamer does.” It is difficult to dream fully if reality is an ever present focus.
Perhaps it is possible to have both. Perhaps man can dream fully while not losing touch with the world around him – it is beautiful as well.
Of course the characters in Gatsby have a dream – it is different for each individual, but present in all. Many of their dreams are portrayed as superficial and shallow. Nearly all involve monetary gain, for example. However, a common theme regarding the dreams of the characters is they all chase something they cannot seem to obtain. The most tangible example being Gatsby, of course – his love for Daisy does not seem to stem from true sentiment or care, but simply from the ideal image of a “golden girl” – the sort of girl James Gatz thought Jay Gatsby ought to have. A particularly striking quote by Nick underlines the impossibility of Gatsby’s dream. Nick speculates that “There must’ve been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams – not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. [...] No amount of freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.” (95). Gatsby dreams of unreal ideals, and when they are not met, he withdraws into himself and changes his life (such as buying his house and throwing lavish parties just to be close to Daisy). He will never truly be happy. Aside from Gatsby, other characters also have intangible dreams. Daisy for instance seeks contentment and security. Yet in her search for such ideals, she causes more despair and danger.
It is, quite technically, impossible to repeat the past. People are constantly changing, growing, and adapting to the stresses of life. Therefore, the people present for a certain event cease to exist as soon as the event ends (especially if the event has an impact on said persons). Even if Gatsby was to re-create a moment he shared with Daisy, he could not repeat the moment because both he and Daisy are different than who they were when the original moment took place. Gatsby himself acknowledges this when he despairs that “she just doesn’t understand. She used to be able to understand. We’d sit for hours——”
The past is just that—passed. Learn from it, remember it, use it... but don’t try and repeat it because failure is imminent.

Rachel_F said...

As humans we can not help but repeat our past. No matter what we do or how hard and maybe even un aware we are that we are doing it it happens. We can not in a way control that. In history classes they teach us the bad things about the past in a hopoe that when the situation rises to the occasion or a similar one that is, that we know what not to do. We can not yet alter the past that is something that has happened and we must learn from that.
As a dreamer you can be as vigilant as you would like it is these dreams that we attempt to achieve and hope to one day become reality that we try so hard to hold on to. The dreams will never hurt anyone, only the people that do not care what happens in order to achieve their dream can hurt us. Even in The Great Gatsby all of the characters have dreams that intertwine with in each other. that is what keeps many of the characters connected. It allowed the people that weren't exactly who and where in life they wanted to be to catch a glimps of what it could be.

Zach N said...

As a dreamer I don’t believe that you have to be more careful because I believe that part of being a dreamer is being spontaneous and vigilant. Dreamers aren’t afraid to try new things and try to change the norm. They are always trying to find some new and better way to do something and they are always being innovative and creative trying to make a difference in the world that they would find useful or even just different. I agree with Hannah in saying that dreamers are able to create a world of their own rather than being constricted by societal norms and conforming to everybody else’s ideas. If it weren’t for dreamers the human race wouldn’t be as advanced as it is today because computers, cars and many other life changing important inventions would have never been made and we still could be cavemen. I think that the characters in The Great Gatsby do have a dream but it isn’t really what most of us would expect. Since many of these people are already rich they don’t really know what they want in life and they just seem to want to go through life having parties and being fancy just like many are brought up to think of how their life should be. Although the past can’t be repeated exactly the way it happened I do think that there are instances where people are given second chances and are able to do over things that they regret not doing in the past or even just how they did those things in the past. By changing how we react or take to these events when we get a second chance I think that we are able to reinvent the past and get a second chance to make things right.

Chris F said...

Everyone has dreams. It is okay to dream and let your dreams flow freely. Dreaming is what makes us who we are today. Everyone dreams of being something great and hwlpful to the world and they make there life aroung those dreams and ambitions. No one can hold you back on what you can dream about or to follow your dreams. Even the characters in gatsby have dreams and they all want to live them but something in there life can't or wont let them do that. Are they living the american dream i don't think so because the american dream is not about all of the fighting and lies that they go through in gatsby. I think that you can repeat the past. our government does it all of the time because we don't look back in history to make changes. Every human being does it too so yes we can repeat the past.

Margaux L said...

If you are a dreamer I believe that you have to be more vigilant because that is really what dreaming is, if you are too careful I don't consider it dreaming because its not at its full potential. In response to Hannah's comment I totally agree that being vigilant allows you to create the life you want. I think all the characters have a dream just each has a different variation of that dream. I think the characters want to become perfect on the outside but are all messes on the inside. I think that in some ways you can reinvent what has already happened but in the end whats done is done and you cant change much of that. When he says "you can't repeat the past" I just think he is saying that its not just going to go back to what it was before and you cant have the same things that you had.

Tara.G said...

Everyone in this world has dreams. If you do have dreams and you are a dreamer I personally don't think that you should be careful. I would have to agree with Phil when he says just let your dreams flow freely and let them go. I believe that you should try your hardest to persue your dreams because I feel that is how people can get very far in life. Dreaming is something that can be life changing and amazing.

The characters in Gatsby all have dreams. Gatsby's dream is to be with Daisy. I don't believe that he could get anywhere at all with her if he didn't follow his dream about her like he did. Many of the other characters in Gatsby just think about money all day and how that can make their life complete. Everyone in this world has a different American Dream. I do not believe that there is just one single American Dream in America. It differs from person to person, even with the characters in The Great Gatsby.

I personally don't think that we can repeat our pasts. I think that it is impossible considering no situation is going to ever be the exact same as something that happened in the past. Like Maureen said, people change and events change. I would have to agree with her statement about not being able to repeat the past. I do think that we can learn from mistakes from the past and hope that we can change them but I don't believe that there is anyway possible to actually go back in time and repeat the past.

jake R said...

No I don't think that you do. Anyone with a dream can go about it in any way that they feel necesary to reach their dream. Any person can dream, but I guess in some ways, people should be careful. Sometimes having a dream that gets crushed can hurt. Make sure your dream is obtainable and that you perservere and reach it. I think that the characters in Gatsby do have dreams. Little and big. Gatsby wants to pick up where he left off with Daisy. He wants to be with her so bad. Tom just wanted a love and peice of ass but obviously that got ruined like with Mertle getting hit by the car and killed. I guess in a way, dreaming gets you focused on the future and gives you hope. False hope or not, It makes some people see the possitive side of things. You can't word for word recreate the past. What happened happened and people need to learn how to accept it when it is bad, and be happy for themselves when it is good. The past is your past and people should dream of a better future and find ways the reach their dream.

Tyler H. said...

Everybody dreams and it is that aspect that sets us apart from all other lifeforms. Those dreams reflect a desire or a want in the future. Being more vigilant will cause more unreachable dreams to seem as if they are right in front of you. The carful person will only pursue the dreams they know they can achieve without thinking out of the box without taking more out of life. Dreams are the imaginations illustration of what the ideal moment of your life would be right now. Having no restrictions is what makes the imagination and dreaming ever more possible its what gets that kindergartener to school thinking he could be an astronaut. Dreaming is the best quality in every person, it shows what they like and what they want to do with their lives.
The most prominent dream in The Great Gatsby is Gatsby’s unbreakable love for Daisy. Gatsby can’t stop dreaming about her because that dream is what’s keeping him alive. Idealism easily escapes reality because it is the pursuit of goals, any goals. However big or small those goals may be the pursuit always has benefits.

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