Saturday, May 21, 2011

Prepare for your Final Exam, cute kids!

Dear Juniors,
If you missed class, we completed the following:
1. We reviewed questions that students had regarding chapter 8 of The Great Gatsby.
2.We then proceeded to view Chapter 7 of the film.
3. We then discussed the characters within the novel through a group activity.Each group was given the name of one of the primary characters and asked to devise a list of 8 words that describe the character. In addition, students then read an article about the upcoming Great Gatsby movie and which characters have been cast to play certain roles. Leonardo DiCaprio is playing Gatsby, by the way! Students then discussed actors that they would cast in the movie! We will complete this activity on Tuesday.
4. Students finished the class with a journal entry.A1 started on the entry and A4 ran out of time. We will continue with this on Tuesday.

1. Please read up to page 172 in your book.
2. Complete all your vocab. for chapter 8 and questions 1-6 on your study guide

These are the following questions that you might answer for your final. I would suggest that you print off this list and then make copious notes regarding your answers. Remember the questions will be pulled randomly from the "hat." In order to receive full points for your final, you must effectively communicate twice during the discussion. YOU MUST SUPPORT YOUR RESPONSES WITH TEXTUAL EVIDENCE! Prove your opinions with evidence from The Great Gatsby. EXTRA-CREDIT will be assigned if you submit your questions with valid and logical responses. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOUR BOOK must be returned on the day of your FINAL EXAM! A1, your final is scheduled for Thursday, May 26th and A4, your exam is scheduled for Tuesday, May 31st!

1. What is great about Gatsby? Why would Fitzgerald assign the title of THE GREAT GATSBY to his novel? What are your opinions of Gatsby now that you have finished the novel? How great was he and why?

2. How does Fitzgerald use the literary element of irony to make the novel more effective. Why is it such a needed tool for plot development? What is ironic about the title? What other examples of irony have you noticed as we have progressed through the book. Support your points.

3. Langston Hughes indicated, "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly." How does Hughes' statement relate to Fitzgerald's portrayal of Gatsby? How does Gatsby represent the American dream? What does the novel have to say about the condition of the American dream in the 1920's? In what ways do the topics of the dream such as wealth and time relate to each other in the novel's exploration of the idea of America? Does Fitzgerald view it as a totally dead dream, or is it possible to revive it?

4.The ending to the novel is quite melancholy. Why? Did it need to end in such a manner? Were the events leading up to the conclusion inevitable? Would the novel have the same impact without the tragic events? What would have taken place if Gatsby had survived? Who do you believe should be held responsible for Gatsby's death? Is there only one character?

5. Authors often "pair" characters to set up a contrast or to help us understand a particular theme or to clarify personality traits. What characters seem to "mirror" or "contrast" with other characters? What can we learn about one character when we contrast him or her with another?

6. Indicate how Fitzgerald uses color as a symbol in the novel. Support with commentary and textual evidence from the novel. Indicate a minimum of four colors used within the text.

7. Discuss how Fitzgerald makes concessions for women in the novel. How are social and moral expectations different between men and women?

8.This novel, like the decade of the 1920's, is much about carelessness. Using the two quotes below, other examples from the novel, and literary devices used by Fitzgerald, discuss the carelessness them of the novel. What exactly does the novel say about careless people and their behavior?

Quote #1: "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy-they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made."

Quote #2: "Running wild, lost control. Runnin wild, mightly bold. Feelin gay, reckless too, carefree mind all the time, never blue. Always goin' don't know where. Always knowin' that I don't care. Don't love nobody; it ain't worthwhile. All alone, runnin wild" -----"Runnin Wild" by Joe Gray

9. Some critics see at least two sides to Gatsby's character. Robert Ornstein sees Gatsby as the envisonment of the American dream, "for despite his shady activities and naive ideal about love, he keeps men from becoming "too old or too wise or too cynical of their human limitations." On the other hand, Gary J. Scrimgeour sees Gatsby as a "roughneck, a fraud, a criminal.....His taste is vulgar, his love adolescent, his business activities ruthless and dishonest.' How do YOU see Gatsby? Do you agree with either of the critics? What is your critique of Fitzgerald's most famous character?

 I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, our last "official" day of class! I can't believe that we are almost finished. You have grown so much, both intellectually and intrinsically! Well done, cute kids!