Saturday, May 31, 2014

Monday and the final study guide (of sorts)

Don't be like the boy in navy or the girl in pink
looking the wrong way!
  1. Put the desks in a big circle (you'll have to put them back both periods for Creative Writing and English 11, so keep that in mind when watching the clock)
  2. Have a deep, substantive conversation about the themes and the take-away meanings of The Great Gatsby. Huh? Try the questions below...
Starter questions (Please read these and think about them before arriving to class on Monday.)
  • Is The Great Gatsby a "great" novel? Why or why not? What are the elements of the book that would lead you to that conclusion?
  • Looking at the book as a whole, how does our primary theme come out? What is Fitzgerald saying about class? What is our final judgment on Gatsby himself? Is he a good guy? A bad guy? Misguided? A victim? Why do you think that?
  • What is the tragedy of this novel? Is there more than one? Think outside the box. Think of all the characters. Think of themes. Make connections. Throw out ideas to the group and play with them.
  • Have someone read the final 7 paragraphs of the novel out loud to the class (from the break on pg 188/179). What are we meant to make of this? What does this tell us about class, the American Dream, and ourselves (the human condition)?
    Once you've talked about this a bit, have someone read this: In a Facebook discussion, an acquaintance of mine (Mr. Giddings) posted the following about this passage a while back. She wrote, "The past is where we are rooted. As much as we venture forth as pilgrims of the world and the future, our roots shape our identities, paths, motives. When you view the book through the lens of what it says about the American Dream, our society was founded upon our ancestors’ eager conquest of the New World and its riches and freedom – those beacons of light that drew them hither (similar to the green light). And while I don’t feel Fitzgerald denies the possibility of progress, I think he acknowledges how much we carry with us into the future. If you view the passage through an archetypal/Jungian lens, the last page also speaks of our collective consciousness."
    Do you agree or disagree with this commentator? With all of it? Part?
That should be enough to get you going. If you end up staring uncomfortably at each other, you're obviously not thinking enough. Think!

Final Study Guide
Attack that final like a mad flapper!

Hmm, this section turned out to be kind of short....

We'll deal with questions Tuesday and Wednesday. Our final is Thursday. Friday we'll do something chill. Stacy will likely turn up. Mr. Giddings will likely remain fairly chill.

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