Monday, May 19, 2014

Final Blog Reflection

          When reading through my classmates blogs I learned that money, family life, and that a person should stand up for what they truly believe in are all major themes that are in the literature that we read throughout the year. In The Great Gatsby everything revolved around money. The overall goal was to try to make as much money and as fast as you can. Like Tammy stated in her blog “...the American culture revolves around money and the American Dream includes everyone that wants money.” In today's society people can be blinded by the desire of money. Family life also plays an important theme in the books we read. In Brighton Beach Memoirs, the only thing that kept a family member going was the love and support provided by their family. In Rachel's blog, she stated, “A lesson Americans should learn from Brighton Beach Memoirs is to always keep family close.” When reading the books I noticed that it was really hard for characters to achieve their overall American Dream without the reinforcement of their family and friends. I cannot imagine where I would be in my life without the backing of my family and friends. Another theme that I noticed in the books was that it is critical to stand up for what you believe in. In Fahrenheit 451, Guy was one of the few people that took a stand and asked 'why' in their society. Guy actually made an impact to the people around him and the society that he lived in. Megan stated in her blog that, "[American people] should be able to do what they love and think what they want to think in the world.” People need to realize that sharing for your opinion is better than not partaking in the situation at all.
In my opinion the most important lessons that we read about involved friends and family. I learned that I am very grateful for the friends that I have and the support I receive from the family. Sometimes I feel like people do not realize how lucky they are until they do not have that person in their life anymore. My past unanswered questions have been answered by reading and exploring all the literature we have read this year. One of my unanswered questions this year was," How can the American Dream change so drastically from person to person but in the end have that same amount of value?" After reading all the books this semester I figured out that it does not matter about the dream the person created, but it matters on the importance the dream is to that person. Just because everyone has a different concept of the American Dream, does not mean that it is less essential to a certain individual.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blog Reflection #5

          Within the book, Fahrenheit 451, American culture has numerous similarities to the society portrayed in the book. In the book, people only wanted to be “happy” and not face reality. In America many people do not want to face the problems that are created in everyday life. Some people would rather deny the truth and continue to push away the problem.  Most people living in Fahrenheit 451's community do not want to know about all the issues around them in their personal lives and the global conflicts. Mildred blocks out reality and the “negative” ideas with the seashells she uses during the daytime and the nighttime. Americans should learn to face their problems and not avoid the unknown. Problems help people overcome difficulty and learn from their mistakes. Without making mistakes and fixing them the world would never grow and develop into the society it is today.
          When reading Fahrenheit 451, I learned that a person should stand up for what they believe in even if it is different from the “normal” expectation. I would rather be truly happy and deifying society then putting on a fake face and being apart of regular society. When standing up for what a person believes in, it takes a lot of courage and bravery to accomplish the ultimate goal of sharing their opinion. I also learned that everyone is continuing to learn everyday. It does not matter if a person graduated with a Harvard degree and has a high powered job, they continue to learn about the world around them everyday. If people do not continue to learn then society could never change their mindset on life and will never make an impact on the world. One question that I still have after reading the book is, Why did Clariesse decide to share her knowledge with Guy and teach him the way her uncle did for her?  

          Looking back on media in today's world, it serves as a wake up call. I think that 21st century media is very pervasive because the world has this concept of anything new is better then the old. In America people always want the newest and best technology. My experience with the twenty-four hour boycott of media was that media is necessary in some cases but not always needed. In today's society the internet has become a tool for work and school. Media also helps people communicate throughout the day by  calling and texting each other. However social media is not important to everyday life and serves as a distraction to everyone. I noticed that without the presence of media, I got assignments accomplished faster and had more free time because I was not distracted during the day. During the day most people around me are using some type of media. I believe that media is a way of life for some people. When I observed the use of media in public I noticed that people used media as an excuse to not to talk to people or interact with them. When looking at media in today's society and media in Fahrenheit 451's society, people can be completely oblivious to the surrounding world because of the extreme use of media.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Blog Reflection #4

Within The Great Gatsby the American culture was slowly revealed. Throughout the book money, status, and jealousy were slowly acknowledged over the series of events that unfolded. In most of the households that were described in the book, everything revolved around the existence of money. It was a constant competition between old money, Tom and Daisy, and new money, Gatsby, to see who can show the most wealth in a certain environment. The sense of status is also revealed in the American culture and the American dream. People sometimes are worried about how the public sees them and what people are thinking about them on a day to day basis. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy was constantly worried about how people portrayed her in the community and let that run her life. In the events that happened in the book, it became clear that jealousy that can build up between two people. If people let jealousy control their life, that one aspect will soon destroy all the meaningful relationships. American’s should learn that life is about true happiness and that a person’s happiness can not be brought. The American culture should also learn that trust is everything in a relationship and keeps two people together.
I personally learned that most people take for granted what they have in life. These people do not know what they have until it is gone forever. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy took for granted what she had with Gatsby and never realized that until he died. This makes me see how lucky and grateful I am for my friends and family around me. I would not know were I would be without the support I receive from my loved ones everyday. When harder times come I know that I can talk to anyone in my family or in my friends and they will listen to me when I need it most. I think that many American’s do not recognize how blessed we truly are for what we have in life.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Blog Reflection #3

Brighton Beach Memoirs
          In the play, Brighton Beach Memoirs, people can take a look into the American culture during the Great Depression. The American Dream is portrayed as having a close family life. Throughout the play the whole family supported one another through the problems that arose in the hard times. Whether the issue was losing a job, needing financial support, or even contemplating an educational future, the family worked out all the problems in a mannerly fashion. This play reveals that money does not buy happiness in life. Americans need to learn that money does not bring a person a functional and happy life/family. Instead a person should earn and create the life they have always wanted and not buy the “perfect” lifestyle.

          I personally learned that family needs support, love, and conflict to be able to function properly. A family needs support because a person needs the feeling of validation that they are doing the right thing at the right place coming from their loved ones. Love is necessary for a family because it makes someone feel of value and in return that person values their family members. Interesting enough conflict is important to a family because it shows how the people around you act when faced with a problem. Conflict brings a family closer together and builds even stronger bonds between each person in the family. I also learned that people have to fix their problems and not walk away, no matter how difficult the situation. The problems that arise show how dedicated and devoted a person is to the issue. Conflict can be a fact of life in the everyday world and can really push a person to their maximum limits. One unanswered question I have that I would like to explore during class this year is, how the American Dream can change so drastically from person to person but in the end have the same amount of value?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Reflection #2

The Crucible
          Arthur Miller wanted to make a statement against McCarthyism and the Red Scare by writing The Crucible. The Crucible has many qualities that connect to the Red Scare by having one person (holding a grudge) that starts a conspiracy about their community. McCarthyism was about Communism and The Crucible was against witchcraft but they truly have the same ideas. Some modern examples of McCarthyism are all around the world. Many can happen within Europe, Asia, and even in the United States. The lesson that Miller is trying to portray is that people cannot be blind to the events that are happening around them. People have to stand up for what they think is right by sharing their personal opinion on the subject. I feel like this is relevant in the world today because everyone has to be aware of the people around them and they have to talk through problems to be able to advance in life.
          When reading The Crucible I got a better understanding of what happened during that time period. While reading the author showed the tension in the story about going outside the box or being creative or different. At this time in America it wasn't socially exceptionable to talk about your opinion towards the way people act around you and others. This is shown by small incidents in the play slowly started to build into a full blown community problem. I feel like this could be referenced towards the Americans living in the 1950's.
          Americans can learn from The Crucible that people do not all have to be one extreme or another. I personally learned that life needs a complete balance. A balance between social events, studies, family and any other major part of your life. One unanswered question I have is, What ever happened to Elizabeth after John died? Did she die also or did she get set free? With going into depth of The Crucible I got to understand what made a community, like Salem, go completely insane just because of a sixteen year old girl.

Monday, September 2, 2013




Throughout the first unit on America I have learned more than I expected and I thought deeper about the country that we live in. My original ideas on America involved 'the home of the free' and that many people from all over the world look towards this country as one of their major goals or dreams for their family. After the first unit I realized that many people living in America take for granted what they have and the opportunities that are presented towards them.

All the texts stood out to me in some way but the two that made a huge impact on my evolution in the unit were “America and Americans” by John Steinbeck and “The America I Love” by Elie Wiesel. These two writings opened my head to how negative America can be towards the people living in the country and how much a person will work to become a citizen of America. These are total opposites in ideas and this is why they made such an impact on my thinking. One major question I have about Americans is, Why do we realize all our flaws but don't do anything to fix them? In “America and Americans” the author continues to point out all the mistakes that American people do and how we are ignorant to the problems.

I am looking forward to see how my learning evolves even more because I am still curious about what is ahead. I am wondering how the American perspective changes through history. Towards the end of the year, I feel like I will get a better understanding of the choices that our country made in history to get were we are today through writing. I am really excited to read pieces that focus in the time period of before the great depression. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Letter to the Editor

August 25,2013
“The America I Love” By Elie Wiesel

711 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-4014 USA

Dear Editor:

Looking at the article”The America I Love” by Elie Wiesel, puts in perspective how becoming an American citizen is a major accomplishment and a life long dream for individuals across the world.

Many people that live in a different country look at America as an opportunity for living their version of the American Dream. When Elie states,”The day I received my American Citizenship was the turning point of my life,” illustrates that people all over the world strive to become a citizen in America. When a person officially becomes an American that individual has reached the goal that they set for themselves months or years prior.  People living in American tend to take advantage of the opportunities that are available towards them without a second thought.

The subject of hope also plays a considerable role in the article, “The America I Love”. Hope is the driving power behind the ambition of the people dreaming about America. Hope allows people to strive for that one event or goal that has been established.  When the article says,”Hope is the key word for men and woman like myself, who found America the strength to overcome...despair,” admittedly puts into perspective of how so many people are longing to become apart of the American nation. The hope of these people have pushes them in trying to achieve goals helps provide a better future for their love ones.

Furthermore in “The America I Love” Elie Wiesel continues stating that he is very grateful and fortunate to be apart of America and expresses that in numerous ways. Wiesel states,”One cannot but feel grateful to the young Americans who leave their families, some to lose their lives, in order to bring to Iraq the first rays of hope”.  Based on the words he wrote, people can tell that Elie is very passionate about the contributions America is making towards the people in other countries. Elie's experience in the Holocaust has given him a first hand experience of a bad situation and knowledge of how America soldiers helped the people.

The American Dream can differ between cultures. Many view points exist for the dream and is dependent on the dreamer. But as an American and looking at "The America I Love" by Elie Wiesel, every person in the world is not as different as they seem. We all have life long dreams that we are looking to accomplish within a life time.

Katy Scott