Classic American Literature

May 4, 2009

Howdy Mrs. Nicastro’s students! There should be two parts to your post–your discussion of your own novel and your discussion of another student’s novel that is similar to your own. Here are some requirements from Mrs. Nicastro to get you started:

How are the tensions of the time reflected in the classic American Literature novel that was read for your independent reading assignment? Before posting, please research the time period of your piece and create an analysis that connects  the American historical perspective with the content of your novel. This connection can be made by comparing the setting, characters, theme, etc. Begin your post with the Title, Author, genre of the novel, and the time period that the novel takes place.

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139 Comments Add your own

  • 1.  |  May 5, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    The title of my book is “The Great Gatsby”, by F. Scott Fritzgerald. It is a Modernist Novel and is historically attached around the 1920’s, when a lot of the greatest happenings occurred. The World War I, ‘Jazz Age’, and bootlegging were apart of the novel.

    It connected a lot with the characters and the setting.

    The narrator, Nick Carraway was a soldier that was a part of the WWI, later learning in the novel that Gatsby, too, was a soldier. He narrates that Gatsby was once a poor man, who became a hero during the WWI and made his own money by getting into his shady business [Also known as bootlegging]. Daisy Buchanan, which was the cousin of Nick and was the wife of Tom, was supposedly inspired by one of Fitzgerald’s lovers, Ginevra King, which was in a very wealthy family that was a member of the debutantes. Ginevra later left him for he was poor, and she was rich, instead marrying one of her father’s associates after her infatuated love with Fitzgerald. Ginevra’s personality was used on Daisy, later reflecting her love scene with Gatsby. Thomas Buchanan, Daisy’s husband, was also from Yale, like Nick was,that was an ‘old aristocracy’, and had interest in polo. Like Ginevra’s husband William, Gatsby resented him, although historically, Fitzgerald resented Ginevra’s father. Jordan Baker, whom was known to be Nick’s artificial romance, was a very close friend of Daisy, and had a reputation of shady business too.

    The setting collaborated historically in the novel by the means of Old Aristocracy and New Aristocracy. Tom Buchanan and Daisy were the Old Aristocracy’s, while Gatsby was the New Aristocracy. In the novel, Gatsby threw parties then and there, hoping that Daisy would come. His lavish parties contained wild people, and illegal drinks, which connect to the Eighteenth Amendment, prohibiting alcohol. Since the setting was during the 1920’s, it was the perfect set for the ‘Jazz Age’ which gave new meaning to changes in lifestyle, differing old money to new money.

    • 2.  |  May 6, 2009 at 5:01 pm

      Wow. This sounds like a great book. I may read it some day.

      • 3. Mrs. N  |  May 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm

        Everyone should read this book at their leisure!
        It is one of the great ones! The symbolism is amazing and the connection to the time period is great. When I taught Juniors this was one of their favorites!

    • 4. Robert S.  |  May 6, 2009 at 6:49 pm

      Yeah it is a great book. I’ve read it. Kind of similar to my book (A generation conflicting with the new.)

      Also, you could say that Gatsby could represent the corruption of the American Dream as well. Gatsby wanted to become rich not for the American Dream, but for Daisy’s love. Also, Gatsby’s illict rise to wealth is example of corrupting the American Dream. It undermines this ideal, and, in the end, it leaves Nick’s dreams in the rubble.

    • 5. Jenevie A.  |  May 9, 2009 at 7:18 pm

      This is a good book! :] i also read this book for my american classic.
      I just want to add that Gatsby also represents the carelessness of the people before the Great Depression. :)

    • 6. Matthew T.  |  May 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm

      This is actually a great book that portrays the attitude of the 1920’s. Most people would think carelessly and were pretty much giving up. But it was those that dedicated thermselves to a better life that changed the world. Gatsby, for example, dedicated himself for Daisy’s love. As long as we strive for the better our lives will become a whole lot easier and will, for the most part, teach a valuable lesson.

  • 7.  |  May 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    My novel, “The Catcher in The Rye,” was written by J.D. Salinger. This excellent novel takes place in the early to mid-50’s, and represents how difficult life was during the 20th century.

    Holden Caulfield, the narrator, describes how difficult life was for the typical American. For example, Caulfield had been to at least five different schools before the story is told. Anyone, to Caulfield, that values possessions is labeled as a “phony.” He says that actors, rich people, and anyone who moves to Hollywood to “make it big” is a phony.

    Holden then runs away after being kicked out of Pencey Prep, a boarding school he went to, and goes to New York City, “home of the phonies.” Holden decides to wait until Wednesday, the day Pencey’s Christmas vacation starts, to visit his family, because they do not know he was kicked out of school, again. Although, he goes back on the Sunday before, so he can see his kid sister Phoebe. Once there, they start talking, since Holden’s parents are not there. A little while later, at the end of the book, Holden takes Phoebe to the carousel in Central Park. Phoebe gets on the carousel, and tries to reach for the gold ring. The gold ring is on most carousels. It’s a ring that kids reach for when they pass it. But, there is always the chance the kids may fall off while reaching for it. This symbolizes the American dream, since that is how life is; you reach for your goals, but you may fall off on the way. You just have to keep getting back up and trying each time you fall off.

    The American dream was highly represented in “The Catcher in The Rye.” I learned a lot about a teenager’s mind in the fifties. Surprisingly, their minds were a lot like ours are.

    • 8. Stephanie Teuchert  |  May 10, 2009 at 6:31 pm

      I too read this book a couple years ago and loved it. Also it shows the carelessness that teenagers had in that time period. Many were starting to rebel against society as a way of showing individuality. I agree with you fully on the symbolism of the ring on the carousel and how it opened up Holden’s eyes.

    • 9. Kevin A.  |  May 10, 2009 at 6:59 pm

      Brian, my book (The Great Gatspie) also talks about the American Dream. Mine looks at it in dark point of view. The auther writes about the fall of the American Dream during the “Roaring Twenties” where the economy is booming and people trying to get rich with shady buisness’ . He writes of materialismand its lack of morality that changes the US. The way honest living is no longer pure.

    • 10. Mrs. N  |  May 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm

      Perfect Brian!
      Great connection

  • 11. Logan J.  |  May 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner is a historical fiction that is linked to around the late 1920s. The story takes place in the Deep South right before the time of the Great Depression.

    The Bundren family lives on a large plot of land. They also take care of a farm. This connects to that time period because the majority of the country’s population relied on the South to provide crops and food. Addie, the mother that dies, also made cakes to sell. This also shows how money was very hard to come by and people would do whatever they had to to provide for their families.

    An additional connection is all of the different accents and dialects used for the different characters. Anse, for example, has a heavier Southern accent compared to those of his sons or neighbors. The more educated people from town, like Peabody, speak clearly and proper. This shows how those who were raised in the country differed from those that live in the town.

    Another connection is the form of transportation. Although the cities had trains, the country people were restricted to using horses and mule drawn carts. Throughout the family’s journey to bury Addie, they ride a mule drawn cart through the country side.

    The final connection is how families during that time stuck to themselves. Before Addie dies, she made Anse, her husband, promise to take her back to where her family was from. The whole journey of the book, revolves around that promise of him trying to get Addie back to her family. This shows how important family was, and how important it was for people to keep in touch with their roots.

    The connections made in the story revolve around the idea of the Deep South traditions and lifestyle. Faulkner keeps that alive through many connections of the people and setting of As I Lay Dying.

    • 12. Amylee M.M.  |  May 6, 2009 at 8:11 pm

      My book is similar to your book. My book takes place during the Great Depression and the Dust bowl in the South, as well. I agree how the struggle to survive was apparent within the two stories, in which all members of the South faced. My book also has the common theme of family unity. Mama Joad did everything in her power to keep the family united. The Joad family also forms family like relationships with a few other families as well.
      After reading your post, it sparked many thoughts that I had never thought about regarding the time period and my book. I also found that the language in which the characters used was very similar to the language of the Southerners of the time. The lower class in my book, also spoke less formally then the upper class did. In addition, in my book, the forms of transportation were similar to those in your story, and were hence similar to those of the time period. The only difference with the transportation during my story is that the people migrating to California had to use cars, because they could not possibly manage to take care of the horsed, meaning to feed them.
      I also found that coincidently, both of are stories revolve around families of farmers from the South that had to flea their homes in order to survive.

    • 13. Nicole  |  May 9, 2009 at 10:49 pm

      Logan, it does not surprise me at all that you read this. xD Seriously though, I agree with what you are saying. It sounds a lot like TKAMB in that it takes place in the south/ Great depression times. I never would have thought of transportation though, so kudos for that. The idea of strong family ties, however, does not necessarily pertain to the time period; and while close-knit families are more common in the south, they aren’t limited to the area. Accents are, of course, a great way to portray character, status, ect. to an audience, so that is a good connection to the story. It is also entertaining, so that is always fun. =] Sopunds like a good book.

  • 14. Robert S.  |  May 6, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    “The Sun Also Rises”
    Ernest Hemingway
    Historical Fiction
    The Lost Generation (After WWI (late 1910s-start of the Great Depression))
    In the character-driven narrative, “The Sun Also Rises,” the disillusionment and tension of the Lost Generation is very exhibited throughout the novel and the expatriate characters’ journeys from Paris, France to Barcelona, Spain. Such things as the theme, the characters, and the implied effects of WWI on some of the characters are used to convey its historical backdrop.
    The theme itself highlights the novel’s conveyance of the Lost Generation. One of the themes of the novel, the new idea of masculinity, is shown through the main character, Jacob Barnes, who is a WWI veteran that is insecure about his masculinity. His indecision is correlative to the sense of aimlessness in the Lost Generation. Like Jacob, people, especially young adults who served in WWI, questioned certain morals, including masculinity and race, and were indecisive about them, which led to certain conflicts of morality during this time period in America.
    The characters themselves are symbols used to convey the story’s background. The characters, most of them American expatriates, exhibit a sense of aimlessness, such as their constant traveling, which is the basically the plot of the novel, their lack of self-esteem, or their indirection in their morals; the old-fashioned, dramatic, “aristocratic” Robert Cohn, for example, fears of losing his friends, and is frustrated by his stagnant life. The aimlessness shown by the characters is similar to the aimlessness of people during the Lost Generation. The people of the Lost Generation in America had conflictions over such things as their morals; since the Lost Generation was still during the Roaring Twenties, people lived a devil-may-care, prodigal, carefree lifestyle, which relates back to the characters’ free, yet insecure attitudes.
    The novel also highlights its setting by setting up something external and implicit, the effects of WWI on the characters. Jacob and another character, Bill Gorton, serves as great examples in the novel; a WWI veteran, Jacob has been affected by the war in that he questions his masculinity, and Bill is traumatized by the war and tries to avoid it with humor. The people of the Lost Generation, especially WWI veterans, had some of the same characteristics of Jacob and Bill: they put certain morals in question and tried to avoid the horrors of WWI, hence the start of the mindset of Americans during the Roaring Twenties.
    In “The Sun Also Rises,” Hemingway uses his characters’ anxieties and confusion to highlight the lost times of the Lost Generation. He shows to us, the audience, that the Lost Generation, the historical of the novel, was a period of misguidance, and overall, the “lost” people who lived during that time.

    • 15. Sebastian C.W.  |  May 9, 2009 at 11:06 am

      Robert, I found it rather interesting how the several characters in “The Sun Also Rises” relate to the character in the novel I read, “The Chocolate War.” Though both exist take place during different eras, the characters experience similar conflicts. In my book, the protagonist Jerry Renault also experiences a lack of self-esteem, an indirection of morals, and aimlessness, as you previously stated. As the Vigils tried to break him, he constantly questioned his reasons, always hairs away from giving in. It is intriguing how people from different periods of time still tend to experience the same obstacles.

      • 16. Mrs. N  |  May 10, 2009 at 8:23 pm

        There is a huge connection!
        The American identity is one that is portrayed very well in both pieces of literature.

    • 17. Sebastian C.W.  |  May 9, 2009 at 11:07 am

      Robert, I found it rather interesting how the several characters in “The Sun Also Rises” relate to the character in the novel I read, “The Chocolate War.” Though both take place during different eras, the characters experience similar conflicts. In my book, the protagonist Jerry Renault also experiences a lack of self-esteem, an indirection of morals, and aimlessness, as you previously stated. As the Vigils tried to break him, he constantly questioned his reasons, always hairs away from giving in. It is intriguing how people from different periods of time still tend to experience the same obstacles.

      • 18. Christian J. I.  |  May 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm

        I agree Sebastian, Jerry does have some similarities with characters from “The Sun Also Rises”. Although, Roland Goubert, also known as Goober, is also like those characters. Jerry’s questioning of his own morals also gets Goober to wonder about his morals.

      • 19. Derek S.  |  May 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm

        In my book The Native Son the main character is similar to all those books. The main character suffered from small self-estem, and an indirection of morals from his friends and family and the whites. This causes him to get violent and murder, but in my story the whites try to break him unfortunately they succeed and he ends up going to jail for the death penalty.

    • 20. A.Membreno  |  May 9, 2009 at 1:38 pm

      Robert, Jacob and Bill’s questioning morals reminded me of the Character Jerry Renault from the book i read “The Chocolate War”. Jerry has a poster in his room saying “Do I dare disturb the universe?” which gives him the courage to go against The Vigils. Until then Jerry had always done what he was told to do.

    • 21. R.M.Wyatt  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:32 pm

      I read A Seperate Peace which is a flashback of WWII and although are books take place during different time periods, I feel that our characters share some simmilarities in that some of the main charcters also went through school aimlessly during this War (other people would use the term “going through the motions”)
      You also mentioned that a charcter in your book, Jacob Barnes, showed some lasting effects after WWI and that reminded me of Leper, a main charcter in my book who also had horrible lasting effects due to WWII.

      • 22. R.M.Wyatt  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm

        (Spelling corrections) =]

        I read A Seperate Peace which is a flashback of WWII and although are books take place during different time periods, I feel that our characters share some simmilarities in that some of the main charcters also went through school aimlessly during this War (other people would use the term “going through the motions”)
        You also mentioned that a charcter in your book, Jacob Barnes, showed some lasting effects after WWI and that reminded me of Leper, a main charcter in my book who also had horrible lasting effects due to WWII.

  • 23. Amylee M.M.  |  May 6, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    The “Grapes of Wrath”, by John Steinbeck, is realistic fiction and takes place during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. This book, is clearly symbolic and representative of these two event. The characters and events within the book symbolize the reactions of the people during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, as well of the struggles and conflicts that they had to deal with daily in order to survive. The setting within the book are almost the same as the actual event, except for a few minor adjustments.
    The conflicts that the Joad family faced through out the course of the story represent many major points of conflict that occurred during the destitute time. One conflict was the struggle that the Joads had to face to meet their necessary needs to survive, such as food, water, and shelter. It was them against their environment, the needs of nature, and the weather. This is representative of the conflict that the vast majority of the South had to face. Millions of farmers were forced to flea their homes in the South, forcing them to become homeless with barely a penny to their name. Another main conflict that the Joads faced was being harassed and provoked by the natives of California as well as the Sheriffs of California. They had to deal with the rude and snide remarks of the Californians, which led to the internal conflict that they had to face within themselves to control their anger against the rude Sheriffs. This was shown through Tom. He went on a constant roller coaster trying to control his spouts or uncontrolled anger. Once again this is representative of the conflict that most other Southerners faced as well.
    The characters within this story symbolize the different reactions of the people to the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Tom Joad, represented the common people who reacted calmly and rationally to the destitute time, but later, as they learned more, they became fighters against the cruelties of the people of California and the Sheriffs. Mama Joad, represents the people who united in order to deal with the depression. The pregnant Rose of Sharon represents the people that had hopes and dreams, that were soon crushed by the impossible times of the depression. Rose of Sharon became pregnant, right as the Great Depression began. She was soon forced to flea her home and became lost in her families adventure to survive. She also had many dreams. As like many other Southerners, her stillborn represents everything that could of been, but just didn’t work out. In addition, the preacher Jim Casey, represents the free thinkers who rebelled and took action. This is repeatedly shown by his actions of first taking the blame to save others, and then followed by leading the strikes of the underpaid laborers. These characters sum up the most common reactions of the different people during the Great Depression.
    In many cases, the settings are exactly the same as during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, except for a few minor changes, such as Arven’s Federal Government camp. It was modified for the story to the Weedpatch Government camp. This is apparent because in both of the government camps, the people in them were united. In addition the government camps were the only places that the Sheriffs were not allowed. As in the story, the real crisis of the Dust Bowl caused many families to migrate to California in hope of a better life. The parts of the story where the new families to California, soon find themselves disappointed and hopeless, is concurrent with the theme, that everyone in the South felt. Some felt it to more of a degree then other, while others felt less, but in all, everyone felt it.
    This story is representative of the people’s stories during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Almost every aspect of this story is congruent to those two historical events in history. The struggles during the destitute time period are symbolized, the people are symbolized, and the setting are even represented to a “T”.

    • 24. Logan J.  |  May 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm

      I agree woth you Amylee. In my book, the main conflict is the death of the mother of a family. She was the one who held everyone together. When she died, everything started drifting apart and it was hard for the family to remain intact. The father had promised to bury her with her family (where she came from). They go through many dangerous tasks to get her there, instead of just tasking the easy way out and burying her anywhere. My point is that, in both of our books, everything revolved around family. they got eachother through the hard times. When someone is taken away from that, people’s lives begin to fall apart.

    • 25. MSantos  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:31 pm

      Your book is similar to mine because in Te Secret Garden Mary(the main character) and Colin nedded each other in order to get well and become better people because both of their families either died or neglected them

  • 26. Wynter S.H  |  May 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    The title of the novel that I read for Classic American Literature is titled “The Awakening”, by author Kate Chopin. It is an American fiction novel that is set in the nineteenth century, in the south.

    In the novel, protagonist, Edna Pontellier, a twenty eight year old wife and mother, discovers freedom and awareness within herself. The story begins on Grand Isle, a summer resort. Edna, with her children and husband, are vacationing there. Leonce Pontellier, Edna’s husband, is a wealthy businessman and constantly has to leave on business trips. His lack of absence causes Edna to befriend residence of Grand Isle. She soon finds a feeling of freedom and awareness while her husband is away. During her process of self-discovery or, “awakening”, Edna befriends a man name Robert Lebrun, who is known for choosing a woman each summer. Edna and Robert began to have a good friendship. When with Robert, Edna felt more alive and was energetic and happy. Her days consisted of painting and ignoring her daily responsibilities. Away from Robert, when Edna was with her husband she felt drained and became disobedient to her husband. The relationship between Edna and Robert starts off innocently at first, but progresses throughout the summer. After leaving and returning back to Grand Isle, Robert at last expresses his true love for Edna. Despite his love, Robert refuses to continue his love Affair with Edna, reminding her of her two children. Though these events occur Edna fully gains her spiritual and moral evolution and awareness. The story concludes with Edna’s choice to swim beyond the horizon where she never again has to face life and its many challenges.

    Author Kate Chopin bases this story on the American Women Suffrage Movement. During this time in history, women were thought to be less and weaker than men. Women were the property of men and had about the same rights as African slaves did. Women were unable to vote, secure loans, buy property, to be well educated, and were limited to certain types of jobs, etc. In this time period women were only seen as mothers and wives. They were considered second class citizens. “A woman’s place is in the home!”

    Edna Pontellier, is on the fore front of the Woman Suffrage Movement. During the eighteen nineties, Edna’s behavior would not be uncommon in today’s society. However, her behavior is not that of a respectful woman of our time, as she would be considered a adulterer and a fornicator. Even though her actions were unacceptable for a woman or man, she helps women to see that they equal to men and that they can find themselves.

    • 27. A. Hernandez  |  May 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm

      Wynter I 100% agree with your descritpion of Edna and her role in todays society. Even though she would be considered a hero, for opening up she would also be considered an adulter. It is true that she is drained when she is with her husband,and I think that the reason is because she seems to express herself more as well as liberate her emotions. I also like the way you included the Womens suffrage movements, I was able to view the time period alot better with these examples.

    • 28. Bianca C.N.  |  May 11, 2009 at 12:08 am

      I utterly agree with the fact that women were viewed as incompetent inferior beings and were to stay at home to maintain the family. That was their sole purpose in life; to grow up and learn the skills for their future househoulds. They deserve the right to make their own business or choose what they want to do in life.

  • 29.  |  May 7, 2009 at 1:34 am

    Robert, and Brian I agree with you. Gatsby did get rich for Daisy’s love. As I know historically, Fitzgerald built this book by its cover, which is really interesting! In my opinion, I think that the author spread his personality in Tom and Gatsby, as well as Nick. He also used Daisy and Jordan Baker as his objects on how he thinks of Ginevra, and how she was.

  • 30. Hanni S.  |  May 7, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    “White Fang” was written by Jack London. It is an adventuruous fictional novel and takes place in the late 1800’s.It’s right around 1897.
    Within the deep expanses of the Yukon Terrority, one might be suprised to find traces of American history expressed by the story of a wolf that goes on a journey of becoming tamed. The Manifest Destiny is expressed throughout the novel. For example; when the white men and Native Americans interact, the white men begin to settle down and start to bring their belongings and beloved ones over into the west from the east and/or overseas.The relationships between the white men and Native Americans are also expressed in the novel. There is deceitfulness on the part of Beauty Smith, a white man, who tricks Gray Beaver, a Native American, into selling his dog for practically nothing. This westward expansion changed the lives for many because they had to adjust to a new lifestyle, environment, and people. The Klondike Gold Rush occured in the book indirectly. Weeton Scott, who is the first and only “love-master” that shows sincere kindness to White Fang, meets White Fang because he is in the Yukon Territory for the gold rush. As Weeton Scott returns to his home and family, he passes through San Fransico. There are about 3 or 4 paragraphs describing the new and unusual sights and sounds of how White Fang percieves the new place. The description is one of wonderment and dislike. Also, this description depicts the process of evolution and economic developement within the big cities of that time period. The attitude and persona of White Fang depicts the determination of settlers fairly well during that time period. They had a will, a dream, a chance to survive and prosper. The same type of strength is depicted through White Fang’s character. There is also mention in the book of the start of illegal dog fights. White Fang takes place in many of these fights to the death and succeeds in surviving. Thus, the novel is mainly about the journey of White Fang’s will to survive.

    • 31. Adrianna V.  |  May 10, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      My novel, “My Antonia” is very similar to “White Fang”. This novel also discusses the westward movement that took place through the Homestead Act. While this novel discusses the hardships for the new settlers it never once discusses the hardships that must have occurred for the Native Americans and the animals that were displaced in the westward movement.

    • 32. Charisse M.S.  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:30 pm

      Wow, Hanni. My book seems really similar to your book.My book is written about people being around the 1880s-1900s. The characters in my book, “My Antonia” had went to go settle in America, to start over again. The Character, Antonia Shimerda, a Bohemian girl, and her family went to America and were not used to the state they lived in. They also had struggles to live life in a new environment, and for her mother, she was not able to adapt quick enough to be able to run her farm well enough. So, the sum of my story is that it was also the struggle of a new coming immigrant family, and their struggles to live on a prairie, in Nebraska, and becoming successful.

  • 33. Olivia K. D.  |  May 7, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    My book, “The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald is an American Literature novel surround by the craziness and chaos of the roaring 1920’s.
    First of all, the story takes place in New York, to be more specific on the islands of West Egg, where Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby are from, and East Egg, where Daisy and Tom Buchanan live. These places are where the rich of the town call home. In the 1920’s the economy was thriving and many people bought extravagant houses like Mr. Gatsby had.
    In the times of the roaring 20’s everyone was living life to the fullest and partying to the sweet rising sound of jazz. This is comparable to the huge parties Mr. Gatsby had, to impress his desired love, Daisy.
    The 1920’s was also associated with modernity, where people broken traditions. In “The Great Gatsby” we learned about many people having affairs, which is probably because everyone felt risky and unlike traditonal marriage.

    • 34. Nicole K. C.  |  May 9, 2009 at 7:59 pm

      Olivia points out the seperation of Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby from Daisy and Tom Buchanan. Each lived on a seprate island, but also had different views and ways of expressing their feelings. Those on the West Egg had a more honest approach towards love and on the East Egg their was much secrecy.

      • 35. Mrs. N  |  May 10, 2009 at 8:24 pm

        …And yet there is a deeper explanation of the two lifestyles?????
        Can you think of it?

  • 36. Breana.A.S.  |  May 7, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    For my Independent Reading Assignment I read the book “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath.

    This novel is about a young woman by the name of Esther who over the course of the story descends into madness and manages to escape from then even with repeated suicide attempts. This story takes place in the mid 1950’s in Boston and New York.

    The historical connection in this book would be the restricted roll of women in 1950’s America. In the 1950’s American women were seen as diligent homemakers. The one’s who cooked, cleaned, raised and looked after the children and waited on their husbands hand and foot. In the 1950’s women were also starting to work in factories due to the loss of man power during WWII. The character that best represents this in the story is Esther’s mother. She looked after Ester while she was staying with her and also had a job teaching shorthand during the days. Another character that expresses the image of women during the 50’s is Doreen, Esther’s roommate during her trip to New York. Doreen was a party-girl on the trip, although she she is a party-girl she depended mostly on men to take care of her.

    • 37. Emily F.  |  May 9, 2009 at 10:53 pm

      Breana, as you know we share the same book but unlike you I never even saw that. You have a very strong point in the fact that Esther’s mother had a lot of responsiblity on her hands since Esther’s father was no longer alive. She was the true definition of a single mother. I also agree with what you said about Doreen which I find kind of funny because when Esther is describing her in the beginning of the book she comments on how she admires her “free spirit” which now that i think about it is not all that free.

    • 38. Ndungi N.S.  |  May 10, 2009 at 8:14 pm

      Breana clearly highlights comparisons of life during the 1950s for four women from two perspectives. Many women during the 1950s had difficult lives such as limited roles in society.
      Caring for and raising children were known to be close to their only role in society. After World War II, since many men were killed in battle, women had an even responsiblity to take after, such as working in factories. Esther represents many physically and mentally strong females during this time, while Doreen represents male-dependancy during this time. These two comparisons to periods in history are great examples of this time period. I really enjoyed reading this book.

    • 39. Danielle L  |  May 10, 2009 at 11:33 pm

      Breana, like Emily I didn’t think of the connection between the mother and the restricted roll of women in that time. Of course I see it now! Thanks. Maybe what Esther ment by free spirited is that Doreen knows how to party and isn’t afraid to get connected with a guy. It may be free spiritede to party all the time, but to get tied down to a guy isn’t all that free spirited.

  • 40. A. Hernandez  |  May 8, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    The Awakening, by Kate Chopin is a Historical Fiction Novel, that takes place during the Great Economic depression in America during the late 1800s.

    The story takes place in Grand Isle, a summer resort. Edna Pontellier, the main character, is able to open herself up,when her husband Leonce, a loving but workoholic man, leaves Edna and her two kids alone at this summer resort. With the help of a married man named Adele Ratignolle, she is able to find her freedom of expression which allows her to liberate her emotions and her desires. The process that Edna goes thorugh referrs back to the title “The Awakening”, which conveys her awakening.

    The late 1800s, whent back to the womens right to vote and there ability to have a say in the world. In today’s society womens right to vote and their right to express their emotions has come a long way. Edna’s emotions would be welcome, but during her time period she should be recognised as a hero for stepping up, and being able to open up and show her emotions.

    READ THIS ONE !!!!!

  • 41. Kayla A P  |  May 8, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison
    historical nonfiction

    “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison is the story of an African American man living in Harlem in the 1930’s. The story begins with the author explaining how he almost murdered a white man who insulted him, until he realized he is “invisible.” That is, invisible to whites. They choose not to see him, and therefore they are blind, blind because they cannot see the individual for who he is. This theme reflects the racism in America during the 1930’s. During this time, especially in the early 1930’s, where most of the story takes place, many political activist groups, such as the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and the Citizens’ League for Fair Play organized protests, boycotts, and rallies against prejudice, and fought for the rights of African Americans. During the main plot of the story, the unnamed narrator works for an activist group called “The Brotherhood,” where his gift to make moving speeches is put to use. However, even within the integrated group, people are blind to him. The leaders of the Brotherhood only allow him to talk about certain things in a certain way, yet do not listen when he believes something is wrong or right. Even one of the stronger activists, Brother Clifton, an African American, does not realize he is being made to act a certain role that society believes he should be in. The narrator says it took him a while to realize it, but his invisibility can be an advantage, and in the end he decides he will make people see, and be a voice that people may not want to see, and make a difference that they will see.

    Another way the racism of America is reflected starts when the narrator is a boy. This part of the story most likely took place more in the 1920’s in the Southern American states. When he is a boy, the narrator is a fortunate young man who attends school. Because he had made an outstanding speech at his high school graduation, he was allowed the chance to recite it to several important white men at a party. Before he is allowed to give his speech, he and several other African Americans of his age are forced to battle blindfolded for the white men’s entertainment. “The Battle Royale,” as it was called, is an example of the roles African Americans were forced to play, in the battle and in society. After the grueling battle, the narrator is allowed to make his speech, and the white men reward him with a scholarship to an all-black college. At this college, he is given the “privilege” of driving one of the white founders of the college around campus. He takes him to a poor part of the negro town, and is expelled for not lying to the white man and allowing him to think everything at the college campus was perfect. From here he embarks on his journey up to Harlem, where he discovers his curse of invisibility to 1930’s America.

    • 42. Christine H.  |  May 10, 2009 at 11:37 pm

      My novel “Farewell to Manzanar” is also during a period of racial injustice and segregation. The “invisible” man has many similarities to the Japanese after Pearl Harbor the two are not appreciated for their culture, but they are labeled by ethnicity. Their voices are not heard and their opinions have no meaning. The causes of both their problems are indirectly from their government who make decisions based on racial injustice, discrimination and ignorance. The government’s ignorance caused them to fear the Japanese ancestry after the Pearl Harbor attack and caused them to be blinded in seeing the identity of individuals who were Japanese or African American as in the “Invisible Man” even in their organizations for the rights of equality, discrimination occurred by limiting what the “invisible” man could or should say.

  • 43. Wynter S.H  |  May 8, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Breana, the historical connection in your book is similar to mine. I agree that, during that period in time, women were seen as being the ones who “waited hand and foot” on their husbands. The character Doreen in your story seems similar to Edna the character in my novel “The Awakening”, in which she was outgoing and some what different from the, typical women of that time. However my character did not rely on men to take care of her, she was independent. I believe that characters like Doreen and Edna helped women in the movement for their own freedom.

  • 44. Sebastian C.W.  |  May 9, 2009 at 10:44 am

    “The Chocolate War”
    Robert Cormier
    Young Adult Fiction
    1970’s (The Vietnam War, Drafts)
    “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier tells the story of Jerry Renault who refuses to sell chocolates for a school fundraiser, an act which angers the Vigils, a local “gang” who finds ways to control the entire school. Published in 1974, “The Chocolate War” maintains very few ties with its time period. The only hint towards its setting is when Jerry Renault has an encounter with a hippie (for a lack of a more appropriate word) at a bus stop who taunts him by stating, “Go get your bus, square boy… You’re missing a lot of things in the world, better not miss that bus.” The author’s diction when using slang words also contributes to the setting. The time period’s effect in the book was to show the confusion and tribulations of a teenager at the time. During the Vietnam War, drafts were put in place which plucked teenagers fresh from high school and placed them in the military regardless of their opinion, a situation that would be very trying for a student Jerry’s age. Though Jerry never faced the drafts they may have been an affecting force when the author developed the theme of teenage confusion and search for reasons.

    Indifference, a theme we discussed during “Night,” may have also been an influence towards the conflict. During the Vietnam War, as well as in most wars, even today, we see and hear of all the horrible things that happen to allies and foes. Though we may feel sympathy, most of us seem to say “It’s nothing new. That’s just the way the world goes ’round.” This may have contributed to the conflict between Jerry and the cruel and vicious upper-class men, the Vigils. The Vigils acted without remorse, ensuring that what they wanted was fulfilled, through violence or otherwise. The Vigils beat and taunted Jerry endlessly throughout the entire novel. In fact, many of the everyday students did not sympathize for Jerry. Many of them believed that the Vigils were right, that Jerry should just sell the chocolates. Roland “Goober” Goubert, one of Jerry’s friends, did feel sorry for him, yet did not act in protest. Indifference.

    It is apparent that the events of the time period were contributing factors to the plot of the novel. Though the author does not directly connect any of the events in the book to those of the time, with a bit of analysis, the links are somewhat obvious.

    I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone willing to read a good book.

  • 45. A.Membreno  |  May 9, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    For my report I decided to read “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier.

    “The Chocolate War” takes place in the 1970’s and is about a teenage boy who is chosen for an assignment by the schools unspoken of society called The Vigils. Jerry Renault’s assignment is to refuse selling chocolates at the school’s annual chocolate sale. Archie Costello, the leader of The Vigils, told Brother Leon he would help with the sale. Instead he has told Jerry not to sell any chocolates. As a result Jerry ends up defying Brother Leon and The Vigils.

    Archie Costello uses whatever he has to manipulate the minds of students as well as the minds of The Vigils. He has a great understanding of the human mind and uses it for his own well being. Archie is able to use this on the students who get an assignment from The Vigils and on Brother Leon as well. Our 37th President, Richard M. Nixon was able to use information he had to manipulate American voters. A newspaper falsely accused Jerry Voorhis of having the CIO PAC’s (a conmunist labor group) endorsement. Voorhis was an anticommunist and refused to accept an endorsement unless the PAC renounced every communist influence. Even though Voorhis sad he nver took this endorsement everyone was on Nixon’s side. During a debate Voorhis asked to see the evidence of this endorsement. Nixon’s campaign manager handed him an endorsement of the NCPAC not the CIO but people still didn’t believe Voorhis. President Nixon and Archie Costello are both able to use their minds as a way to change peoples course of thought for their own benefit.

    • 46. Natalie G.J.  |  May 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm

      While reading your blog, I was reminded of Hitler since he also manipulated people’s minds. He did this by saying he was going to restore Germany, which got people excited to vote for him. However as we all know, he did not keep his promise and because of that I believe he lied and manipulated people just to reach his own personal goals and to benefit himself.

    • 47. S. Huizar  |  May 10, 2009 at 1:40 pm

      You said that Archie Costello uses whatever he has to manipulate the minds of others. Does he manipulate their minds to get what he wants?

      My character Hank Morgan, from “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”, does hte same thing. He uses his knowledge of events that happened in the future to influence the minds of the society he is in.

    • 48.  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:09 pm

      This book sounds really interesting. I love how the title is so capturing and makes it sound so interesting yet it is still able to connect to a time in America. I like how you compared this to President Nixon.

  • 49. Michael T.  |  May 9, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, chronicles the protagonist Esther’s life as she makes a slow descent into insanity. It was written and takes place in the mid 1950’s and this is an evident influence on the events and characters in the book, which taken directly from Plath’s life, but since this book is pseudo-autobiography, these events are often exaggerated for advancement of the plot.

    The novel begins with Esther on an internship at a Magazine in New York, she is very uninterested in the glamor and nuance that all of her fellow roommates are enjoying, though she does seem to admire her friend Doreen’s carefree attitude. After returning from the trip she find her self at home where her mother soon tells her that she as been denied for a learning program she applied for with a famous author. After which she, ironically, decides that she will write a novel but decides she does have enough life experiences to make it a successful one. Esther continues on her summer and on several occasion attempts to commit suicide, until she is finally committed to a mental institution.

    All of this is taken straight from Plath’s life, from the internships to the suicide attempts all these things are things Plath experienced at some point in her life. Making the book very accurate to her life and the time period since it is used as an almost manifesto. It is also relevant to say that unlike Ester, Plath did successfully end her life a month after the publishing of this book.

    With the fifties being a time a time of uncertainty in the American people, lying right between two large wars, and being a period of economic rise following the great depression, we resorted to what we believed to be our core values. This transitional period with which we are all so familiar with is the basis for a lot of struggle within the novel, as it is excruciatingly hard for a mentally unstable nonconformist to exist in a time where the country was at it traditionalist roots. With every subject from women and mens duties to religion to manners and class be closed to debate, Esther was struggling with herself and her drive to be the person she wanted to be. Something not accepted in a time where the country wanted all of its people to be what it needed them to be.

    Both of these immense influences, time period and Plath’s life, drove the writing and reason for writing this novel in the way that it was, and provided the groundwork for the central conflict, and possibly even the path to the insanity itself.

    • 50. Fernando J. E.  |  May 10, 2009 at 11:33 am

      Edna in “The Awakening” has the same goal as Esther in your novel. The pursuit to be their own person. While the struggles were different they both had their eyes on the prize, Unlike Esther, Edna did SUCCESSFULLY suicide, but it was her way to escape the binds of her Victorian society. Just goes to show that this struggle is constant in this time period.

    • 51.  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:21 pm

      my book “the catcher in the rye” was also written in the 1950s and haulden takes a similar path to insanity. throughout the book he tells us about all these phonies he’s known. at the end of the book he talks about all the phonies and how he misses all the people he’s talked so much crap about. the book never says he’s crazy but i think he is. he also struggles with himself to not be everything he’s always hated but has a hard time doing so. I can conect.

  • 52. Nicole K. C.  |  May 9, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    “The Great Gatsby”
    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Historical Fiction
    1920’s
    “The Great Gatsby” is told by the narrattor Nick Carraway, who is just making his way into the world. Along the way he runs into old aqquaintances and soon becomes caught up in their problems. The carelessness of the time, for it was right before The great Depression hit, sets the mood of the story. Many think because they have money nothing can hurt them, but they are wrong for the heart is a powerful weapon and can easily be broken.
    While reading “The Great Gatsby” the reader realizes that there are many lovers that cross paths and tension arise. it is discovered that there are affairs going on between the characters. Are they not satisfied with what they have? Do they just want more? Do they realize that in the end they will not only hurt their compaion, but also themselves? It was a time where money was flowing and people were always buying more. People went bankrupt as the stocks fell later on, their hope died. A single character in the book was killed, he had invested his heart in love but the investment was a loss.
    “And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seem so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know it was already bhind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled under the night.
    Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year that recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning…”
    A single light in a long dark hallway, it may be very dim yet we follow it. Why is this? The reason we do is because we are so used to the concept that something good will be there. We do not what is behind that door that is producing the light, for it maybe something very awful. The same goes for ideas. There are ideas that we have in our heads that we believe will lead to a bright future. In a time of darkness we follow that glimmer of hope. One may mistake a warning as an opprotunity. A light at the end of a dock is to warn boaters to not crash into it. Gatsby thought there was an opprotunity for him to be with Daisy, yet he was fooled and his heart was involved ina deadly crash.

    • 53. Olivia K. D.  |  May 9, 2009 at 7:19 pm

      “The Great Gatsby” is the novel i also chose to read. I enjoyed hearing Nicole’s thoughts on the book, and liked how she viewed it from the love aspect. I agree because during the “Roaring 20’s” people were feeling risky and having affairs. These people gave everything to anyone, because they were able to be careless because they felt like since they had the money everything was going to be okay. They later found out it was not. Like how in the 1920’s American people partied and spurlged on life. Then came the Great Depression, like the killings of Myrtle and Gatsby, which made people take a step back and realize, life shouldn’t be only partying and craziness.Even in the 1920’s, Fitzgerald had the foresight to see that the era of excess and living beyond ones means had to come to an end.

      • 54. Adanna A.O.  |  May 11, 2009 at 12:42 am

        “The Great Gatsby” and “The Scarlet Letter” are relatable in the sense that people in the stories were having affairs; however, it is very different because Hester, the main character in my book , wasn’t having an affair because she wanted to be risky but because she really loved DImmesdale and I don’t believe she ever loved her husband.

    • 55. Kayla A P  |  May 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm

      Although I didn’t read the Great Gatsby, I agree with Nicole that the time period sets the mood of the story, as it also does in my book, “Invisible Man.” Just like Nicole mentions, the ignorance about nothing hurting you is conveyed in the 1920’s. Although this era is only in the beginning of my book, this part is about a huge party with lots of drinking.
      I also like how the era went with the story, not just the money, but the love story, which apparently is also careless. Nicole made the connection of wanting more and not thinking of the consequences to the people’s affair’s, which may also be because of the time period.

  • 56. Andria N.R.  |  May 9, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain, is an American fiction novel. It is set in the eighteenth century. It takes place during the Gilded Age.The novel during the Gilded Age represents a nostalgic look back at a simpler time in American History. This novel is about a young boy growing up in the antebellum south St. Petersburg, Missouri. Even though the novel takes place in the south it never deals directly with slavery.
    The tension shown in this novel would be society’s hypocrisy shown throughout the novel. Twain exposes the hypocrisy through the childness of the social institutions such as school,as well as public opinion. For example, “Huckleberry was cordially hated and dreaded by all the mothers of the town because he was idle, lawless,vulgar,and bad.”

    • 57. Hanni S.  |  May 9, 2009 at 4:49 pm

      “White Fang” and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” really have nothing similar about the two. However, when I compared the two books based off the information that Andria N. R. wrote, the main characters have a lot in common. White Fang and Huckleberry were both disliked and dreaded by many. They both were into mischeif and did what they pleased. Who knew that a wolf and a boy in different time periods could be so similar?

    • 58. Andrea M.Z.  |  May 9, 2009 at 6:40 pm

      I read the same exact novel you read. I found it interesting that Tom could know what the meaning of love is at such a young age. What do you thnk about this? Also how do you feel about the way Huck is treated by adults and some children in this novel? I believe that this represents how people are quick to judge someone before getting to really know them. This part of the story has been bugging me for a while, when the widow Douglas takes Huck in as her own son. Do you think that she would have done that if Huck didn’t have so much money? I don’t know about you but based on the time period, the Gilded Age, I believe that she wouldn’t have since that was a time where money mattered a lot. Overall I enjoyed reading this novel. Hope I get your insight on it soon.

    • 59. Hannah W. A.  |  May 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm

      I read Tom Sawyer as well and I agree with Andria, but not only did the mothers and such not accept Huck, they didn’t accept Tom either for hanging around with him. Throughout the novel, the other mothers can be seen being nice to Tom when he’s with his Aunt Polly, but not so much when he’s with Huck. Athroughout most of the novel, you can find things that are still true in American society, to this day, like people and those hanging around with them not being accepted.

    • 60. Andrea M.Z.  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:29 pm

      I read the same exact novel you read. I found it interesting that Tom could know what the meaning of love is at such a young age. What do you thnk about this? Also how do you feel about the way Huck is treated by adults and some children in this novel? I believe that this represents how people are quick to judge someone before getting to really know them. This part of the story has been bugging me for a while, when the widow Douglas takes Huck in as her own son. Do you think that she would have done that if Huck didn’t have so much money? I don’t know about you but based on the time period, the Gilded Age, I believe that she wouldn’t have since that was a time where money mattered a lot. Overall I enjoyed reading this novel. Hope I get your insight on it soon.

    • 61. Andrea M.Z.  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:48 pm

      In reply to Andria N.R., I read the same exact novel you read. I found it interesting that Tom could know what the meaning of love is at such a young age. What do you thnk about this? Also how do you feel about the way Huck is treated by adults and some children in this novel? I believe that this represents how people are quick to judge someone before getting to really know them. This part of the story has been bugging me for a while, when the widow Douglas takes Huck in as her own son. Do you think that she would have done that if Huck didn’t have so much money? I don’t know about you but based on the time period, the Gilded Age, I believe that she wouldn’t have since that was a time where money mattered a lot. Overall I enjoyed reading this novel. Hope I get your insight on it soon.

    • 62. breanna j.  |  May 14, 2009 at 6:04 pm

      In w way my main character grew up like yours due to the fact that he was hated by others, but unfortunately he was forced into the work in which he hated because of the fact that his parents were extremely religious.

  • 63. Natalie G.J.  |  May 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    “My Antonia”, by Willa Cather is one of the best books I have ever read, since it accurately portrays the hard life that many immigrants faced coming to America during the late 19th century. This book mainly tells the story of Jim Burden and his childhood friend, Antonia, while growing up in Nebraska’s prairies during 1880-1910.
    Antonia and her family (the Shimerdas)are Bohemian, new to the country, in order to reach the American Dream. In this aspect, the Bohemians are very similar to immigrant families then and now, wanting to achieve prosperity according to their talent. However, when they arrive in America, their house is not really a house, but a cave, made of sod. In addition, when they first arrive, the family is very poor, having spent and getting cheated of their money on the house, some necessities, and the trip to America. The family symbolizes the many families that went through the same things during the late 19th century, such as poverty and living in houses made out of sod due to their poverty. They also symbolize a large number of people who were also cheated of their money by spending a lot on what was only worth a little. This is very sad since this story was repeated over and over again then and now.
    However, the family’s situation goes from bad to worse when Mr. Shimerda commits suicide due to his longing for his old country. After the funeral, his oldest son Ambrosch puts his little sister, Antonia, to work in the fields, since their father is dead. This conflicts with the out-dated tradition that women should stay at home while the men work in the fields. The narrator, Jim, acknowledges this and thinks that a farmer’s life spoiled Antonia into a rough person. Apparently the surrounding farmers thought so too since they often joked about it.
    Throughout this book many references are made to immigrant life and its hardships. This book reflects how it was then and how it is now, though under different circumstances, for newly arrived immigrants struggling in America.

  • 64. Andrea M.Z.  |  May 9, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain takes place in 1834 in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. It also takes place during the “Gilded Age”. Gilded, meaning coated in gold, represents how America’s wealthy acted during that time period. This novel aslo takes place during the time of slavery. Although Mark Twain does not go too deep into this topic, the racial bias is still mentioned in the novel.
    The novel tells the tale of a young boy named Tom Sawyer and his “partner in crime” Hicklebery Finn. Tom Sawyer was an orphan who was taken in by his Aunt Polly. He hated the customs of the “proper” life during that time and he longed to be able to do what he wanted, whenever he wanted (having total freedom). Huck had everything that Tom wanted. People looked down upon Huck for being the son of the town drunk and for living a laid back/lazy lifestyle, but Tom saw the side of Huck that adults didn’t. That side was that Huck basically had nothing to his name, but he was happy living that way. He didn’t care what other people thought of him.
    Throughout the novel, critical moments forced Tom to ignore his childish concerns and he instead made mature and responsible decisions. In a nut-shell, this novel has the theme of growing up. Tom did that by 1. Testifying against a murder 2. Taking the blame and punishment of the girl he loved and 3. Using his wits to save Becky and himself from dieing in the cave. Those are harsh things that a child shouldn’t have to go through, but by experiencing all of those mind-twisting events, Tom entered maturity. The light at the end of the cave symbolizes just that, Tom leaving behind his childish past and entering into semi-adulthood (since he was still a young boy).

  • 65. Jenevie A.  |  May 9, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    “The Great Gatsby”
    by: F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Historical Fiction
    1920’s

    This novel was taken place in the early 1920’s. It tells of a man, Jay Gatzby, who throws spectacular parties to impress his love, Daisy. Gatzby was a very rich man and he was careless about his money and how he spent it. He would buy anything to impress and get Daisy back. The roaring 20’s was a time of prosperity. The upper classes would be careless and buy everything. It was a very good time for the US. Everyone would throw extravagant parties and just live life to the fullest. They were careless with their money.

    Jay Gatzby represents the Upper class and the way they would live their life. All this spending and partying lead to the Great Depression which started in 1929. The upper class is parallel to Jay Gatzby, who would throw parties and buy everything for Daisy, but the outcome for Jay Gatzby was bad.
    Jay Gatzby also represented the optimism that America had during the roaring 20’s. Jay Gatzby was very optimistic about winning Daisy back even though she was marries to Tom Buchanan he also went away for a while and came back with new hopes and hoping for a fresh start. Gatzby is parallel to Americas optimism for the new decade. After surviving WWI and the influenza epidemic America was hoping for a new and fresh start.

    • 66. M. Africa  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:36 pm

      This connection is very similar to my book, Pride and Prejudice. In my book all the characters are from the high class, and are all rich. They are also very elegant and all about balls and getting a date, as it was in the roaring 20’s. They were all after a good time and romance.

      • 67. breanna j.  |  May 14, 2009 at 6:07 pm

        Really ? that’s extremely interesting because I planned on reading that book for my next in class novel. Your comment just made me interested in it even more

  • 68. Jenevie A.  |  May 9, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    “The Great Gatsby”
    by: F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Historical Fiction
    1920’s

    This novel was taken place in the early 1920’s. It tells of a man, Jay Gatsby, who throws spectacular parties to impress his love, Daisy. Gatsby was a very rich man and he was careless about his money and how he spent it. He would buy anything to impress and get Daisy back. The roaring 20’s was a time of prosperity. The upper classes would be careless and buy everything. It was a very good time for the US. Everyone would throw extravagant parties and just live life to the fullest. They were careless with their money.

    Jay Gatsby represents the Upper class and the way they would live their life. All this spending and partying lead to the Great Depression which started in 1929. The upper class is parallel to Jay Gatsby, who would throw parties and buy everything for Daisy, but the outcome for Jay Gatsby was bad.

    Jay Gatsby also represented the optimism that America had during the roaring 20’s. Jay Gatsby was very optimistic about winning Daisy back even though she was marries to Tom Buchanan he also went away for a while and came back with new hopes and hoping for a fresh start. Gatsby is parallel to America’s optimism for the new decade. After surviving WWI and the influenza epidemic America was hoping for a new and fresh start.

    • 69. Joshua B.  |  May 9, 2009 at 11:26 pm

      Even though “The Great Gatsby” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” aren’t too similar, it is funny that “The Great Gatsby” shows a carelessness within society because Tom Sawyer also shows that same sense of carelessness throughout the novel.

    • 70. Lauren B  |  May 10, 2009 at 11:21 am

      I agree with Jenevie!!

  • 71. Andrea M.Z.  |  May 9, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
    Mark Twain
    Picaresque genre
    1834

    “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain takes place in 1834 in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. It also takes place during the “Gilded Age”. Gilded, meaning coated in gold, represents how America’s wealthy acted during that time period. This novel aslo takes place during the time of slavery. Although Mark Twain does not go too deep into this topic, the racial bias is still mentioned in the novel.
    The novel tells the tale of a young boy named Tom Sawyer and his “partner in crime” Hicklebery Finn. Tom Sawyer was an orphan who was taken in by his Aunt Polly. He hated the customs of the “proper” life during that time and he longed to be able to do what he wanted, whenever he wanted (having total freedom). Huck had everything that Tom wanted. People looked down upon Huck for being the son of the town drunk and for living a laid back/lazy lifestyle, but Tom saw the side of Huck that adults didn’t. That side was that Huck basically had nothing to his name, but he was happy living that way. He didn’t care what other people thought of him.
    Throughout the novel, critical moments forced Tom to ignore his childish concerns and he instead made mature and responsible decisions. In a nut-shell, this novel has the theme of growing up. Tom did that by 1. Testifying against a murder 2. Taking the blame and punishment of the girl he loved and 3. Using his wits to save Becky and himself from dieing in the cave. Those are harsh things that a child shouldn’t have to go through, but by experiencing all of those mind-twisting events, Tom entered maturity. The light at the end of the cave symbolizes just that, Tom leaving behind his childish past and entering into semi-adulthood (since he was still a young boy).

  • 72. Emily F.  |  May 9, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, is a pseudo-autobiographic novel set in the 1950s. The protagonist Esther Greenwood is a college student who gets an internship at a magazine in New York for one month over the summer. While there she stays in a hotel with eleven other women all there for the same reasons. Unlike many of the other women there, Esther never really becomes excited about what she is doing. After one of the banquets the women attend they all, except for one woman who had been absent from this event, came down with food poisoning. In this time Esther begins to reflect on some things in her life and make plans for the rest of her summer.

    When she turns to her home she learns that she has not been accepted to the writing class that she had been planned to attend. So in light of this she decides to stay home and write a novel. This was the first summer that she has stayed home in many years. With nothing to do and no where to go she quickly becomes bored. She begins thinking more and more about her future and soon becomes worried about what she will do after college. Where will she go? What will she do? Who is it that she wishes to become? None of these questions she knew the answer to and this was very unsettling and strange for her because she had always known what she wanted and she always got it. Now she had no idea what to do.

    In the 1950s the Great Depression and WWll was over and people beginning to start over. For some this wasn’t too big a deal but for others this was lifechanging. Life changing in the sense that they were ending one life and beginning a new one. Some people who had fought in the war were forced to start over completely when they realized that there was nothing left.

    The people of the 1950s and Esther Greenwood were caught in the same unfortunate situation. They had lived the same way all of their lives until one day everything changed and they were forced to start over. The people had to find a way to begin their lives again. Esther had to find herself again.

  • 73. Joshua B.  |  May 9, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”
    Mark Twain
    Historical Fiction
    1876

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer takes place during the Gilded Age (which is when the growth of industry and the wave of immigrants began coming in to play), and is about the story of Tom Sawyer, who lives in The Antebellum South by the Mississippi River. Even though this book takes place right after the Civil War and in the South, it has no reference to the racism taking place during that time.
    One of the tension’s (how hard it is to be an American at the time) in the novel can be seen through the one of the novel’s characters, Huckleberry Finn, and also the theme which is Social Hypocrisy.
    The Gilded Age is sometimes referred to as a period of corruption. The Social Hypocrisy in The Adventures Tom Sawyer reflects this corruption because of the foolishness of so-called authority figures (Ex. the school, church, etc.) and the subtle mature actions of Tom through out the story. Huck Finn also showed a tension of America at the time. This is because he was able to find his only freedom by excluding himself from the rest of society and because of this, society regarded him as a bad and vulgar person. There is hypocrisy in this because even the so-called authority figures did this and in society, authority figures are supposed to be the voice of reason, but yet in this, they are foolishly judging that which they do not fully understand.

  • 74. Elizabeth C.  |  May 9, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    The Native Son by Richard Wright is a novel of social protest that takes place in the 1930’s. During this time African Americans were dealing with racial injustice, segregation. The protagonist, Bigger Thomas is a poor African American who lives crammed in one room with his family. Black and whites in this book were separated by neighborhoods. He sees the whites as evil people and does not trust them. He believes that all whites are the same and therefore hates them. Inside holds much anger because he sees the whites as demanding people that determine what he can do and where he can live.
    The conflicts and mistreating Bigger goes through ties into what was happening during that time in America. Much of what Bigger went through, the South also went through. The novel represents the African Americans who at times had no say in their rights. After Bigger is captured he refuses to confess to the truth because he says no one will listen to him. Bigger knew that they would judge him because he was black and immediately knew they would accuse him of rape. Like Bigger, African Americans were judged and innocently accused. The racial injustice caused Bigger to hate the whites and turn his hate into violence. He had no answer but to kill when times got hard. He felt it was best because he could not deal with so much injustice. When presented with noble and human whites, Bigger refused to be helped. He thought it was a trap. African Americans during the 1930’s were also dealing with such injustices. They saw whites as simply their enemies. Severe acts of injustice deprived the blacks of real freedom for many years.

    • 75. Coulton C.  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:19 pm

      I agree with Elizabeth about the racial injustice aspect of the story. The lives of African Americans in the 1930’s were very hard, and many African Americans saw whites as the enemy even though it was not always the case. The character Mrs Sophia in my book deals with the racial injustice of being put in prison for a period of about 10 years for simply hitting a white man. She has no say in why she hit him, she is just thrown in prison no questions asked. There is still racial injustice in America to this day though, and there always will be no matter what.

  • 76. Ana V.  |  May 10, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Tortilla Flat
    John Steinbeck
    Fictional Novel
    1935

    I chose Tortilla Flat for my American Literature book. This fictional novel takes place in the year 1935, during the time of the Great Depression and WW1. This novel is about a man named Danny and his friends, paisanos. Danny and his friends were thieves that did what they must to survive. They drank wine and did as they pleased, that is until Danny inherited his grandfathers territory. Danny has inherited land ownership occupied by two houses. Danny lives in one house, trying to change his way of life for the better, and lets one of his friends occupy his second home. Little by little more and more friends come to live in that house until it is burned down. After this unfortunate accident, they all manage to convince Danny to let them stay at his place. His friends try to change for the better, to show their inner goodness, but do not always succeed. Danny’s friend’s monotonous way of life really starts to push Danny off the edge. Sometimes there is food while other times there isn’t as well as wine. Danny was once so invigorated by wine that he lost his mind. He wanted to challenge a worthy opponent to a fight, and when no one would take his offer he fell down a forty-foot drop and plummeted to his death. Danny’s death took a big hit to his friends. It changed their ways of life forever.

    This story resembles actual events during this time period because it reflects the idea of poverty and famine. Danny’s friends had no where to go but his second house where they all crammed in together. Once they burned that place they all had to cram into Danny’s house. The famine is resembled through the fact that they did not always have food to eat, but they somehow managed to get by with what they had.

  • 77. zach D  |  May 10, 2009 at 8:02 am

    The Last of the Mohicans
    By: James Fenimore Cooper
    Genre: Historical fiction
    The French and Indian War era so 1757

  • 78. Stephanie T.  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:22 am

    “Fahrenheit 451″ was written by Ray Bradbury in the 1950 is a novel that takes place in the future where the firemen in the city do not put out fires; they start them, burning every book. The government abolished reading and books all together. Any books found, the firemen were called and took care of the situation themselves. The main character, Guy Montag, is one of those firemen. He had what was perceived as a perfect life; he had a wife, a nice home, and a steady job that he loved. Though Guy loved his occupation, everything changed when he met a young girl who opened his eyes to what the world really was around him and taught him about a past where man was allowed to think in his own mind and it not be a crime. Guy soon began to question everything that he had ever known. His life took a turn when he met a man who introduced the idea to Montag about a new future- a future where man could be his own person. Guy then begins stealing books to read them and when he is caught he sees that the world around him is crumbling all because of it. The man and him devise a plan together, but when things go wrong and the firemen start coming after Montag, he is forced to runaway from his home and goes to live with others like himself who have to sought out independence as he watches his old, beloved life being left behind.
    This classic American novel was written in the 1950’s, just after World War ||, a time when the people of the country seemed lost. Many people at the time were questioning their own purpose in the world as Montag shows throughout the novel. He struggles with the individual conscience and following the majority of those around him. People at the time, felt a major conflict with individuality and the loyalty to their country and its traditional state.
    This novel was also written at a time when many Americans were accused, falsely or not, of attempting to sabotage the government. This connection was again made to Guy who was accused of trying to overthrow the ways that the government had set; that he was trying to think in his own ways instead of the ways that his government said was law.
    The characters in this novel all represent a different type of people that lived during the time. Guy, himself, represented the individuals that spoke out against the government, trying to change the ways that were set in stone and make a new world. His wife represented the people who were so set in the old ways that they did not want change; they simply wanted things to stay the way they were, not ever caring about what the government is doing and just living their lives accordingly. The firemen represented the government and their power over all the people. How they had their ways of making sure the people lived the way that they wanted, unable to think in their own mindset or have any opinion on the matters.

  • 79. Fernando J. E.  |  May 10, 2009 at 11:17 am

    “The Awakening” by Kate Chopins
    It is a Bildungsroman (novel of intellectual, spiritual or moral evolution); kunstlerroman (novel of artistic realization or development). The story is set at the turning point into the 19th century where America is deep in industrial revolution and the emergence of the feminist movement.
    The first half of the novel is set in the Grand Isle, a popular vacation spot for the wealthy Creoles of New Orleans. In this segment of the story you see Edna as the typical “stay-at-home-mother” but as the story progresses you begin to see Edna’s internal conflict toward society. Her husband Leonce is filled with job of being the head of the house, which means he is the working force in the family. Which leaves him no time to spend dealing with the house and children which is usually left to the women to deal with. Well Edna becomes tired of this ongoing boring life style. She begins to be filled with sexual desires and implications that are not normal for a women in the Victorian period.The second half of the novel takes place in New Orleans mostly the French Quarter. Edna is now alone since because her husband went on a business trip and the children are being taken care of by the mother of Leonce. This is when Edna becomes independent and chooses to live her own life with her own desires. She portrays long repressed emotions in her self-expression as she is self liberated. Her solitude and many realizations drive her to suicide as she swims out to sea and perishes. However, this suicide can be viewed as the escape of the ever binding chains that held her to being a regular of society. The sea expresses the freedom that every American dreamed of.
    The Woman’s Suffrage movement was most likely the parallel of this novel. as many women seeked independence and self-expression. In the Western United States women had already begun these immense unbelievable transformations, in order to survive. This may all be true,but there is more to it than just women seeking independence. It’s what every great American wanted the dream to become someone different. The chance to prove that your worth something in this world. These dreams were built on the deaths of those who wanted freedom and the pursuit of happiness. This remains true even today, we all see effects in numerous ways.

  • 80. Lauren B  |  May 10, 2009 at 11:20 am

    “The Great Gatsby”
    by: F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Historical Fiction
    1920’s

    The Great Gasby is about a man named Jay Gastby who throws wonderful parties to impress the girl he loved. He carElessly spent his money with no worries. The roaring 20’s in America were similar on how people spent there money. Everyone was very careless and had no worries. This reflects the behavior of Jay Gastby.

    • 81. Michael G  |  May 11, 2009 at 5:20 am

      This is true but i think you could have gone into a little more depth into what else was in the story since this is so brief or added more like WWI and the jazz.

  • 82. S. Huizar  |  May 10, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”
    Mark Twain
    Science Fiction/Fantasy
    Preface & Postscipt: 19th-century
    Manuscipt: 6th-century England

    This novel takes place in both the 19th-century and 6th-century England. It tells the tale of a man, Hank Morgan, who travels back in time to the court of King Arthur. He uses his knowledge of the future to influence an uneducated society and survive in a time in which he is unfamiliar with.

    Also the conflict of survival is relfected in this book. Hank Morgan must do what he can in order to survive an environment in which he is not familiar with. In America at this time, people where given the constant struggle to survive.

    Since America was barely being dicovered at the time the book had taken place it was hard to relate anything from the novel to reality.

    In the novel Hank Morgan was not accepted at first in 6th-century England due to the was he dressed and looked. He was to be put to death because of his differentuality. He was later accepted by the society because he influenced them by predicting an eclipse and doing simple magic tricks. The theme of the 6-th century England and 6th-century America is “People are different, but eventually they may be accpeted into their society.”

  • 83. Matthew T.  |  May 10, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    “The Great Gatsby”
    Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    In “The Great Gatsby”, attitude plays an important role. Jay Gatsby was one of many who had thrived as the 1920’s had been approaching. This time period can also be known as the “Jazz Age”. Jay had been living a great life and had been throwing plenty of parties just to win the love of a woman named Daisy. This carelessness of Gatsby represents the mismanagement of money back in the 1920’s, which later led to the great depression.
    Since life was good, Gatsby decides to buy everything for daisy not being aware of this financial downfall he will soon be entering. This represents the attitude of the upper-class at the time. Because of the fun that was being spread around the country, nobody was aware thast this fun can only be temporary, and that money doesn’t last forever. Gatsby soon found these things out.
    Optimism was a key part of “The Great Gatsby” as well. Jay Gatsby always had a strong mind towards winning Daisy’s love. This can pertain to America because America, in the 1920’s, had just gone through the dreaded WWI and had suffered much from it, but it still believed in starting off to a better decade. We must always remember that if believe in a new start AND make the right decisions to get to that new start, more than half the time, it will happen. In Gatsby’s case, he didn’t make the right decisions, financial wise, so he suffered from that, just as America did.

  • 84. Christian J. I.  |  May 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    “The Chocolate War”
    Written By: Robert Cormier
    Genre: Young Adult Fiction

    “The Chocolate War” is a novel written by Robert Cormier that takes place in the 1970’s, although the only way I determined that in the book was that Jerry confronted hippies by a bus stop. This book is about a freshman named Jerry Renault, who is the new quarterback on the fresman football team at Trinity High School (an all boys private school). Jerry is assigned to refuse to participate in the annual chocolate sale. The people who assigned this to him were The Vigils, the school’s “gang”. In the beginning of his assignment, Jerry carries it through, but wonders if not selling means more than just an assignment. After The Vigils tell him to start selling, Jerry realizes that he is taking a stand, not doing an assignment. Jerry then is tormented by the Vigils, and ends up getting beaten by Emile, the bully, making it seem that he was punished for what he believed in.
    What I found interesting in this book was that it takes place around the same time as the ending of the Vietnam war. What takes place in the book can reflect what happened in the Vietnam war. Think of it this way, The Vigils are the government, the students are just students being drafted to become soldiers, and the assignments are the missions they must accomplish. The Vigils just pick people to carry out assignments. That is very much like the draft, the government took students from high school to go to war. The student chosen couldn’t protest to his assignment. The students/soldiers couldn’t protest on their duties either. Then those chosen carried out there assignments no questions asked, just like soldiers on missions.
    The Chocolate War showed the corruption in America during the Vietnam war. That was a time when people couldn’t protest, or failed trying, like Jerry against the Vigils.
    I highly recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a good book to read.

  • 85. Adrianna V.  |  May 10, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    My Ántonia
    Willa Cather
    Historical Fiction

    “My Ántonia” is a novel about a young man’s reflections of his childhood friend Ántonia Shimerda. Jim Burden, the narrator, is a New York City lawyer who grew up on the Nebraska Frontier. The story shows affection for his past and how much he loved his childhood friend. In the story the Homestead Act of 1862 plays a prominent role in the development of the novel .Through this act, Congress promised 160 acres to anyone who agreed to settle the land. Ántonia and her family come from Bohemia to settle the land and this novel shows the hardships they face while trying to farm the land. This Homestead Act created many opportunities for many immigrants from eastern and southern Europe including Bohemians. Although Jim is an orphan he is fortunate that his grandparents are willing to take him in. Ántonia’s family suffers many of the same hardships that the immigrants in the late 1800s suffered as well. The family is not prepared for the harsh winters, they do not have enough money, and they do not speak the language.

  • 86. Nicole A.  |  May 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    “The Awakening”
    Kate Chopin
    Late 1800’s
    Southern Louisiana

    Edna Ponteiller, the protagonist in “The Awakening,” is a beautiful, artistic woman married into the upper-class of Louisiana. At the beginning of the novel, she is vacationing with her two sons and devoted husband at a Gulf coast resort; she is happy with her life and devoted to her husband, as was typically expected of women of her time. During her stay, she meets and befriends many new people: among them are Adele Ratignolle, the beautiful Creole best friend of Edna that encourages her to be devoted to her huband and dedicated to her home life; Mademoiselle Reisz, the introverted pianist that teaches Edna the impotance of independence and what it takes to truly be an artist; and Robert LeBrun, the man with whom Edna falls in love, thus motivating her to leave her responsibilities behind her and run to the Mexican Riviera. Throughout the novel, Edna struggles with herself. While she feels trapped in her life and longs for the freedom she believes Robert can give her, she knows she has a responsibility to uphold at home. In the end, she choses to abandon it all, drowning herself in the sea. [It is not know whether she is making a statement by doing this, or simply giving up.]

    CONNECTIONS:

    Language- The diction of the book leans toward elloquent and complex, using a lot ofold-fashioned terms and phrases. It is also interspersed with a bit of French.

    Style- Chlothing and housing are greatly different in this book than what is typically seen today. Collared dresses, ribbons, frills, Mary’s colors, ‘Tuesday Best’ etc. appear in great numbers throughout.

    Recreation- While art is not uncommon today, in the book it is taken far more seriously.Other hobbies, such as music and dance, are greatly valued. [It seems like it is used to show off to other, rather than being used for plain enjoyment.]

    Women- In the 1800’s, women were seem as achievements by their husbands; they were objects to be possesed. While they were admired by their husbands, they were not seen as equals. They could not do what men in society could, only take care of the home. Edna breaks free of these standards, living on her own, abandoning her family, indulging in her art and herself- everything Adele discourages her from.

    This novel was written in relation to the Women’s Sufferage Movement, Women’s Rights Movement, etc.

  • 87. Derek S.  |  May 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    For my independant reading book i read, ” Native Son” by Richard Wright. The novel takes place in the 1930’s and its about the African Americans fight for their rights that they deserve. The main character in the story is Bigger Thomas a 20 year old African American male living with his mom. His communities and neighborhoods are split between blacks and whites, the whites his main enemies.He despises the whites so much because he sees them as people that run his life and pick where and when he has to go some where.

    The tensions shown in this novel would be the inequal treatment of the African Americans compared to the whites. Wright shows this by the way Bigger lives in a cramped home and the way the Daltons live in a nice big elegant house.

    Bigger represents the struggling part of america that hated the whites even though some of them wanted to help. Since most white people hated the blacks, the blacks thought that all whites hated all blacks.

  • 88. Hannah W. A.  |  May 10, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain is an American fictional novel written in 1876. With its simple writing and simple content, it shows how things were much easier without all of the technological advances and complications that we have today. Tom grows up in Missouri and although there are slaves in the story, as well as in real life, Twain never actually takes a stand on it.
    The American society (especially in the southern states) at the time was very hypocritical and if you didn’t fit in, you were different and no one would like you. This is still the same today, so that much of American society hasn’t changed.

    • 89. Guadalupe S.M  |  May 10, 2009 at 7:43 pm

      i agree with you. that is why i think tom was a rebel to try and fit in and be “cool”.but one day he knew he had to so that aunt polly can accept him and maybe his community might accept him.he then eventually felt mature enought to act better and be a better person. he told aunt polly of his wrong doings and took the blame of something he knows he didnt do but it all payed off in the ened because he was named local town hero!!

    • 90. Stephanie E.  |  May 10, 2009 at 7:46 pm

      “The American society (especially in the southern states) at the time was very hypocritical and if you didn’t fit in, you were different and no one would like you. This is still the same today, so that much of American society hasn’t changed”

      This reminds me of Little Women. The March women didn’t quite fit in society becuase they became poor while their father went off to the Civil War. Also, Jo was a bit ostracized becuase she acted like a tom boy, who hung around a lot with her neighbor, who happend to be a boy. Additionally, Meg was frowned upon by not only her Aunt, but other ladies in society as well, for marrying a poor tutor.
      Society judged them all becuase they did not do what was expected, or what the normalcy of that time period was.

  • 91. Kevin A.  |  May 10, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    I read the book ” The Great Gatspie” by Scott Fitzgerald. The book is based on the ever-so-famous “Roaring 20’s” after World War I where the conomy was thriving.At the time, Alcohol was banned from being manufactured or sold by the 18th Amendment, two years before women were finally allowed to vote, and Jazz, an African-American form of music , was going mainstream.
    Fitzgerald’s character Nick Carraway, is the typical American that served in WWI, went to college, and try to make it on his own to “learn the bond business”. On the other hand, there is Jay Gatspie, who also served in the war, but made a fortune like many other soldiers at the time. Like everyone in the twenties, Gatspie is spending his money left and right. He spends his money throwing extravagant parties to buy the love of a woman named Daisy.
    Fitzgerald writes about his dislike of the materalism that the people are exibiting and the morality that it did not have. He also writes about the downfall of the American Dream. Nick portrays these things for Fitzgerald. He uses Gatspie to be the like the one that contributed to the downfall of the American Dream. Gatspie msde his fortune through bootleggers, who sold alcohol even though it was banned. Fitzgerald writes this book to show the way people were being careless with their money, the lack of morality that came with materialism, a post-WWI U.S, and the decay of the American Dream.

  • 92. Ana Villanueva  |  May 10, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    In my opinion, Tortilla Flat resembles some of the problems faced in the Grapes of Wrath. There was a lack of food and a constant struggle to survive. People of this time period, and others, did what they must do to survive and have food on the table for themselves and their family.

  • 93. R.M.Wyatt  |  May 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    I read A Separate Peace, by John Knowles for my independant reading assignment. This novel takes place in New England, during 1957 and 1958 flashes back to years 1942 and 1943 where it discusses World War II. A Separate Peace is told in a first person point of view by the narrator, Gene. This novels genre is tragedy.

    Gene and his friends are students at Devon School; an acadamy for high level students, but during 1942 their main focus is on the war, a few of them even wish to enlist next year when they seniors. In the middle of this book Gene is disappointed in his best friend Finny becaus he believes that WWII is fake.
    The boys at Devon are shocked to learn that their quiet, peace loving friend Leper will be the first to enlist. While gone he writes to Gene explaing that he is miserable and will soon be kicked out of the war because he is “crazy”. This shows the hard times that were present during this period in history; men in the war were going mad because of the horrible conditions.
    This novel helped me understand what a dark place the world was during WWII and the struggles that people had to face.

  • 94. Amanda G.  |  May 10, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    “The Last of the Mohicans”
    By James Fenimore Cooper
    Historical Fiction
    French and Indian Wars: 1754–1763

    “The Last of the Mohicans” is connected to the time period 1754-1763 which is known for the French and Indian Wars. This time period was good for this book because of the setting and characters. The setting is during 1757 in summertime around the Hudson River in New York. The English were fighting against the French but; the French had the Indians as their allies. Uncas resembles the very few of the Indians who were on the English side because he assisted a few of his English friends in resisting Magua the Huron who is also, known as the Subtle Fox. Magua was the chief of his village but, the Colonel enforced that he be run out of his tribe by his own people for being drunk. Magua represents the Indians who were against the English because he captures Alice, Cora, Gamut, and Heyward. Alice and Cora are the daughters of Colonel Munro; Gamut is a person who trying to teach Christianity across the frontier through song, and Heyward is a colonist from the south. Magua then wants to marry Cora but, she loves Uncas who saves her along with the other captives and returns them to Fort William Henry. Colonel Munro soon learns that reinforcements are not coming so, he surrenders. Magua recaptures Gamuat and the two sisters again and separates them. Soon after their kidnapping Colonel Munro, Heyward, and Hawkeye, and others find Maguas’ trail. They manage to get Alice and Gamuat back but, not Cora. A nomatic Huron kills Cora. Uncas attempts to get revenge on the Huron who killed Cora but, Magua kills him instead. Magua then attempts to get away but, ends up dying instead. The time that “The Last of the Mohicans” is set in affects the characters into falling in love, being captured, traveling across the wild New York frontier, and then for some dying.

  • 95. Charisse M. S.  |  May 10, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    “My Antonia”
    Willa Cather
    Historical Fiction
    1880s

    This book was taken place in the prairies of Nebraska in the 1880s. During this time, there were several immigrants that came to live in America. The main character, also the narrator of the story, Jim Burden tells his life with a kind of love/friend relationship with a certain Bohemian girl, Antonia Shimerdas. Along the way, Jim meets other different immigrants, and talks about the way they lived, somewhat similar to the life of the Shimerdas. Jim Burden meets Antonia in a small town, Black Hawk, Nebraska. He talks about the life he had with Antonia and her family, as well as his.
    This book is mainly based upon the life of the Bohemian girl, and her struggle, along with her family, to live in a new country. Antonia Shimerda is one of the daughters of the Bohemian family that came to America to start anew. It talks about her life of being homesick, losing a loved one, and living life on a prairie, a different environment to adapt to. Jim Burden sees Antonia as a very strong girl, growing up to live in a new land and to try to become successful.
    Willa Cather writes about several immigrant families and their new beginnings in a new land through the eyes of an American boy. She writes about how life would have been for the families, through struggles and happy times. Willa Cather writes about a certain Bohemian girl and how her strong personality allowed her to live a happy life of contentment and love, through new hardships to overcome, on a prairie in Nebraska.

    During struggling times, always keep a keen eye of optimism, because someday, it may take you far.

    • 96. A. Gomez  |  May 10, 2009 at 7:56 pm

      Your book is like mine in the aspect of adapting.The Idians in my book hve to adapt to the changing frontier which is surrounding them. While, your characters hve to adapt to living their daily lives in a different way. Also, there is a connection fo losing a loved. Alice loses her sister in the end while, youur character loses their loved one.

    • 97. zach D  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:32 pm

      The Last of the Mohicans and My Antonia are closely related. Both books discuss the fight for survival in a new place. The books depict what it is like to form a new life for yourself and your family. They show the hardships of living in a new land, the sacrifices that individuals must make, and the lose of family members.

    • 98. AYoung  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:36 pm

      Charisse, my book, “The Jungle”, written by Upton Sinclar, is quite similar to yours. It deals with the immigration of one family and their constant struggle to fit in with their new country. The novel is able to explore the plight of immigrants in America. Jurgis, Teta Elzbieta, and their family come to America based on the promise of high wages and a happy, good life. However, Sinclair exposes the hypocrisy of the American Dream finding that instead of a land of acceptance and opportunity, they explore a place of prejudice and exploitation.

  • 99. A. Gomez  |  May 10, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    “The Last of the Mohicans”
    By James Fenimore Cooper
    Historical Fiction
    French and Indian Wars: 1754–1763

    “The Last of the Mohicans” is connected to the time period 1754-1763 which is known for the French and Indian Wars. This time period was good for this book because of the setting and characters. The setting is during 1757 in summertime around the Hudson River in New York. The English were fighting against the French but; the French had the Indians as their allies. Uncas resembles the very few of the Indians who were on the English side because he assisted a few of his English friends in resisting Magua the Huron who is also, known as the Subtle Fox. Magua was the chief of his village but, the Colonel enforced that he be run out of his tribe by his own people for being drunk. Magua represents the Indians who were against the English because he captures Alice, Cora, Gamut, and Heyward. Alice and Cora are the daughters of Colonel Munro; Gamut is a person who trying to teach Christianity across the frontier through song, and Heyward is a colonist from the south. Magua then wants to marry Cora but, she loves Uncas who saves her along with the other captives and returns them to Fort William Henry. Colonel Munro soon learns that reinforcements are not coming so, he surrenders. Magua recaptures Gamuat and the two sisters again and separates them. Soon after their kidnapping Colonel Munro, Heyward, and Hawkeye, and others find Maguas’ trail. They manage to get Alice and Gamuat back but, not Cora. A nomadic Huron kills Cora. Uncas attempts to get revenge on the Huron who killed Cora but, Magua kills him instead. Magua then attempts to get away but, ends up dying instead. The time that “The Last of the Mohicans” is set in affects the characters into falling in love, being captured, traveling across the wild New York frontier, and then for some dying.

  • 100. Stephanie E.  |  May 10, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    “Little Women” is an American Fictional Novel written by Lousia May Alcott in 1868. It tells mainly of the story of four daughters whose father is away fighting in the Civil War (for the Union), which was happening during the 1860s. Because of the war, some family’s, like the March’s, were left in poverty.

    Alcott mostly resembled too the character Jo, who had to deal with the fact that women could not enlist in the army, nor could they attend college. All of the March girls also had to go through the process of finding themselves a respectable and weathly husband, like all women during that time period were expected to do.

    Becuase of the War, some familys became poor because most of their money went to helping the cause. This happend to the March’s. All of the girls very much disliked being in poverty, especially Amy and Meg who cared about looking good in society, and really couldn’t becuase they could not afford new colthes and such. This, in turn made them slightly excluded from the wealthier families who had balls and parties. The same could be said about today especially now with the economy.
    Though it had been over a hundred years since this book was published, America still has alot of the same problems it had back then as it does now.

  • 101. Guadalupe S.M  |  May 10, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    “the Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain is an american fiction novel written 1874-1875. this novel is about a boy who struggles between maturity and childhood;he wants to be free to live his life but then again he still needs boundries. In the beginning of the book he would trick his peers into doing what he wants,but then as the book progresses he confesses to aunt polly,his guardian, why he ran away and confronted the problem he had with her eventhough he never likes to talk about his thoughs or problems to anyone.
    Much like Tom’s problems, america during that time would flaunt about how rich their country was, but really alot of people were in poverty. they tried to hide all of the negative qualities from the world to seem better.were they scared of what everyone will think? or did they just think it wasnt any of their buisness?

  • 102.  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Something Wicked This Way Comes
    Ray Bradbury
    1960’s

    This book takes place in Illinois. Its about these two boys, Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway, who are completely opposite but are best friends. They discover a carnival that comes to town and are immediately interested. They stay around the carnival and discover all the things that they do. They become too involved with everything and then the carnival owners are after them. They pair up with Wills dad to do research and figure out more about them. The carnival owners try to get people to help them by giving them what t hey want, which can mean, giving them the age they want.
    During the 1960’s people from Illinois traveled to California to join the gold rush. They did whatever it took to get there and get the gold. That kind of compares to what the carnival owners were trying to do.

  • 103. Cristian B.  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    “The Grapes of Wrath”
    by John Steinbeck
    Historical Fiction

    The Grapes of Wrath takes place during the late 1930’s. The setting and the language of the time and place are apparent in the story. In the novel, the main family called the Joads, face challenges and hardships that millions of people did during the Great Depression. The family, residing in a tenant farm in Oklahoma, is forced to leave the land because of the inability to grow anything at all. This is what happened to many farmers living in the Dust Bowl. The Joads, like other struggling unemployed families, saw California as being the side in which the grass was greener. Unfortunately, after being warned several times, they see the reality of the situation. Forced to deal with deaths and live in Hooverville, the remaining family stays united, knowing that family is the only thing keeping them together. The Joads struggle like many to find any work at all. They are often unable to spend their money on anything else but food. The family moves about, going wherever there is any available jobs. The entire story is very possible because the struggles that the Joads faced were the exact same ones that a vast majority of the people were feeling during that time.

  • 104. Cristian B.  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    As Sebastian points out in his comment, the protagonists in the story face something bigger than themselves, and in the case of “The Grapes of Wrath”, it is the corporations monopolizing the agriculture, cheating the workers out of vital resources. Also, I find Charisse’s final line of her comment suiting for my novel because hope and optimism is what kept the family together. Other families, experiencing the same hardships that the Joads were, ridiculed them because of their optimism. Tom Joad and family friend, Jim Casy, believed that the workers should unite and come together, so that they may pursue their lost lives or even something greater than they had before.

  • 105. zach D  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    The Last of the Mohicans
    By: James Fenimore Cooper
    Genre: Historical fiction
    The French and Indian War era the late 1750s

    “The Last of the Mohicans takes place during the late 1750s which is when the French and Indian War took place. The French and Indian War was a war between the Colonies of America and the French and Indians. The setting of the story takes place in the Frontier which is now New York. The book is about this white man, named Hawkeye, that was raised by the last two Mohican Indians. The rest of the tribe were dead. Him and his family helped save General Monroe’s daughters from Indians that were fighting on the French side. Cora, General Monroe’s eldest daughter, fell in love with Hawkeye.

    There was a lot of tension during this time period due to the war and the struggle for power between the Indians, settlers, English, and French. The Indians wanted to keep their hunting grounds and way of life. The settlers wanted a new start for prosperity. The French and English struggled for control of America and have disliked each other throughout history. In the book, James Fenimore Cooper, writes using the frontier as his setting. He uses an in depth description of the setting to correlate it to the idea of America being the new frontier of that time period and the struggles its people went through to survive.

  • 106. AYoung  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” is a vivid portrait of life and death in a turn-of-the-century American meatpacking factory. It took place in Chicago, Illinois of 1906; in which the fifth-highest poverty rate among America’s major cities sky-rocketed. During this time period, very little jobs were available due to the economy and the immigrant overload was at its highest. Jurgis and his family attempt to pursue the American Dream, but wage slavery and the oppression of capitalism shatter every aspect of their lives. The novel very well illustrates the hollowness of the American Dream and demonstrates socialism as a remedy for the evils of capitalism.

  • 107. MSantos  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    My American Lit. is called The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgen Burnett. It takes place at Yorkshire, England from 1906-1909 and is a Romance(Coming-of-age)novel.

    Mary Lennox was born and lived in India and was a very sick and spoiled child.Her parents neglected her and told their servants to give her whatever she wanted just as long as she did not get in their way. Mary was sent to live with her Uncle Craven after the Cholera breakout killed everyone at her house and soldiers found her alone later on. She arrived at the Misselthwaite Manor(Mr.Craven’s house) even more stubborn as ever. She got tired of fighting with everyone and began to start playing outside when she found out about the secret garden. The secret garden once belonged to Mr.Craven’s late wife before she passed away, but he got so depressed after she dies that he locked it away and buried the only key.As she set out to look for it she became more and more obedient and her health began to improve. After discovering it with her new friend Dickson Sowerby they began to tend to the garden. One day she hears cries in the house and behind the head maid’s back begins to look or the source of the sound and finds Colin Craven(Mr.Craven’s son). They become friends and she sneaks him out to the secret garden to help him learn how to walk and improve his health and personality as well. He later suprises his father by walking out of the secret garden.
    Mary and Colin’s strong will to change and become better people can relate to a person’s willpower to change for the better. Also the story shows that children need companions or someone else there to help them to thrive and get well like how Colin and Mary were both neglected by their parents, but with each other were able to become totally different people.

  • 108. Coulton C.  |  May 10, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    The book i read is called The Color Purple by Alice Walker. It takes place during the racial period in the 1930’s and is more of a real life kind of story. The racial conflict is displayed by a character named Ms. Sophia who is wrongfully put in prison after punching a white man, who proceeds to slap her first.
    The book is also based on a time in America when not many but few women where beginning to make their independence from men. The person who makes this major step in the story is a character named Mrs. Celie who is repeatedly beat by her husband whom she calls Mr.__ (His name is never revealed). Mrs. Celie finally decides to leave Mr__ one day with one of her closest friends Shug Avery. Mrs. Celie makes a living and shows her independence by opening her own store and selling pants. The Color Purple is a book that shows the reader how America has changed so much in the last 80 years or so and that it will continue to change until the end of humanity.

  • 109.  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    “the catcher in the rye”
    J.D. Salinger
    Historical fiction
    1950
    the tensions of the time are reflected in the book by showing haulden’s depressed and meloncholy mood. durring the 1950-1960 pres. Truman approves of the hydrogen bomb and sends airforce and navy to korea.this is nothing that would make any body happy. the korean and cold war made the atmosphere of the fifties conservative. The middle class was soaring so haulden felt as everyone was a phony and looked to be different.

  • 110. Andrea M.Z.  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
    Mark Twain
    Picaresque genre
    1834
    “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain takes place in 1834 in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. It also takes place during the “Gilded Age”. Gilded, meaning coated in gold, represents how America’s wealthy acted during that time period. This novel aslo takes place during the time of slavery. Although Mark Twain does not go too deep into this topic, the racial bias is still mentioned in the novel.
    The novel tells the tale of a young boy named Tom Sawyer and his “partner in crime” Hicklebery Finn. Tom Sawyer was an orphan who was taken in by his Aunt Polly. He hated the customs of the “proper” life during that time and he longed to be able to do what he wanted, whenever he wanted (having total freedom). Huck had everything that Tom wanted. People looked down upon Huck for being the son of the town drunk and for living a laid back/lazy lifestyle, but Tom saw the side of Huck that adults didn’t. That side was that Huck basically had nothing to his name, but he was happy living that way. He didn’t care what other people thought of him.
    Throughout the novel, critical moments forced Tom to ignore his childish concerns and he instead made mature and responsible decisions. In a nut-shell, this novel has the theme of growing up. Tom did that by 1. Testifying against a murder 2. Taking the blame and punishment of the girl he loved and 3. Using his wits to save Becky and himself from dieing in the cave. Those are harsh things that a child shouldn’t have to go through, but by experiencing all of those mind-twisting events, Tom entered maturity. The light at the end of the cave symbolizes just that, Tom leaving behind his childish past and entering into semi-adulthood (since he was still a young boy).

  • 111. A Stapler  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    The title of my book is The Cruciable, it is a play based on the events of the Samlem wich trials that took place in 1692 and 1693. The problem begins when Reverend Parris’ daughter Betty and her friends are caught danceing (a terrible sin at the time) and go into a kind of bewitched slumber. A Reverend John Hale comes to the Parris home and decides that Betty is bewitched. It comes out that before the girls are caught danceing that they were trying to summon the spirits of some dead babies with the help of Mr. Parris’ maid/cook Tituba. The other other girls who were dancing told the people of salem that Tituba had bewitched them and cursed them. The people take the girls to court and they begin to say that many of the other women of the town had been danceing and speaking to Satan. This sparks a kind of witch hunt mentality and people of the town begin to bring people up on chagres of witchcraft who they simply had an argument with. Through the use of “spectral evidence” the people of the town convince the judge that anyone brought on charges is guilty, Throught this process 29 people were convicted of the felony of wichcraft were sentenced to various forms of capitol punishment such as: drowning, hanging, being crushed under large boulders, being burned or buried alive, and even to the extent of being tortured untill they offered up their alliegence to satan and finaly killed.

  • 112. M. Africa  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    “Pride and Prejudice”
    Jane Austen
    Historical Fiction
    1781-1815

    This story takes place in Longbourn, England. During this time period England was involved in the Napoleanic War and in America many political things were taking place such as, the election of John Adams and the XYZ affair. In this book the main characters are Jane Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Fitzwilliam Darcy resembles President John Adams, as a wealthy high class man who looks down on others, as John Adams did. John Adams showed this by passing when he Sedition act, this banned all forms of public expression critical of the president or Congress. This shows how lowly he thought of the people below him, that he passed an act to keep people’s mouth shut. There is also a connection between Charles Bingley and Thomas Jefferson. Charles Bingley was Darcy’s best friend, just like Thomas Jefferson was to John Adams as his Vice President.

  • 113. Christine H.  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    “Farewell to Manzanar” by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston is a historical bibliography which takes place in California in the early 1940s during the time of World War II. On December 7th, 1942, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. America felt panic, aggression and hunger for revenge. Pressured by state representatives, President Roosevelt signed the executive order 9066 on the date of February 19, 1942. Under this order the military was to draft all people of Japanese ancestry and kept in a camp for an undetermined period of time. This was to happen because there was a “reasonable” doubt of national security and was by no means meant to punish the Japanese it was simply an action taken by the government to protect its country. One of the camps located in California was known as Manzanar Relocation Center. Manzanar was an internment camp where over 10,000 Japanese Americans were sent and kept isolated from the rest of the general American population for three years. The action of the camps was not made with justice but was based on solely race, discrimination and fear. Many Japanese Americans were seen as allies of the enemies. Anti-Japanese campaigns were formed and individuals of Japanese heritage were then a target of hatred. Anyone of Japanese antecedents were labeled and then transported by bus to a local camp. They were to work at the internment camps all day in terrible conditions. The decision of this action was carried out by the United States Army as an emergency order.

    The novel “Farewell to Manzanar” tells the story of Jeanne and her family; it shows her family’s struggle after Pearl Harbor. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Jeanne’s father, Papa burned all of his belongings that had anything to do with Japan. Jeanne loses Papa to the FBI. The FBI believed that Papa had connections with the Japanese government. Because of the uncertainty, many families traveled to Japanese ghettos. The military then gained the authority to detain and relocate the Japanese people identified as “threats” wherever they wished. Their frequent response to the situation was “shikata ga nai” meaning it can not be helped. What would you do if you received a letter stating that you must move out of your residence in forty-eight hours? Jeanne’s family was sent to the Manzanar Relocation Center. Conditions at the camp were very poor; the food was not suitable for eating, there was not enough warm clothing and the shacks were poorly made.

    Often too many times when countries are faced with a devastated situation where tragedies are caused by other countries. Governments of such countries in pain and suffering react in a way that can cause panic among its citizens. We must learn from these lessons of history to help limit the number of casualties and victims. In doing so, this will prevent discrimination, racism and injustices made toward innocent people.

  • 114. A Stapler  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    “The Cruciable” by Arthur Miller

  • 115. Andrea M.Z.  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”
    Mark Twain
    Picaresque genre
    1834
    “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain takes place in 1834 in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. It also takes place during the “Gilded Age”. Gilded, meaning coated in gold, represents how America’s wealthy acted during that time period. This novel aslo takes place during the time of slavery. Although Mark Twain does not go too deep into this topic, the racial bias is still mentioned in the novel.
    The novel tells the tale of a young boy named Tom Sawyer and his “partner in crime” Hicklebery Finn. Tom Sawyer was an orphan who was taken in by his Aunt Polly. He hated the customs of the “proper” life during that time and he longed to be able to do what he wanted, whenever he wanted (having total freedom). Huck had everything that Tom wanted. People looked down upon Huck for being the son of the town drunk and for living a laid back/lazy lifestyle, but Tom saw the side of Huck that adults didn’t. That side was that Huck basically had nothing to his name, but he was happy living that way. He didn’t care what other people thought of him.
    Throughout the novel, critical moments forced Tom to ignore his childish concerns and he instead made mature and responsible decisions. In a nut-shell, this novel has the theme of growing up. Tom did that by 1. Testifying against a murder 2. Taking the blame and punishment of the girl he loved and 3. Using his wits to save Becky and himself from dieing in the cave. Those are harsh things that a child shouldn’t have to go through, but by experiencing all of those mind-twisting events, Tom entered maturity. The light at the end of the cave symbolizes just that, Tom leaving behind his childish past and entering into semi-adulthood (since he was still a young boy).

    • 116. Craig M.  |  May 11, 2009 at 2:31 am

      “The Adventures of Tom Sawer” is slighty like the novel I read, “The Chocolate War” because in “The Chocolate War” it represents how the U.S. Government acted during the 70s, just like how “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” represents how wealthy U.S. people acted during the 19th century.

  • 117. Andria N.R.  |  May 10, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Andrea (Andy) I agree with what you said about Tom beginning to mature. Tom at first is childish and causes a lot of trouble but certain events in his life cause him to make some wise choices. Tom’s adventures prepare him for a more adult outlook. Tom in the beginning only has concern for himself but once he hurts Becky’s feelings he finally shows he has some concern for someone other than himself.

    • 118. JoannaV  |  May 11, 2009 at 1:51 am

      even though i did not read Tom Sawyer i still think i have to disagree with what you said about him maturing because in Huckleberry Finn he comes back and in the end makes them go through a life risking adventure to free the slave Jim when he knows that he has already been freed, just to have some fun.

  • 119. Bianca C.N.  |  May 10, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    In the fictionalized Autobiography “Little Women”(which is also a family journal as depicted by the plural title) by Louisa May Alcott, tells the story of four sisters and their growth from girlhood into womanhood in 19th-century New England.

    During this time in history, women were expected to handle all the housework and they were responsible for maintaining a peaceful and happy home for their husband and children. They prepared three meals daily, on top of that they did the laundry, mending, ironing, shopping, and cleaning. This routine was passed on to each daughter of the family in preparement for their own future households. They didn’t have the option of doing what they wanted to do, they didn’t have any rights; this sparked the beginning of the women’s rights movement.

    In the Civil War era, there were many casualties, and others were disabled. Families endured the harsh times, supporting themselves without the help of the man of the house. Most Women didn’t have the opportunity to set their eyes upon their loved one ever again! The american’s efforts to raise war revenue through the method of taxation caused an economic hardship among the people, especially the ones who were poor to begin with. The poverty and self-sufficieny of the time are reflected in the setting: The poor little house that the four sisters live in with their mother; and with their father away in the war they don’t have the kind of money to spend to buy new clothes or afford treatment in a hospital when the time calls that their father is injured.

    Alcott was writing about a house that was conflicted, but not divided, a family that was in contrast to America.

    • 120. Gavin S.G.  |  May 11, 2009 at 6:31 am

      “The Awakening”, a Bildungsroman novel by Kate Chopin, tells of a woman’s personal journey in the 19th century as she examines different parts of what she had believed to be a content life

      In “The Awakening”, Edna Pontellier, a 19th century French woman, decides that she is extremely unhappy with her life and many of the people in it, including her husband, friends, and children. Her distaste for her living situations eventually brings her to escape her life; abandoning her children and husband for a new beginning. Edna detaches herself from all preconceived notions of what a mother is supposed to be, and isolates herself from most of the people she thought that she loved. Edna then starts to examine what she felt was left unfulfilled in her previous life, and begins to have an affair with the local town flirt, Alcee Arobin. Eventually, Edna is forced to come back into reality when she decides to deliver her friend’s child. While doing so, her friend, Adelle Ratignolle, tells her to re-examine what she has just done to her life. This event forces Edna to imagine what her life was like before she reinvented it. Edna soon gets a letter from someone she had expressed sexual affection towards, and find outs that he has no plans to take up her offerings. Shortly after reading this letter, Edna swims into the open sea, drowning herself.

      This novel is one of the biggest pro-feminism advancements in U.S. history. During the late 19th century, women felt that they were just as important as men were in the household, and they constantly demanded rights and certain freedoms. Although Edna’s choices may not have been good decisions, she followed her heart and did what she pleased, deciding not to let anyone in her way. “The Awakening” was a loud shriek to all of America, showing just how far modern women had advanced in capability.

  • 121. I. Aneke  |  May 10, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    I read the novel “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin. This novel opens in the late 1800s and takes place in Grand Isle. It is about a woman, Edna Pontellier, awakening to her freedom. While her husband, Leonce, is away for business Edna begins spending more and more time with Robert Lebrun. Eventually the two fall and in love and begin to have an affair while Leonce is away. As Robert recognizes that their relationship was getting too deep and moves away from Grand Isle and Edna goes back to New Orleans a changed woman. Back in New Orleans Edna experiences a series of awakenings and is later reunited with Robert, but soon after he parts with her. After parting with Robert Edna later commits suicide by jumping off of a cliff into the ocean.

    The late 1800s was a time of difficulty for womans’ rights in times like this Mrs. Pontellier would most likely have been prosecuted for her affair with Mr. Lebrun.

  • 122. Tasnuva H.  |  May 10, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    “Pride and Prejudice”
    Jane Austen
    Historical Romantic Fiction
    18th century (1700″s)

    This story takes place during the 18th century in England. During the 18th century, technology was not as advanced as it is today. In fact, America and the rest of the world were technologically handicapped. They did not own any electrical devices such as cell phones, or have the useful advantage of a computer. Also, the ways of travel were very limited. Automobiles were not yet established. Most citizens journeyed by way of horse carriages while other chose to simply walk. Another difference in that period of time as to the present is women’s rights and clothing. If a man were to possess land, it could only be inherited by a son. If the man had only daughters, his property would then be handed over to the closest younger male relative. Women were also harshly criticized on their looks. Back in the 1700’s, women wore stockings and petticoats where as today they wear jeans and skirts.

    This story is about a young lady and gentleman overcoming their pride and prejudice long enough to realize their feelings for each other. Elizabeth Bennett is a smart, charming and witty woman who comes from an average middle class family. She has four sisters, a nosy mother, and a loving father. Fitzwilliam Darcy is a prosperous and generous man thought people conceive him to be arrogant and pompous. He has a shy younger sister whom he is very protective over.

    Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are first acquainted when Darcy’s friend Bingley becomes affectionate towards Elizabeth’s gorgeous older sister Jane. Darcy considered Elizabeth an unattractive girl not worthy of pursuing. Elizabeth thought of Darcy as an inconsiderate man who should not have judged her so quickly. As Bingley and Jane’s relationship continues to grow deeper, Elizabeth and Darcy become slightly attracted to each other.

    However, when Darcy confesses his love for Elizabeth, she fails to admit she feels the same way. She chose to believe people’s harsh judgments based on Darcy. Eventually she realized she had the wrong impression of Darcy and that everything was a misconception. She acknowledges that she is head over heels in love with him and accepts his marriage proposal the second time around. In the end, after successfully managing to conquer all insensitive past discriminations, they understood they had a real connection and true feelings towards each other.

    “True love conquers all.”

    - This famous quote well represents this book. Despite the many objections against their marriage, Elizabeth and Darcy manage to pull through because they knew what they felt was genuine.

  • 123. I. Aneke  |  May 10, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Olivia and Nicole I believe my book “The Awakening” is similar to yours “The Great gasby” as they both deal with affairs. Also the time periods are close together.

  • 124. I. Aneke  |  May 11, 2009 at 12:02 am

    I agree with Wynter stating how Kate Chopin based her book on The Womens’ Sufferage movement and how Mrs. Pontellier would set an example for other women that they can be equal with men and helps them to find themselves.

  • 125. Tasnuva H.  |  May 11, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Breana and Wynter, even though our historical time periods differ, our characters have similar personalities. My character Elizabeth was the outgoing and sociable one of her sisters. Men offered to court her because they felt they could rely on her to be the ‘good housewife’. Doreen, Edna, and Elizabeth were all free-spirited women who were somewhat self-sufficient but relied on certain others to guide them. They were expected to be the homemaker, not the provider. They proved to be unlike the conventional women of their times.

  • 126. Adanna A.O.  |  May 11, 2009 at 12:15 am

    “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a historical and romance novel set in the 1840s. Hester Prynne, the protagonist, is publicly shamed and condemned by the Puritan community for adultery. When Hester is sent to America by her husband and he doesn’t appear she has an affair with a minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, who impregnates her with her child whom she names Pearl. During the 17th century, the period of which the novel takes place, the religious aspect of life was very influential to the way society acted and handled situations. The forceful puritan society was able to inflict guilt on Hester and bring suffering upon her over her own personal sin. Since being pure and living holy lives were very important to her community at that time her sin was not taken lightly neither handled in private. She was in the public eye accepting her punishment. She had to openly display her sin by wearing a scarlet letter A on her chest and this is relevant to the time period because like Hester, people were publicly humiliated for their mistakes. Society had a great influence over an individual but Hester used her experience to help herself find her own identity instead of relying on others to tell her who she was. The time period that Hester was in was a time where individual rights faced off with traditional society wanting to keep hold of social structure built on narrow-mindedness, but even so Hester continued to grow stronger throughout the experience.

  • 127. JoannaV  |  May 11, 2009 at 1:38 am

    The book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was first published in 1884. It takes place in Missouri and all of the Mississippi river. Tom sawyer and Huckleberry Finn have returned to St Petersburg, Missouri. There Widow Douglas tries to make Huck civilized and religious, both efforts are basically fruitless to the point were he runs away. Then he returns though his main concern is his father finding him which happens about a month or so later.
    The many points in the story take place after Huck runs away again only this time it’s from his alcoholic father that wants the money Huck and Tom found at the beginning of the book. Then after finding him at the island where he was hiding, he a slave that lived with him and Widow Douglas both run away while everyone thinks Huck is dead. They travel north and discuss religion, superstitions and literature that Huck reads to him from books that someone else stole. Huck does not believe in prayer and truey believes that he and Tom are going to hell.
    While traveling Jim and Huck get separated and Huck meets a family in the middle of a feud with another family. Within the time period that he is there two of the family members die, one of which was very close to Huck causing him to weep and grieve for a brief amount of time.
    Huck and Jim reunite and are back on their way when they team up with two co artists the duke and dauphin who are now traveling with them causing them to have to stop and visit the towns. The very first scam they pulled was at a religious event, another stop in town had Huck witnessing a shooting. The duke and Dauphin put on Shakespeare’s plays for money as well. In another town they pretended to be the brothers of a recently deceased man since the two real brothers live in England. At the sight of this Huck is discusted with them. Huck also at this time wonders about Jim’ love for his wife and two children he left behind thinking about how he loves them just like a white man loves his family. This is when he starts to think of him less as a slave and more like a human being. While in the town the stay with the Wilks family (the family of the deceased). Huck feels bad and plans to tell the truth but before he can the real brothers show up. After different test the town finds that neither of them are the real brothers but in the confusion all three of them get away. Jim and Huck decide that after this incident they will try to ditch the other two as soon as possible.
    A few days later when Huck thinks they have a chance of leaving them he returns to the raft and finds that Jim is missing. He learns that duke has sold him and he tells him the man which he sold him to lives forty miles away, a three day trip without knowing that Huck knows where he really lives. Huck decides that Jim’s freedom is worth gong to hell for, which he thinks is the cost for helping a slave. When arriving at the farm where Jim is being held he is assumed to be their nephew, Tom, who is coming to visit. Huck soon realizes that their nephew is none other than Tom Sawyer. Then Tom does come he make a very complicated plan to free Jim that is it extremely difficult and risky to even try to perform, including the idea of cutting off Jim’s leg. When they are finally finished digging a hole to Jim Tom insists that Jim document it in some special way, trying to keep it as much like a story as possible. Then Jim is freed and the boys are running away Tom gets shot in the leg. Jim loses his newly earned freedom by staying with Tom and the doctor while Huck has to go back to the farm.
    That’s where Aunt Polly meets up with them and reveals their whole charade to everyone. Then Tom tells them that widow Douglas died two months ago freeing Jim in her will. With that being known all along Tom could have skipped their last adventure. Huck thinks that his father has stolen all his money but he learns from Jim his father has been dead since they left the island in the beginning of the book. (They had found a corpse there but Jim had not let him see this face.) So in the end none of this would have happened if they had known that these two characters were dead setting Jim and Huckleberry Finn free.

  • 128. Craig M.  |  May 11, 2009 at 1:40 am

    Title : “The Chocolate War”
    Author : Robert Cormier
    Genre : Young Adult
    Time Period : 1974

    The novel, “The Chocolate War”, is mainly about Jerry Renault’s refusal to sell chocolates at fictional Trinity High School and the problems he faces before and after his refusal. Jerry renault is like a hippie in the United States rufusing to obey its laws and doing things under the influence of someone or something else . In the story Jerry is under the influence of the gang the vigils, in real life, a hippie can be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    The quote and theme, “Do i dare disturb the universe” and the negative effects it has after Jerry refused to sell the chocolates, then severely injured by Emile Janza, is like a hippie refusing to obey certain laws and being punished for it This was a big thing back in the 70’s because of the number of hippies and their rebelious and illegal actions.

    At the end when Archie does not feel any remorse for what he has done seems negative in the book, but in reality, when the police punishes a hippie for breaking the law it is a good thing.

    In the novel, most, if not all of the students at Trinity did not fell any remorse towards Jerry Renault because they felt that the Vigils were right about everything,which reflects some of the propoganda that was used to try and stop more hippies from coming in real life and to just agree with the government.

  • 129. Michael G  |  May 11, 2009 at 5:01 am

    The book “The Great Gatsby” is a book that was based in the 1920’s. Which also makes its a historical fiction novel. The 1920’s was a time period that a lot of things happened. A major one was WWI. The narrator, Nick Carraway, and Gatsby were both soldiers in WWI. The term bootlegging in the story, which Gatsby did, is the trafficing of illeagal alcohol in America. As a modern day comparasn think about drug dealers and trafficers.The 18th amendment was also still in play at this time which was what made the alcohol illeagal. Gatspy threw parties that were very expensive hoping Daisy would come. These parties took a lot of money and in that it related to the money being spent during this time. Jazz was also a great uprise and was very popular.

  • 130. Gavin S.G.  |  May 11, 2009 at 6:36 am

    Robert S., although our novels take place in different time periods, they share a common theme; rediscovering oneself to learn more about the world. The main characters in our book are forced to re-examine their lives, to the point of depression and frustration. Even though our characters might share horrible fates, they gain new insight from their past lives, and create something totally new and scarily diverse from what they once were.

  • 131. S.Cuevas  |  May 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    About 200 years ago, we where fighting a war for expansion of human rights and freedom which reflects the time now with one of the many of the wars which we are fighting today. Abraham Lincoln ended slavery, despite the fact that he could have benefited from it and he had become one of the most hated people in the south. It reflects what is going on at the time because Obama is ending the war, which is going to bring terrorist groups closer to the coast, which will cause problems at the oil refineries, therefore raising the prices for refinery owners making Obama very unpopular. Jenny Lind arrived in America and opened the very first concert in New York City on September 11, 1850. On November 9, 2008 Carrie Underwood arrived in Ontario and performed the very first concert at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

  • 132. andrea  |  May 11, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    The book “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” is by Mark Twain. The story took place in 1834 in the town St Petersburg which is in Missouri. In the period of 1834 the story took place and was around the same time when there was slavery.The story ” The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” was about a young boy named Tom Sawyer and Hicklebery Finn. In the story Tom Sawyer is an orphan who lives with his Aunt Polly. Huck was the town drunk and was very lazy huck was careless and never cared about anything.

  • 133. J. Figueroa  |  May 11, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”
    by: Mark Twain
    Historical Fiction
    1840’s

    This novel took place in the mid 1840’s. The story is about a kid by the name of Tom Sawyer who, with his friends, is always ssearching for treasure and gold. Tom and his friends also believed very heavily in superstition. In the 1840’s, many paople were interested with the thought of finding gold. There were also people that believed very heavily in superstition.

    Tom and his friends search for gold because they like the thought of being rich and not having to worry about anything. Americans in the 1840’s thought of gold as a awy to get rich fast and not have to work anymore.

    Tom and his friends also used superstition as a way of understanding things that were beyond thier knowledge, or explain things that they were scared of. In the 1840’s, superstition was very popular and many people used it in the same way that the characters from the novel did.

  • 134. andrea  |  May 11, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Andrea Z. I do agree with you how you said that Tom Sawyer was very mature but at first he was very immature. In Tom’s adventures, his adventures prepared him to be more mature. Tom used to only care for himself but when he hurt Becky he started showing the affection how he can actually get to care for other than himself because he cared about how he had hurt Becky. Which is how he became more mature for caring for others.

  • 135. J. Figueroa  |  May 11, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Michael G., you could also say that the main character was a representation of America, always just spending all of thier money.

  • 136. Danielle L  |  May 11, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is one of the best novels I have ever read. It is sick twisted and pretty much all I really look for in a book. It takes place in the 1950’s where the main Character Esther Greenwood had an internship at a magazine in New York. She was living in a great hotel with eleven other women for one month. In that month, most of those women would go to fashion shows, ballets, mingle with successful and famous people, and of cores partied. They were living the American dream in a month. From that month they were learning so much and many were able to further their career with what they learned, but for some reason it didn’t really interest Esther. She always wanted to write but even with the experience she wasn’t able to write a single novel. In the end when she goes back home she just wishes to forget that month and wishes that she would just move away and leave her past behind. Then begins her down spiral into insanity and into several unsuccessful attempts at suicide.

    The connection is between what Esther experienced and the illusion of the American dream. It was all just an illusion and not really what it seems to be. Esther learned nothing from it and wouldn’t want to relive it again. She would just rather Forgive and forget about that moth.

  • 137. Kyle E. M.  |  May 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    My book is, “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” by Ernest Hemingway. This book is a historical fiction set in Spain during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. This novel is about Robert Jordan, an American man who volunteered to help with the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War. This novel takes place in the ending of the Great Depression. When America was trying to get back on top of things. I think that it’s ironic that Robert Jordan left America during the Great Depression to help out another country. I think it’s kind of similar that during 1937 both the United States and Spain were going through rough times. Spain was dealing with the Spanich Civil War and America was in deep trouble with debts during the Great Depression. So, “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” is a very interesting book. I found it kind of suspensful and cool because of the whole war aspect about it.

  • 138. Kyle E. M.  |  May 11, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I think that my character Robert Jordan is similar to Edna Pontellier from “The Awakening.” They both commit suicide because Robert does not want to be captured by the enemy and Edna does not want to live if Robert Lebrun has to leave. They both die for what they think is right. “For Whom The Bell Tolls” is also similar to “The Grapes Of Wrath,” because both stories take place at the end of the Great Depression. They may be from different geographical areas but they are duing the same time period.

  • 139. breanna j.  |  May 14, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    The title of my novel is an American Tragedy by Theodore Dreisel , which is a tragedy genrenand takes place in Kansas Chicago and New York.The time period is in the early1900’s.
    The novel An American tragedy is about a boy who is bored of his life in which his parents force him to do church work, where his family receives little pay and is quite poor. The boy,Clyde, gets a job at a hotel and life runs smoothly until one night while out with his friends, they accidentally kill a young child in a stolen car.Clyde fled the scene and moved to Kansas, then Chicago and works for his long lost uncle in a shirt factory. Though one of the rules of the factory is to not get personally involved with an of the factory girls Clyde disobeys. He is swiftly attracted to Roberta Alden, a poor and very innocent farm girl working under him at the factory. They form a secret relationship and Clyde coaxes her into having sex but his ambition forces him to realize that he could never marry her. He dreams of the elegant Sondra Finchley, the daughter of a wealthy Lycurgus man and a family friend of his uncle’s. As developments between him and Sondra begin to look promising, Roberta discovers that she is pregnant. After an unsuccessful abortion attempt Roberta expects Clyde to marry her, but t the same time Clyde grows closer to Sondra and fantasizes about marrying her instead. Roberta threatens to expose her and Clyde’s relationship so as an act of desperation Clyde makes plans to kill Roberta in an accidental looking fashion.Clyde takes Roberta for a canoe ride on a lake where they’re all alone and explains to her that the relationship was coming to an end. When Roberta moves towards him, he clobbers her with his camera, stunning her and tipping over the boat. Since Roberta can’t swim she begins to drown while Clyde, who is unwilling to save her, swims to shore.In the novel it’s unclear whether he acted with malice and intent to murder, or if he struck her merely instinctively. However all the evidence points to murder and the local police are all to eager to convict Clyde. Then there’s a trial and though there is a vigorous attempt to save Clyde by two lawyers his uncle hires Clyde is sentenced and put to death.

    This novel relates to american history because of the fact that it was actually based on a notorious criminal case.In 1906 resort owners found an overturned boat and the body of a young woman named Gracie Brown, in Upstate New York.Chester Gillette was convicted of killing Brown, though he claimed her death was a total accident.Gillette got the electric chair in 1908.The murder trial drew international attention when Brown’s love letters to Gillette were read in court. Dreiser saved newspaper clippings about the case for several years before writing his novel. Clyde Griffiths was based on Chester Gillette, down to having the same initials.

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