Ok, why did I not read this book when I was younger along with Little Women and Little House on the Prairie? And why after all these years did I stillOk, why did I not read this book when I was younger along with Little Women and Little House on the Prairie? And why after all these years did I still have to look up how to spell Prairie?
Especially with the tie-ins to Ann Arbor?
I loved reading how they grew up and survived being poor and yet they didn't realize the struggle they were just happy and together. I need to make a star bank and put it in my closet. ...more
**spoiler alert** First, this is the only time that I ever heard of a guy plotting so well to get what he wanted without everyone finding out his plan**spoiler alert** First, this is the only time that I ever heard of a guy plotting so well to get what he wanted without everyone finding out his plan. Gatsby planned everything - the house, the location, the money, the parties, the friends, everything just so Daisy would just happen upon him. Why didn't he just pick up the phone and call her or send her a letter instead of planning for five years? Usually it's a girl who will go thru all that trouble so that no one discovers what she is really up to.
Anyway, I enjoyed this story. I loved how it flowed, the era the characters. I plan on reading The Other Side Of Paradise soon (it's on my ever expanding list). There were two things that I wrote down while I was reading. The first was, on page 65 he spoke of that he traveled to San Francisco which he named the "mid west". Since when was San Francisco in the mid west? Maybe I read it wrong but the book is at home so I will have to check later.
The other thing, Fitzgerald never wrote about days, he wrote about events; the day Nick went to see Tom & Daisy, the day Nick met Tom's mistress, the day of the party, the day Nick invited Daisy over to see Gatsby and on... The reader never learned how much time passed between these events. Nick even mentioned in the book that the days just rolled into events but he didn't plan it that way.
Here's my take on the main characters.
Gatsby - Everything he did was for Daisy. Money was his first motivation for everything - leaving home and changing his name. When he met Daisy, she became his motivation. He wanted her to see how successful and rich he was. If Daisy really cared about those things, she didn't really love him unconditionally to begin with. Too bad he couldn't sit back and enjoy his money. Makes me think what he would be obsessing about once he had Daisy.
Nick - It seemed that he was just a spectator. His only place in this book was to tell the story as if he was the author writing Gatsby's memoirs. He also seemed to be the only one there with a conscience. He couldn't believe how everyone was nonchalant about the death of Myrtle, including Gatsby himself. And he couldn't believe all those people that filled Gatsby's house for the parties yet ran in the opposite direction when it was time to go to Gatsby's funeral. He finally left the city all together he was so disgusted.
Tom – He was a self-absorbed idiot who, with Daisy, created chaos and then turned the other way without thinking about their actions. Tom kept trying to act smart - taking ideas and opinions from books and passing them on as his own. Even his wife saw that and ignored him. He's a racist, quoting from the book "The Rise of the Colored Empire" and a sexist. He didn't even care that Nick was Daisy's cousin when he introduced his mistress to him. And we won't even talk about him hitting Myrtle. He didn't even want Daisy until someone else wanted her and then he freaked. Why was it okay for him to steal another man's wife but no one else could?
Daisy - Another idiot who chose money and power over love. She jumped from one thing to the next without thinking anything thru. She was disloyal to Gatsby three times. The first time by marrying Tom after promising to wait for Gatsby until he returned from the war. Then by allowing him to take the fall for her reckless driving, resulting in Myrtle's death. And then by not going to his funeral. Daisy didn't even care about her own daughter, bringing her out like a trained seal for guests and then when she was done showing her off, gave her back to the nanny after 10 minutes. Sure Tom came back to her but that was because the people they were cheating with died. Eventually Tom will find someone else to fool around with again and Daisy will be miserable.
And the one thing that will drive me crazy about this story, is what happened to the dog that Tom bought for Myrtle? Did someone go get it or did die of hunger and loneliness?
Before I forget, did anyone else notice that the book was dedicated to Harper Lee?
So did the crime fit the punishment? Which character is worse? PerryBefore I forget, did anyone else notice that the book was dedicated to Harper Lee?
So did the crime fit the punishment? Which character is worse? Perry who had an awful, disgusting childhood, was beaten, usually homeless, abused and treated like a "slave" but, according to him, killed 4 innocent people. Or Dick who had a standard childhood came from a good and strict family, played sports in high school, met the women of his dreams and married her. He didn't kill the family but he did instigate the crime and encouraged Perry to play it out until the end. Did they both deserve to die? Is Perry the worst of the two because he committed the actual murders or was Dick because there isn't any excuse to explain his life of crime? Is Perry better because he prevented Dick from committing rape before he shot Nancy's head off? (Don't mean to be crude but you get the idea) I'm curious to know what everyone thinks.
I liked how Capote started the book before the murders occurred. You were able to see how everyone was living and you could see the difference in people's attitude from the day before, to the day after the crime. One moment they looked after their neighbors, the next moment they were looking at them sideways trying to see if they were guilty. And I like how he wrote from the cop's point of view in the beginning (Nancy's purse in the hallway, her watch in the shoe, why the son looked like he did before he was shot) and then how Perry filled in the holes at the end. The only thing that made me question things was that is was so exact. Three months went by (or was it more) and he remembered everything right down to the emotions he felt when he was scurrying for the silver dollar that fell out of the purse. I have a good memory but lets face it, do you know any man who can remember the details that Perry did? How Dick was able to recite from memory the stores that he passed bad checks?
I was also surprised that the daughters weren't mentioned after the hurried wedding ceremony. And I don't understand why she felt the need to get married the week of her family's death, right after the funeral. I would have waited. But of course now-a-days people would just live together while they wait for a better time to get married. I guess they couldn't do that back then :) No one but the mother's brother showed up for the trial. And he asked for people to forgive the killers and let them have life in prison instead of death. I wonder how the other family members felt.
While I was exploring the site http://18.104.22.168/vhs/capotelesso... they had a "Six Degrees of Capote" area. This had emails from those that either knew the victims, the criminal or the city where they were from. There wasn't a lot but it was really interesting to read some of those. I think with a bit more exploring we could find other sites like that, that include witnesses' recaps of the incident. It did bother me to learn how writing about this affected Capote the way it did. How he felt bad for the killers who had hoped that he could save them. Did Truman ever say if he was for or against capital punishment? You can't tell from the book which shows what a great author he is, no biased opinions at all even though he talked with the killers and the victims for over 6 years.
And no I won't be renting this movie I don't need to be reminded that sometimes you are just at the wrong place at the right time or the right place at the wrong time. ...more
I'm actually enjoying the book and picked up Italian Education to read afterwards.
They really don't have characters in this book (unless you count ItalI'm actually enjoying the book and picked up Italian Education to read afterwards.
They really don't have characters in this book (unless you count Italy as a character)so obviously it's really hard to do a Character Analysis.
But, all in all, I like reading about the little quirks and traditions that foreigners deal with in new countries. I think it would be very interesting to read a book like this but based in Japan....more
**spoiler alert** I looked up Harper Lee online this is her only published book. However, she did write a few articles that one can find and read onli**spoiler alert** I looked up Harper Lee online this is her only published book. However, she did write a few articles that one can find and read online: Love in other Words - Vogue Christmas to me - McCalls When Children Discover America Romance and High Adventure
Her full name is Nellie Harper Lee - I bet she dropped the Nellie part so publishers would mistakenly think she was a man and read her material. She is also still alive and living in Monroeville, Alabama. And once you read about her and her family, you will know that she is not the only amazing person in that family (guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree).
I was able to tell in the beginning that the book started in the 30's once Dill mentioned that he saw Dracula in the theaters. Dracula was in theaters in 1931-32 (don't ask how I know that), and they mentioned that they were in the Depression which started in 1929 (1927-28 for the farmers) and went on through out the 30's. Since they were openly drinking, Prohibition must have ended (1933). And, towards the end of the book, they were mentioning Hitler and what he was doing in Germany which took place in the late 30's. My history teachers would be so impressed that I retained all of that information. Too bad my head is so full of that information, I have to look up my own phone number.
I loved Scout. In fact, I get dibs on that name for a little girl- or did Bruce Willis and Demi Moore beat me to it? I loved that she wanted to be a person first and then a girl. And she supports the fact that little kids know the meaning of life and forget it as they get older. She had a great relationship with her brother and father and they encouraged her to be true to herself and not follow the stereotypes of ladies of that time. I loved her way of thinking especially how she drew the conclusion that if she starting swearing her dad would assume she picked up the bad habits from school and pull her out. And when she wanted to write a letter to Dill in invisible ink just to drive him crazy, I almost ruined the book because I was drinking a Diet Pepsi at the time.
I have a feeling that Harper Lee was just like Scout and have you noticed that all early 1900 female authors are tomboys? Louisa Mae Alcott was Jo in Little Women, Laura Wilder wrote about herself. It just goes to show you that the truly creative women were those that went against the stereotypes of the time.
I'm not sure I like the fact that Atticus allowed them to call him by his first name and not Dad, but aside from that he was the perfect role model. He talked to them, not at them, and he always listened. He firmly believed that it was important for his children to respect him and by NOT following the creed "Do as I say, not as I do", Scout and Jem would be able to look up to him. He wanted his children to look beyond the color of one's skin, therefore he did. He treated everyone as equal despite their race, family background, age or education and if more people did that, there wouldn't be as many problems today. His teaching methods worked. You can tell how much the children loved and looked up to him. Nothing hurt them more then having their father be ashamed of them. They didn't keep things from him because they thought he wouldn't understand. They kept things from him because they didn't want him to get hurt. And they always listened, because to disobey would hurt Atticus.
Atticus's brother was another one of my favorite characters even though he wasn't mentioned a lot. When he realized his error after punishing Scout for beating up her cousin and tried to make it right, it showed that he also strived to earn their respect just like Atticus. Nothing irates me more then when someone tells me I have to respect them because they are older than me. Whatever. Does that mean I have to respect Bob Ewall because he is older?
It's easy to see with all of the problems in the world why Boo Radley feels safer hiding from away from it. It takes a special person to admit defeat to the cliché "if you can't beat them join them" and turn his back on things he doesn't understand. I think everyone has a little bit of Boo in us, when we shut out the problems of the outside. Of course, we all have a little of Scout in us to especially when I come out fighting if anyone tries to hurt my family.
The court case. Wow, the sad thing is, is I can see that happening even today (i.e. the Rodney King trial). When I moved here the first time, just before the LA riots, there was a huge ordeal about a Korean, store-owner who shot and killed a 17-19 black, teenager girl, she claimed was stealing and attacking her. The security camera shows the tiff and it shows the teen putting down the item and walking towards the exit. The store owner shot her in the back and was found not-guilty, by reason of self-defense. When the book was published in 1960, discrimination was still a big problem. I did like how Harper Lee brought up Hitler's actions against the Jews. It was obvious that what was going on in America with African Americans was no different in her eyes than what Hitler was doing. I agree, we were just more discreet about it. Perhaps because deep inside, Americans knew it was wrong to treat African Americans as third class citizens so we tried to hide it more. Hitler was right out in the open with his actions.
I listed a few links that I discovered about To Kill A Mocking Bird: http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Belmont_HS... The Student Survivor Guide. - This is amazing it has definitions of the harder words and references to the "Allusions and Idioms" that are used.
You are always worried when someone comes out with a best seller right out of the gate. Maybe it was just a fluke and the second book won't be as goodYou are always worried when someone comes out with a best seller right out of the gate. Maybe it was just a fluke and the second book won't be as good. Not so, if you liked Kite Runner, go ahead and pick this up. Same underlying theme about life in the Middle East but this time written from women's perspective and a perspective from a person who chose to stay behind instead for fleeing.
A book about the strength of women in a place where they are disregarded as human beings. And how to find hope when there is nothing but despair. This book is a keeper.