Lynn Huntington

The one thing that bothered me was how did Yale and Charles Crawley just let Rob slip away after graduating? He was in a difficult major with a limited number of students. Why weren't potential employers lined up to hire this straight A student?

Rhiannon The American university system is set up like a business. You pay for the services they offer, you get those services, and you leave. That is the system that students have, and the staff have to work within those parameters.

As for Charles Cawley, I honestly think he was a bit of a fool - a good-hearted fool. He regularly invited poor kids to spend time at his mansion as motivation to succeed; I'm not sure he or those kids ever understood how to get from Point A (poverty) to Point Z (Cawley's life of luxury). He wrote Robert a check for tuition, books, and other college expenses, but didn't consider that Robert would need money for day to day expenses that made him feel normal and/or like he belonged. It's really hard to be a normal college student who doesn't have money to contribute to the pizza fund, or retreats, or anything like that. There is an emotional toll to being the poor kid surrounded by rich kids. Rich people will never understand that, unless they grew up poor. Cawley also assumes that a degree from Yale will be all Robert needs in life, which is a dangerously outdated assumption.

In my opinion, Yale and Cawley are as much to blame for Robert's death as the Double II Sets.
Elizabeth I'll need to review the timeline, but didn't Rob himself want time to travel before taking the first step in his professional career? I think part of Rob's problem is that he was reluctant to commit to a particular career path, just as he was reluctant to commit to any one woman. He told one of his friends that he envied the ability to know what one wanted to do. Rob had so many avenues open to him that it almost seems he shut them down to avoid the fear of choosing the wrong path. I've seen this happen to talented people even when they have the support system and guidance that Rob lacked.
Natalie Interesting point. I thought along the same lines. Many of the professors, and "successful" people at Yale benefited from the fact that Rob sold drugs discreetly in his dorm room. Yet, when Rob died, it sounded like many of those same folks (future lawyers, Wall Street financiers, doctors, etc.) didn't contribute to his funeral fund. It seems to be a double standard and seemed to me like the same people who benefited from him being a "thug" (as so many have called him in other reviews I have read, although I do not personally hold this view) weren't willing to help his family out after he died a tragic death.

I think the book draws many parallels between these two worlds: The Ivy league (seen in the eyes of most as what true "success" looks like) and the streets of Newark (full of drug dealers and businessmen in their own right...)

It seems so strange to think that many Yale grads go off to become big names in Wall Street...are these men truly living more moral lives just because they have the fancy title and the Yale education? It brings to mind so many different issues about how we as a culture define "success."
Amy I don't have an answer, but I had the same question.
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by Jeff Hobbs (Goodreads Author)
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