Mrs. Jernigan's AP Class discussion

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message 1: by Ben (new)

Ben Sottek | 6 comments Why do you think Fox holds such disdain for opportunity and success; namely the opportunity that he himself passed up in his younger years?

message 2: by Corinne (new)

Corinne Oliphant Fox, obviously bitter, holds such disdain for success because he doesn't grasp it. He seems to like what he can control and thoroughly hate what he cannot. Even his children figure this pattern out as Charlie attempts the tasks assigned to him by his father only for the reason of being loved and the fear of being left behind. Fox, passing up his education at Harvard for a "good education" and being "prouder of his first job as a janitor than his Harvard scholarship" really speaks about his character and what he values. He doesn't value the typical ideal education. Why? Because he sees how many people take for granted the education many don't have and wouldn't have in other countries, such as Honduras; he refuses to be one of those people because he sees the corruption. Even though Fox comes across very blunt, bitter, and condescending, I personally understand his reasoning. Society takes so much for granted, I being guilty as well, when many others have less than a fourth of what the richest countries in the world have. What does that say about the world we live in? What exactly do we value? Wealth, popularity? We should be thinking like Mr. Fox, but maybe not to the extremes he takes it.

message 3: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 9 comments Perhaps Fox is bitter towards opportunity and success because of his selflessness. He is mentioned by the author as proof "that the brave cannot be killed" perhaps because courage starts with forgetting yourself and your own fears, just like Fox has to do at the beginning of his journey. Opportunity and success both stem from self desires, which can lead to losing one's self. Fox's flaw in the end could be his selfishness, which is why he fears the realms of opportunity and success. Harvard could bring him great income, education, status, power, and wealth, but he refuses it because he is refusing to succumb to selfish desires. He believes there is a better way, a deeper understanding, perhaps that he will find in Honduras.

message 4: by Ruby (new)

Ruby | 9 comments Ben wrote: "Why do you think Fox holds such disdain for opportunity and success; namely the opportunity that he himself passed up in his younger years?"

Fox's disdain for opportunity and success stems partially from his ironic combination of optimism and pessimism. While he sees improvement in every area of life, this awareness also reveals the negative in every situational and societal aspect. This contradiction leads to confusing actions such as boycott of international goods while maintaing a disgust for modern America. He is obviously an opponent of organized anything, proven by his refusal of a full scholarship to one of the top universities in the world. Perhaps this continuous downfall of contradiction confuses his own psyche and therefore leads him to reject opportunity and success. His brilliance may be his Achilles' heel. Fox's definition of success seem to be different from the rest of the world's as he found more pleasure and fulfillment in being a janitor than a Harvard scholar. Fox seems to refuse success as long as it is unavailable to the masses. Why should he, or anyone else for that matter, have more than anyone else? Though he sees the desperation for charity and hope within our nation and our world, he fails in his attempts to improve them. His self-deprivation, which he confuses for selflessness, ultimately leads him to make rash decisions that affect not only himself, but his whole family.

message 5: by Maria (new)

Maria Jernigan (mariajernigan) | 113 comments Mod
Is Allie that idealistic, though? Do you buy his confident "morality" or is he just another false prophet, blinded by his own false sense of self?

message 6: by Claire (last edited Dec 11, 2013 04:12PM) (new)

Claire | 8 comments I think that part of Fox's anger at opportunity and success is because he has seen what it used to be and what it has become. America is an ever evolving nation with new ways of doing things that constantly shift. Every generation has a certain work ethic individual to it. In his time, you got there by hard work and you earned whatever you got. But in this time period, things can be manipulated more easily, and sometimes people get success by other means other than earning it. People now do not work simply because they like to accomplish a goal, but instead are doing their job simply because they want money, like Mr.Polski. Seeing what his country has evolved into, as whole, has created the tinge of bitterness withing Fox and caused this hatred within him.

message 7: by Madison (new)

Madison | 8 comments It is clear that Fox is not an ordinary American and while it is typical for men and women to work towards the American dream, for Allie Fox, it is the opposite. It may be selflessness that drives him against success, but I think it is arrogance. I feel like Fox has seen the desperation that success has caused and does not desire it, yet he cannot be selfless because he still wants his desires to come true. His decisions to move us family and to keep them for school are to validate his unique beliefs. Hs refusal to back down is a guard for his pride. And even his pride is a guard for his insecurities. Perhaps Fox is so turned off to success because of his fear of failure and fear of allowing someone else to be right. It is ironic that though Fox is so adamantly against the greed of the American culture, he cannot let his views go, even when they would be beneficial to his family.

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