Kakutani’s essay notes another one of President Obama’s beliefs

OPTION A (“ADAPTATIONS”):  Books are often adapted as movies. Gatsby has been adapted three times (but  we’ll only be considering two…) The film versions appeared in 1975 and 2013, and both were full-scale Hollywood productions that featured major actors/actresses, directors, and screenwriters. Both are easily accessible via YouTube, Netflix, and so on. You can compare the novel to a film OR compare a similar scene from the two films. The folder I gave you includes a few likely scenes to analyze—let’s chat about options. (By the way, Fun Home was adapted as an award-winning Broadway musical which radically changed the structure and language of the original text.)

OPTION B (“REMAKING OURSELVES”): Kakutani’s essay notes another one of President Obama’s beliefs. She says, “He wrote of the humble beginnings that he and Lincoln shared, adding that the 16th president reminded him of ‘a larger, fundamental element of American life — the enduring belief that we can constantly remake ourselves to fit our larger dreams’” (3). This statement suggests that we are not bound by our pasts, that we are free to consider the past but also free to ignore it and “invent” ourselves whenever we wish. Yet as Nick says of Gatsby, “He talked a lot about the past” (110). In what ways do characters in this book seem to believe that they are free of the past, and in what ways do they seem attracted by the past—or even trapped by it?

OPTION C (“DECADENT DECADE”): In his song “$100 Bill,” Jay-Z sings of the 1920s as the “decade of decadence, ill reverence, irreverence.” What do those words mean, and what do they have to do with The Great Gatsby? Please do NOT try to summarize the entire book or explain the entire decade. Pick one or two particular images, trends, objects, events, etc… and analyze whether and how these can be considered examples of “decadence, ill reverence, irreverence.” (You might want to check out the WIKI links about this decade. You might also consider the images of “decadence”from the 1970s in Fun Home.)

Again, please pick ONE of the Options. Then post a response of at least 300 (not 250…) words on our Discussion Board by midnight on Tuesday, April 20th.

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