Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dreamer Mentality

Please respond to ALL of the following questions-make sure to give a thorough response, end with a question and respond to at least one other person's comment.

Idealism has always been a way for people to escape reality, or to pursue a reality that isn't quite tangible.  Having dreams for something more has many effects.
 If you are a dreamer, do you have to be more careful? Nick says to Gatsby, "You can't repeat the past." What do you think? Are there repercussions? Are people more apt to not get what they desire? Characterize Gatsby's dreamer mentality and what you see in his idealism (try to use textual support if you can)

55 comments:

  1. Idealism certainly is a way to ignore reality. Dreamers though are set up to fail. This may seem like a totally morbid and pessimistic thing to say but it is true. When you live in a world that is not reality, sooner or later reality will catch up to you and disappoint you. Reality is harsh and cruel. If you escape that reality, then life may seem good. However, you still live in reality. It is impossible to fully escape reality. Therefore, being a dreamer and idealist is not pragmatic. It doesn’t work. Idealism sounds great on paper, but in the flawed world in which we live it doesn’t work. Communism illustrates this perfectly. On paper a classless society where everyone is equal sounds great. After all why do we need to have winners and losers, rich and poor? However, in reality the ideal of communism does not work because it forgets that humans are inherently lazy. Humans don’t work if there is no reward. If you are going to be feed anyway what is the incentive to work hard at the farm? Ideally the life Gatsby has built for himself will work. However, sometime he must face reality. And when he does face reality, he will be disappointed. That is the problem with idealism. It only ignores reality because no one can escape it. By ignoring reality one becomes comfortable in their own façade. However eventually reality will collide with idealism and the façade will come crashing down. Inevitably there will be disappointment. One question I get from all this is, Is it possible to be both a realist and idealist? Is it possible to confront reality while still reveling in what could be? Does this paradox work or is it pure fantasy?

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    1. I like your example of communism used because it makes sense and it's true. But I disagree, because I think the world needs dreamers. But then, the world also needs realists. I don't think someone can fully escape reality, like you mentioned, but there should be a nice balance between reality and escape.

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    2. Chase - I like the honest truth that you portray by saying, "Dreamers are set up to fail." I would agree with this in many cases, however, would you think it possible that dreams can be balanced with reality like Melissa talks about. As long as your dreams are not taking presidence over responsibility, I think that if you a motivated enough you can find the time to achieve what you want.

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    3. Chase -- It depends on the dreams. Idealistic dreamers who wish for too much are set up to fail, but dreamers are what drive the progress of humanity. Without dreamers, we wouldn't have any of the technology we have today. Computers were breakthrough inventions created in garages by a couple dreamers. They were originally dismissed and shunned by the mainstream. However, because the dreamers persisted in chasing their dream, our lives are impacted every day by their legacies.

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  2. I don’t see a reason for dreamers to be more careful. They just life a different way, but what would they need to be careful of? I agree when Nick tell Gatsby he can’t relive the past. There is no way that can happen. Life is always evolving and one moment is never the same to another. I do think dreamers are more apt to not get what they want, but they just need to change their wants. There is a difference from a person who completely ignores reality and lives in their own world and someone who has a wild vision but makes it happen. The latter of the dreamers are respectable; they work hard for what they receive. I feel like Gatsby has worked hard to earn his money and I see no problem with that. It is possible to be a realist and idealist. To me, those are the happiest people. They have found a balance that helps them get through life. On this topic I take the idealist side because I think it’s good to dream and think of the happy things. What are disadvantages to being an idealist? What are the disadvantages to being a realist?

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    1. I really like what you have to say. I would say that to be an idealist is to live life with endless possibility, however; sometimes with that possibility comes a greater chance for failure and regret. I don't believe realists always obtain the great feelings of hope and dreams but on the other hand they are more able to avoid situations that could take a turn for the worse. There are definitely trade offs between the two.

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    2. Do you think that today most dreamers are the ones that push reality aside? Maybe I just don't see it, but I feel like most dreamers live by a sort of "ignorance is bliss" mentality. I think this sort of idealism can be a huge downfall. However, being a realist myself I can see the downfalls there. I'm definitely a little more pessimistic than some of my "dreamer" friends and that can definitely put a downfall on relationships. I think a person has to be a perfect balance of the two in order to see life in a perfect light.

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  3. I think the greatest difference between whether something is tangible or not depends on whether people have dreams or expectations. I think that sometimes people don't always achieve their "dreams" because their dreams were expectations for them. I think people who can live out life without having expectations are more likely to attain their dreams. One of the problems with Gatsby that I see is that he doesn't necessarily let events unfold how fate would have them, but rather he tries to control the situations around him to meet the needs of his desires. Gatsby's over-eagerness almost works against him at times. After suddenly reuniting with Daisy, he jumps in head over heels to impress her, rather than just being himself. (However, Gatsby has created such a fake persona of himself that I’m not sure he even truly knows who he is.) As we see later, after the first party Daisy attends, she is highly unimpressed - thus having the opposite effect that Gatsby intended. Sometimes I wonder if dreams are really attained when they are unexpected. However, I also wonder: Are people often more responsible for "loosing" their own dreams, or is it something simply in the hands of fate that we have no control over?

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  4. I don't think that dreamers have to be more careful. They are put on this Earth to wonder and imagine and invent brilliant things. The "non" dreamers take care of the carefulness by questioning and suggesting. If the dreamers began to be more careful then I believe that eventually their dreams would subside and we would end up with a world filled with non dreamers. "You can't repeat the past" What an interesting remark. I've never really thought about reliving the past because I always stay focused on the present moment. I have to say I would actually agree with Nick. Over time people change and its the events in their life that deliver such change. You can't go back and stop their friend from moving away or their dog from dying, because things just happen. I don't think there should be anything to stop Gatsby from trying though so long as Daisy is just as wiling. I believe it takes at least two people to remake a memory and if Daisy wants to stay with Tom and her baby girl and not rekindle anything with Gatsby then he will need a find a way to accept the truth. I believe that anyone can achieve their dreams if the dreams apply solely to that one person, but when two or more people are involved the chances of succeeding do decrease a bit.
    Do people spend too much time wishing to go back and correct mistakes? Does that mentality affect their ability to look toward the future and prepare for similar situations that may cause for mistakes?

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    1. You bring up a good point that relates to the balance in this world. You mentioned how dreamers don't have to be careful because non dreamers are. Our world is filled with balances: good vs bad, thinkers vs doers, dreamers vs nondreamers. I agree with what you said about nondreamers taking care of the carefulness for the dreamers to excel. Like you, I also have not ever thought about reliving the past. The thought has never crossed my mind because it is such an impossible idea to me for many reasons. To answer your questions, I do think that people spend too much time trying to correct the mistakes that they made in the past. People should not ever focus on any mistakes that they have made in the past. And that mentality does hinder them from growing and developing in the future.

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  5. Dreaming is a method that people use to escape reality. While it has its pros, it has its cons. Like what Chase said, if you are living in a dream or a world that isn't there, then the reality of it will catch up to you and hurt you in some way. Dreamers do have to be careful. They have to watch out for how far off their mind is from reality. If it strays too far, they may escape reality entirely, which can be very dangerous because while one may think they have escaped reality entirely, they still live in it. It isn't possible to escape reality entirely, which dreamers must be careful to remember.
    I agree with Nick when he tells Gatsby that he can't repeat the past. I don't think anyone can, for multiple reasons. The first reason why the past can't be 'remade' or 'recreated' is because people change over time. Since the time that one wants to relive, the people involved in that time have changed because of new experiences. While one may think they were not affected by an event, in some way, no matter how minor, they were changed in a way that prevents the. from returning to the past. Another barrier of returning to the past is the idea that one would need everyone around them to return as well. If one simply tries to relive the past without anyone/everyone else, the past they want to return to will be much different than they remember, which brings me to the third reason why the past can not be returned to. As humans, we only remember the good things. Our memories are primarily filled with positive events. If we only remembered the bad things that happened to us, life would suck. It would be very bad if we lived with out negative past hanging over us all the time. If we were to try to return to the past and did so successfully, it would be very different from the past we remember because we would have forgot about all the bad things of that time.
    I think that people are more apt to not get what they desire. I think with regards to dreams, we don't because we live in a reality is sort of negative. Our reality will keep us from achieving what we want. Part of this is because of us, and part of it is because of the people around us. We have images in our mind that are different from how things actually are. These tainted images may cause us to desire something that is unrealistic, therefore, we can't/don't get what we want. Also, other people prevent us from getting what we want, idealistically. While I may have a great image of the world and then develop what I want, my method for obtaining this thing will require someone else. And if that other person sees things differently, they may intentionally or inadvertently prevent us from reaching our dreams.

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  6. Idealism is optimism taken to an impractical and unhealthy level. You can dream without being an idealist. You can keep your dreams within what is possible in the world. For instance, you can dream to be a famous or powerful person, but you can't dream that everyone will love you or appreciate what you believe in or even help you along the way. Idealists often see too much of the good in people. They expect that people will always do the right thing. This can make them very vulnerable. People lie, cheat, and go behind people's backs constantly, and when you don't have your guard up against it, people can more easily take advantage of you. I believe that we should dream, but not devote ourselves so desperately to them that we will be shattered if they don't come true. A dream is what drives an individual, however it is also what keeps him from being able to adapt. When we have our eyes so set on a dream of ours, we often do not see the other opportunities around us. And if we chase a dream our entire lives and find that it is not all that we expected it to be once we achieve it, we become disappointed, bitter, and apathetic. Instead of wholeheartedly clinging to a single dream, we should diversify our goals and desires, so that if one door closes, or leads to a disappointing room, we may simply turn around and walk through another. Instead of dwelling on the past and trying to relive the highlights of our lives, we should keep looking forward. All people are plagued with various degrees of nastolgia. We all think that certain times in the past are better than our present and future. But most of the time this isn't true. Our brains just try to forget the bad parts, and only remember the good times we have had. This gives the past a false sense of happiness. We should stop thinking about the past because bad memories only bring regret and good ones only give us a melancholy sense of longing. We should instead look excitedly towards the future, planning for and anticipating the great events ahead. The past is closed, times change permanently and though we may try, we will never be able to relive the past in a satisfying way. The future, however is open to whatever we may want. We may go in entirely different directions if we want to. A blank slate. The future is opportunity while the past is broken dreams. Thinking about the past has no effect upon it, but our thoughts about what is to come can shape our future. If we keep wishing for earlier times we will not appreciate the life we are living. Nostalgia is the rust of life. When we are young, the world is open to us and we can do whatever we want, but as we grow older, we think more and more of the events of our past, slowing down the progress of our life. Eventually, we only think about the past and what once was, completely stopping our forward motion. We fade out. I never want to fade out. I always want to keep pace with the world. And so I try not to dwell too long on the bad or the good experiences I have had, but instead keep looking for the next thing to do. Why do we have such a fear of the future? Why do some people so strongly wish to relive the past?

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  7. What would happen to someone if they tried to relive the past today? How would the consequences change based on where this person is? Would they change depending on location?

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  8. I feel like most dreamers tend to be very optimistic. They end to focus on what their goals are or their "dreams" in order to escape what ever is ailing them. However, I think this can be a little dangerous for lack of better word. This may just be because I tend to be a little bit of a pessimist, but the problem lies in the ignorance. I think the quote "ignorance is bliss" is one of the most obnoxious quote ever. I feel like the dreamers that play ignorant to everything have absolutely no idea of what's going on around them. I think they use their, look ahead, mentality in order to escape a sometimes harsh reality. I think reliving the past could add to trying to escape reality. Reality is reality and that's what it is. I know, that's a little repetitive but it can be harsh. Dreamers tend to miss out on all the great things that can come from the present too. I think sometimes they look at things like the Boston Bombing and immediately search for something to think about. They tend to miss the part where everyone suddenly came together and said "this won't break us" and when every one said "we can build up from the shadows and live larger than we ever did." I think these people tend to miss out on everything that means anything in today's society. They miss out on the good the bad and the ugly, which I think makes them a little weak. They refuse to learn from the bad and the ugly in order to make the good even better. They forget about the awesome things we live for and try to push it all aside through their "dreams" and "goals" when really they are just fake. Do people tend to push out the bad thoughts because they think it will be better in the long run if they just don't know about it?

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    1. to respond to your question, i think that people do push out the bad to feel better for that moment. I also think that if someone holds back and in all the bad in their life then that very moment when all of those horrible thoughts come back to their minds at once, that person in more likely to break which is going to make a whole lot more difficult than facing what they should one at a time when they come up. better to conquer and become stronger as time goes on, than putting everything aside and being crushed when you actually have to face things.

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    2. I believe that many people take on a "what you dont know cant hurt you" sort of mentality, in that they are more comfortable if they push away the bad and only see the good. I think many of these people are not comfortable in the world we are living in, and pushing away the bad is there way of coping, although it might not work out so well for them in the long run, because as Kaley said, if they remember all of the bad things that they pushed out of frame at once, then they could break mentally and begin to only see the bad in life.

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    3. I think it's really interesting what you said about the whole "ignorance is bliss" thing because I guess I had never really thought of it like that and I kind of agree. We need to be informed about the world around us and to be ignorant just to stay happy is silly. And despite what I said in my response, I do think you have a point when you said that dreamers need to be a little careful, because they tend to forget about the negative side to things as they constantly hope for a better future and expect it to be there. In response to one of your questions, I do think that people push out the bad because they don't want bad things to interfere with their dreams. People don't want to be told that something isn't going to happen, so they choose to stay ignorant about things, which in some ways is a good thing, but in many ways, it's weakening society's morals, too.

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  9. I personally don't think that one has to be more careful if they are a dreamer. Being a dreamer makes one's ability to cope with reality difficult and i also think that they have a greater chance of getting hurt if their "dreams" don't come true the way that they were expecting. however; i believe some of the most successful people out there are dreamers. they created a dream that they pursued until they obtained what they thought was their dream. it can go both ways but if one doesn't know how to also grasp the concept of reality then yes they need to be semi careful. I believe that anyone can repeat the past to some degree. I also believe that no one can completely repeat the past. If i wanted to repeat the past with an old boyfriend I'm sure that I could try to become the person i one was, and get back with the boy i thought i should be with but it takes him being the same person he was as well as who i was. this just can not happen because people grow or get destroyed by what they go through as they get older. this chain of events doesn't allow someone to go back to who they were because they have changed so much from all they have been through. The issues with trying to repeat the past are enormous. In my mind i'm sure i have made up how i felt with that person so much better than it actually was as well as Gatsby. that amazing vision Gatsby had in his head about him and Daisy grew into this perfect time even if it wasn't back then. this has an issue, if one gets a chance to go back to something in the past that vision is going to be shattered. nothing will be as perfect as our head has created for us. another issue with all of this is getting crushed. i do think that people will end disappointed. what have you gone through and think about all the time? do you re-live this time in your head? is what is in your head exactly how it happened? what makes one's mind build up a moment in time? does this build up make you crave to re-live that moment even more? why?

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    1. I think about the times that I've had with the people that make me the happiest. I think about special memories with family and friends. I relieve these times when I feel like I'm at a low point and want to focus on something better. Yes, it is exactly what happened because I like to replay it. I don't necessarily change things, I just like to reflect on the past. Sometimes, though, I think about how I could have acted differently and what the outcome could have been. I believe that people build up certain moments because there was something about that time that gave them a good feeling. I think it would make you want to relieve it because it felt so good the first time.

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    2. I see where you are coming from which is why I was a little torn when I was writing my response. I think one has to be balanced both in how much they dream but also in how much they deal with the reality of things in their life. If someone does not dream, then how can they be successful? They wouldn't know what success is in their eyes because without a dream, that person is at the lowest standards for themselves and for society. As for your question at the end, I see it as a problem to think about our most prized moment in life, the time when we were the happiest because the more we crave that then the more of a facade we put on when we are not in those times.

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  10. I think that dreamers have to be careful. Just as we saw in The Great Gatsby, people's expectations can be too high in their dreams. Therefore, they are disappointing when reality kicks in. I think that people should dream with ambition, however there need to be limits. Their dreams should be realistic otherwise they will be let down when the dreams don't come true. I think people can repeat the past, but only to a certain extent. I don't think that repeating the past will ever be as satisfying. If you want to repeat the past, there is probably something enjoyable about it. However, if you try to imitate that circumstance, it is too forced. I believe that some things are just supposed to happen, and they shouldn't be forced. People set their standards too high, which leads to disappointment. For example, let's say that I went on a family trip that I loved as a kid. If I went back and tried to re-create it today, some things would be different. The trip could be better but I would most likely be upset that it was not the same as before. What makes people want to go back in time? Why aren't they satisfied with the present? Why is the past better and what shapes the future?

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    1. In reply to your comment, I feel we romanticize and elaborate the emotions possessed in certain events; for example, if you skinned your knee, suddenly five years later it was you jumping from a 10 foot wall to escape a wild animal. We want to believe that our past all added up to some significance and to make it appear that way we spin the end result out of proportion. We suddenly believe our own white lies, and couldn't possibly imagine a time better- even the present, of what already happened. The past is better because time really does heal all wounds, the pain and hardships of the past are softened by time- and we're only left with the sweet and fruity remnants of the past. This in turn hurts our future because of our desire to have that sweetness again. Why not repeat your actions to gain the same result? Usually someone would only change their ways if it affected them in a negative way.

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    2. I think that people often want to go back in time when they are not satisfied with their current lives and their futures. They look back at opportunities they missed out on, and they want to rewind time so that they can take advantage of those situations. When we are not faced with the actual realities of the past, it can have a much greater appeal. The past is the past, but it still influences us throughout our lives.

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    3. I agree completely on your statement about recreating the past. Forcing a situation to happen will never make anything that you want to happen happen! If something is meant to be, it will happen, and if it isn't meant to happen then it wont. In the case of Gatsby attempting to recreate the past, he is trying way to hard to make something happen that just wont, but if he were to let everything play out, like you suggest that everything does, then he would probably have a lot better of a chance of being happy, whether he ends up with Daisy or without.

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  12. I’m definitely a dreamer, my depth of imagination is often what makes me happy, and helps me to excel in a certain range of tasks. One downfall of having a creative and imaginative mindset is just that, an imagination; an image of idealism that often roots itself into the mind so far that it doesn’t seem far-fetched anymore. (The longer you stay in the monkey house, the less it smells- and soon, it doesn’t smell at all). Having an idealistic mind requires a huge source of hope, without an optimistic view on dreams and goals, there would be no incentive of curiosity to achieve them. Trying to relive the past is dangerous, as is living vicariously through others to obtain and puppeteer remnants of your own life through others. We all have one soft and fluffy memory, however I think there’s a difference between dreamers, and people who want to relive their past. The consequences of trying to obtain a similar lifestyle from years past ranges from aching emptiness and broken relationships, to a decline in health and mental activity. In my opinion, our lives consist of a mixture of fate and decision. When fate steps in, we contemplate subconsciously through our wants and needs, or our “desires” and come up with a decision. Trying to live in the past damages our ability to think freely because our mind is bound by the restrictions and opportunities seen in the past. We close our minds to the future, and cannot accept numerous aspects that go into being able to lead a productive lifestyle. Overall, I may be a dreamer, a bit of an idealist; but I try to keep my ideas and actions separate because I am aware I have a tendency to hope for more than in possible in various situations. In addition, because I’m young, haven’t the time many do to latch onto adolescent memories and fall in love with the reality of unreality.
    Gatsby was so attached to Daisy at the beginning of their relationship because she was the epitome of what he had hoped to become once he had changed his identity. This in turn made him expect so much from Daisy because after he was charmed with her, he had time to build up the gaudiness of his imagination to a level of which she could not obtain. He ultimately ended up killing his own dream due to his idealistic and harsh point of view. A quote I like goes, "Blessed is he who is flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape." -Unknown.

    What keeps us from making a more successful future than our past?
    Is hope dangerous? How is it safer to have real expectations even if they're disappointing?

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    1. Regarding your first question, I think that you would need to define success first because its meaning differs from person to person, but I think one's sense of regret plays a major role. I think that because we know the past and do not know or understand what the future holds, that it limits us from striving for success. Also, everyone makes choices and there are some moments when we can fantasize about what our lives would have been like if we chose differently. In these moments, we regret our choices and refuse to look at the life we are living right now.

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    2. I really love your view point of separating dreamers from people caught in the past. I completely agree and I am a dreamer myself, but as you said to be a dreamer you need that huge source of hope to help the incentive to achieve certain things. But what about the opposite, do you think dreamers and people who have optimistic views on dreams and goals are setting themselves up for more disappointment in this harsh reality?

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  13. I think that dreamers need to understand that their thinking may not always be in tune with reality, but I wouldn't necessarily say that they have to be careful. People can use their dreams and aspirations to motive themselves to do great things with their lives. Dreams do not always have to be unrealistic, and they can be used as inspiration for a larger goal. Amazing things can come from dreaming. Although the ultimate dream may not be reached, important life experiences and smaller successes can come along the way.
    I think that it is important not to dwell over certain events in the past, but it is also necessary to remember where you came from. The past influences who we are today and who we want to be in the future. This reminds me of the expression "Been there, done that". You need to learn from the good and the bad in your past. Sometimes things happen for a reason, and you have to take the knowledge from these experiences into your new adventures.
    When you try to repeat the past, it is easy to just end up in a rut, living the same mistake over and over again. It is impossible to rewind time and have everything go back to the way it was before. Too many things have changed.This can lead to great disappointment when the realities don't match up with the memories.

    Is how you remember the past necessarily how it really happened? Is the past what you make of it?

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  14. Have you ever met a person who had his/her feet on the ground but their head in the clouds? I am talking about what I believe the ideal dreamer would be. The type of person that understands the difference between what fantasies are tangible and those that are not. Idealism should not be classified as bad because when going through a tough time, a sense of hope and something for people to look forward to can help them. I mean, would you tell a four year old that Santa Claus does not exist and that parents hand out toys instead? I hope not because the smile on a child’s face at Christmas morning is worth it. I think that as a dreamer the only that you need to be careful about is not having enough dreams. There are plenty of problems in the world and by having an abundance of dreams; one dream has to come true. With that said, disappointment is a major repercussion of dreaming because life does not always give us what we want and sometimes dreams are achieved and sometimes they are not.

    When do illusions become reality for people? Also, how many times does one have to lie to believe that the lie is the truth?

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    1. I love how you show the good side of being a dreamer, and how it can be a good escape from a bad reality.

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    2. I think, regarding your question about lies, that the point at which a lie becomes truth is the point when the lie becomes a part of a person. Take Gatsby, he dreamed about this fantastical life and the person he wanted to be, and over time, all those lies he told himself about how his life was going to be filled with wealth and excitement became a part of his way of thinking, and at that point they also became a part of him and his own truth. It takes time for a lie to become truth, but once the lie is accepted as a part of the liar, a part of their very character, it becomes their reality.

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  15. I think that if we are not careful with our dreams and hopes, then we will be too easily disappointed when they dont come true, just as Gatsby was disappointed when Daisy didn't live up to expectations of her. If we can put limits on our dreams, and make sure that everything we hope for is within reasonable reach, then we can avoid disappointment on the level that Gatsby experienced. Thats not to say that big dreams are not allowed, I'm just saying that the ones we should reach for should be realistic. The same goes for trying to relive the past. I have many great memories of the past, however, If I tried to recreate them, I feel that I would be disappointed, because usually our memories are distorted, and we remember them being much more enjoyable then they were. Again, disappointment can be avoided if we choose to remember our good times, and not relive them. We should instead choose to live in the present and look towards the future, and all the goo memories to come. If look towards the future and not dwell on the past, then we can live much happier lives overall.

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  16. Why do people choose to live in the past and not look towards the future?
    What are they holding on to?

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    1. I think that people choose to live in the past because they know what it's like. They know the satisfaction felt at a specific time or the happiness that they felt. But the future is very obscure. It's full of surprises and the unknown, and humans have always been afraid of the things they don't know.

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  17. I don't think it would even be possible to try and make dreamers more careful. Dreaming and striving for something is human nature. We always want what we can't have, no matter how outlandish and unreal it may seem. Just because we dream of something, doesn't mean it will actually happen, it's just what we hope might happen. Now, that doesn't mean that we won't try everything in our power to make our dream a reality, which is where things start to get a little dicey. Take Gatsby for example, he dreamed for a life with Daisy for so long, that his dream became his reality and he got lost in a world of opportunities that didn't really exist. He did everything he could to make his relationship with Daisy happen, but people change; society changes. Nick says that you can't repeat the past, which Gatsby refuses and says you can, but no matter how hard you try, time is moving on. Nothing can be repeated exactly as it was the first time. The same thing might happen more than once, but every time it happens, emotions are different, and it's a different time. As much as we'd like to sometimes, you can't relive something that's already happened, because its already happened. It's done with. So many people, like Gatsby, are stuck in the past and long for what could've been if only they had done a certain thing different. What makes reliving the past so much more intriguing than looking forward to the future? Are dreams just a way to try and keep our mind interested and curious? Or are they a waste of time while they fill up our brains with empty hopes? What makes dreams and aspirations so important to have in this world? What kind of world would this look like if no one ever desired another life or something new?

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  18. In my opinion, dreaming is fantastic for certain things including helping someone discover who they could be in the world, and looking forward to the future and how to helps others. It can be very resourceful and powerful but at the same time can be dangerous. I think peoples' dreams are much more than they make them out be and like the quote says, "'You can't repeat the past.' 'Why of course you can.'" I believe that there is some way for the past to be repeated as long as you have everyone in on it and everyone has the same mind set as you, it is possible. Now, some of the repercussions might include not being able to find your way through reality, knowing how things will turn out because you have experienced them before, and of course, having higher expectations that you can do it better the second time around. I would say that in a way, dreamers do have to be more careful because if they dream too much about what they could have instead of what they do have than their actual lives will never be satisfied and therefore they will live a life of sadness and illusion. The only reason Idealism has holes in it is because at first everything seems so dandy and than you realize it's all fake and than one will have gaps in their life where they have simply ignored reality and not dealt with it. I don't understand though why one would ever want to repeat the past because even though it might have seemed like the best time of your life, there are also down points which will reveal themselves again. Things have a way of showing themselves again if they are prompted. Why is it that people are so easily unsatisfied with their lives? Do we really have to have it all taken away for us to realize what we had to begin?

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    1. I think that people are easily unsatisfied with their lives because it is hard to ignore the mentality that things could be better. It kind of goes back to our discussion on money. Humans will always see another level higher than the one that they are on.

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  19. I think that people should dream as much as they want, and more importantly pursue those dreams. I think it is important to be conscientious of reality and surroundings when dreaming because sometimes expectations draw you away from reality, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should have to be a careful dreamer. I don’t believe that you can repeat the past, but I do think that it is possible to relive certain moments. Nostalgia plays a huge role in The Great Gatsby, and it accurately reflects people today. We all have those periods in our life that we wish we could relive because it was meaningful to us in one way or another. Though nostalgia can be good, it can also corrupt people. Dwelling on the past is different that reminiscing and remembering what used to be. The present and future hold so much for us. It is sometimes hard to find a balance for the past, present and future. I think that people will be apt to not get what they desire if expectations are too high. In my post on the Happiness blog, I said that when people expect something and don’t get it, they are disappointed, but if things come at surprise, then happiness is more likely to present itself. What makes the past so intriguing? Why does it seem that the past is more important than what lies ahead?

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    1. Colleen,
      I like what you are saying about the double-sided nature of nostalgia and idealistic thinking. I believe that a balance is possible between the two sides, and that is where success if found. One needs to be able to challenge what they seen in order to improve, but also make sure that these improvements are attainable.
      The past is so intriguing because it is the only part of our lives that we know for sure what the cause, outcome, and consequence was. It gives us something that we can learn from, as well as something that serves as a security. We feel comfortable with the past because of how stable it is.

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  20. Dreaming is risky. When you dream, you set aside reality and fantasize about something that is not reality, whether it is realistic or not. A dreamer is foolish to dream about something that they know they will never have. A dreamer is foolish to get lost in a dream as well, forgetting reality. Dreamers do have to be careful, very careful, that they don't lose reality. That being said, you can't reach your full potential without dreaming. Being a dreamer is an important quality because without it you'll never be inspired to take risks, you'll never explore possibilities that aren't presented to you, and you'll never experience dissapointment. All these things are important to live life. Dreaming of the past and attempting to recreate the past is pointless in my opinion. The past is the past for a reason, things are different because they're meant to be different. It is literally impossible to recreate the past because the past was not created, the past happened due to a series of events that will never happen the same way again. All you get from dreaming about the past is dissapointment. Dreaming about the future can lead to dissapointment as well if you are not careful, but it can also lead to wonderful, amazing things that would have never happened if you hadn't of followed your dreams! So when does dreaming cross the line of good to bad? When do you need to step back and re-evaluate?

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  21. Everyone dreams of something they want, or something they hope to happen. That's obvious. But then there are people like Gatsby, who build their entire lives around a dream. Clearly, that is not good. It has obviously affected him negatively because his dreams were greater than the reality of it. I have to disagree with Chase when he said that dreamers are set up to fail. Because of dreamers, we have computers. Because of dreamers, we have light, even at night. For many people, a dream is just a goal set for their future. They strive for it, and once they reach their goal, there is a satisfaction that makes up for all of the pain and work it took to get there. But, I also agree that dreamers have to be careful. When they set up their whole lives around this idealistic dream, then they lose focus of reality. When I think of that, I imagine someone who is really determined to get a specific job. But when he is offered a smaller job, even though it could lead to his dream job, he turns it down because of his idealistic view of himself and never ends up getting the job he originally wanted so much. They act like the person they want to be, setting up a façade, even though it is not their true self. These people are the ones who end up with disappointment. Reality finally catches up to them and that's when dreamers fail. This makes me question why people put up this façade. What causes these people to change so drastically? Is there ever a situation where this could actually help?

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  22. A dreamer mindset is one that is definitely a cause for caution. By definition, a dreamer tends to get carried away with what they believe is achievable, and it may be too late before they realize had they have been mistaken. While having this mentality is not an overwhelmingly negative trait, it can only be beneficial if it is taken with the proper checks and balances. Idealism within certain bounds is what inherently drives us as humans to become better, so it cannot be completely beaten out of our system. In terms of reliving the past, I do not think it is possible for one’s longings and nostalgia for the past to ever be truly fulfilled, for many reasons. For example, as we saw in Midnight in Paris, one’s vision and memory of the past is never actually what the situation was at the time. Therefore, the past that an individual craves for never actually fully exists in the form that they desire. Also, as Andrew mentioned in our Socratic, a large part of the past that we envision relies on others’ personality and thinking from that moment, and this bound to change over time. We can never change these people’s mindset back to the way they used to be, rendering the desire for that moment being unsatisfied regardless of the physical conditions. The repercussions of attempting to bring back different times can be seen through Gatsby’s action and life story. Although it may seem for a while that you are succeeding, in the end everything that is built up is fake, and cannot truly sustain what it would have during the past. Personally, I believe that people are most likely to not get what they desire when they invest and believe in something that is not reachable. As in Gatsby, many times human nature leads us to believe we can attain something that is simply not possible, and the desperate quest for this goal leaves people distraught. This brings me to my question. Where is that line between reasonable aspirations and unrealistic desires? How can we distinguish these before we find ourselves on the wrong side?

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  23. I don’t think dreamers have to be more careful because that is not what dreaming is about, it’s about hoping and imagining a better tomorrow or the pursuit of something more. I don’t want to say that dreamers don’t except reality because that is not true in all cases. I am a dreamer and I understand the reality I live in, but that does not stop the expansion of my hopes and thoughts it provides me with more to imagine almost. I do agree with Chase that being a dreamer may lead to more disappointment because the reality we would like can’t ever really match up to the reality we live in, but the point is to have something to strive for, and helps provide the incentive that helps us excel. It’s that source of hope that strengthens dreamers and helps get them past the disappointments of this harsh reality, and continue to dream and strive for something different. You can’t be a “careful dreamer” because it’s the dreams that we put our all in to that defies everything, which we struggle and work harder to accomplish. When it comes to dreaming about the past, that’s a different thing completely. Remembering and reminiscing about the past is okay, but when you look back and dwell on the past, it can only lead to disappoint and dissatisfaction because it cannot be changed and causes us to miss the present, thus not hope or prepare for the future. Nick is correct when he says you cannot repeat the past, because what happened happened, and no moment or situation will ever be exactly the same. One should look at the past only to learn from the mistakes made or to learn from it so they can look ahead and not allow it to affect them in the future. Is okay to look back into the past for guidance, or is that letting the past effect the future? And can dreamers ever be satisfied or committed or do they always look for something better?

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    1. In regard to your question, I do believe that dreams can be accomplished and fulfilled. I think that drive and determination can allow people to achieve almost anything they desire; however, I do not think that a dreamer will ever stop dreaming. A dreamer’s tendency is to idealize their life and strive towards a goal that is often inaccessible, so even if a dream is fulfilled, its dreamer will not be satisfied.

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  24. A dreamer has always been foolish to me. Now, there is nothing wrong with having a dream to be a millionaire someday, or to go to a prestigious college, because some are attainable and require you to work in the present. Someone who spends all their time dreaming about many things that they want, fantasizing if you will, ultimately has their world crushed by reality.
    As to “You can’t repeat the past”, you definitely can. The problem is that it may not be the same. Ignore the fact that most other people would not want to live the past with you, you have changed. Everyone changes over time, their mannerisms, personality, characteristics, so the past can never truly be recreated. Nostalgia stems from this. Every once in a while I will have a flare of nostalgia, but I always realize the difference between that and reality. In a way, someone who thinks they can recreate the past is a dreamer. They hope that everything can go back to the way it was, but it cannot. I seem extremely pessimistic, but I think this is all true.
    Kaley, what you said about most successful people out there being dreamers is true, but there are many more that have had their dreams crushed than come true. Is that a reason to stop dreaming? Just because the odds are against us, why should we stop being dreamers? Now I know I said that dreamers are foolish, but who isn’t?

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  25. I think being a dreamer calls for being a lot more cautious, because dreams are very easily crushed. For a dreamer to make it, they have to be able to believe in their dreams with all of their heart, and know that one day they will reach them. I agree with Nick when he says, "You cant repeat the past." I think that people try really hard to hold on to the past when times get tough in order to escape from the present. But the past will never be the same as your future. Even bringing back old people, or returning to your old ways will be different because the experiences that have created the barrier between the past and the present have made you a different person, whether you are aware of it or not. I would not say that people are more likely to not get what they desire. I think it's all in the want, splashed with some fate. If you want it bad enough, then maybe, just maybe you will get it. However I strongly believe in fate, and that what happens, happened because it was meant to.

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  26. Can being a dreamer actually give you more success in your life? Or do the people who see only the harsh reality truly succeed?

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    1. I think it's a combination. Without dreamers, there wouldn't be any new ideas. Many big companies out there began from a dream. The same goes for books. Dreams make up the base of progress.

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  27. The mindset of a dreamer is that of someone who always has “their head in the clouds”, and because of this, I think that I dreamer has to be careful not to get swept up in their dreams and imagine them to be reality. Our dreams can encompass our entire life, and can blot out the reality that we live in, but an existence like that is ignorant, in that those people have no real idea of what is going on around them. In such a way, they have little chance of achieving those dreams because they are so distracted by their idealized idea of what life is. When it comes to Gatsby, his dreams completely took over his life, yet he still had some idea of what was necessary to achieve them, and what the world was really like. He saw both the dream and the reality at the same time, and this allowed him to succeed. The quote, “You can’t repeat the past” is so applicable to Gatsby’s life because that’s exactly what he is trying to do with Daisy. It reminds me of a quote that I’ve seen and heard a million times, but have never been able to find the source of; it goes, “It’s okay to visit memory lane sometimes, just don’t live there”. What Gatsby is essentially doing is buying a house on memory lane. He wants this life with Daisy, but not the Daisy he sees right in front of him, instead he desires the Daisy that only exists in memories. Both Gatsby and Daisy have changed, and because of their idealistic dreams, both are ignorant of those changes, and think that their relationship will be just like it was before, no matter how impossible that is. People like this are most definitely more apt to not get what they desire, and also more apt to descend into sadness when that occurs. They’ve spent so much time and energy dreaming about the past, and thus are unable to accept reality when it eventually slaps them in the face. This extended idealism, the dreamer mentality, as well as Gatsby’s monstrous success make me wonder if achieving such fanciful dreams really is possible, or if most of us simply delude ourselves into thinking we can achieve our dreams. If not, where is the breaking point between living entirely in the world of our dreams and seeing both dreams and reality as we should.

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  29. Dreamers are both to be encouraged and cautioned. Depending on the dream, the result could be either good or bad. In Gatsby's case, I feel like he's too caught up in his dream and it's taking over his life. He's so wrapped up in it that it's almost as if he's lost track of reality. This is dangerous. His love for Daisy is actually endangering him. "'I got to West Egg by a side road,' he went on, 'and left the car in my garage. I don't think anybody saw us, but of course I can't be sure.'" (143). Gatsby got caught up in the moment and left with Daisy only to hit a girl with the car and kill her. This might get him in trouble with the police. Gatsby needs to realize that perhaps his dream of running away with Daisy might not be possible. He needs a strong dose of reality to get back on track. Dreams in excess can ruin a person, demonstrated by Gatsby. "'They're such beautiful shirts,' she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. 'It makes me sad because I've never seen such-such beautiful shirts before.'" (92). This is another example of how getting too wrapped up in one's emotions and dreams can cause unfortunate repercussions. Emotional instability is one of them. It's important to keep track of reality.

    Why is reality a hard thing to accept for many people? What prevents them from staying rooted in it?

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    1. I think that reality is hard to accept because reality is disappointing. In a dream, everything goes the dreamers way. Gatsby imagines himself rich, married to Daisy, and happy. But in reality, his money doesn't make him happy and Daisy is married to another man. Gatsby removes himself from reality because he can't handle a reality where he has failed. I think that the shallow lifestyle that he leads, for example with the "beautiful shirts", has made him realize that his dream didn't really have any significance in the world. It is a hard thing to realize that your whole life's work amounted to nothing.

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  30. Having a dream is admirable and creates drive in a person’s life; however, dreaming is a facet of life to be careful of. Dreamers must be cautious because there is a thin line between having dreams that inspire and push you, and having unrealistic and unattainable desires. As long as this line is not crossed, dreams can be beneficial, but once it is, a dreamer becomes consumed with this false mindset. Dreamers often get carried away with trying to achieve the impossible and need to keep their idealism in check. This is dangerous simply because a dreamer has an superlative version of life in their head and, therefore, end up disappointed and dissatisfied with reality. If a person is not content with their reality they revert to idealism, but a life of dreaming doesn't bring fulfillment and purpose. A balance of dreaming and reality gives a person the opportunity to aspire to something great, while allowing them to be content with the life that they lead. A dreamer’s tendency to be displeased results in them living a morbid life. The life that Gatsby designed for his pleasure has proven successful from an observer's perspective, but he lives a life that lacks purpose. Whenever he chooses to accept the reality that he faces, he will be terribly disappointed. Regarding Gatsby's belief that the past is able to repeat itself, I think that this idea serves as the start of a vicious cycle. Gatsby is hung up on the past because of both the modernistic fear of the unknown and the nostalgia of his past love. As his reality becomes more meaningless and pessimistic, he will revert back to the past. The more consumed he becomes with a fake existence, the more desolate his reality will become. Personally, I don't think that the past can be repeated because with time comes experiences, lessons, and knowledge that cannot be undone. In some way or another, a person’s knowledge will affect how they think, feel, and act, and therefore, the past cannot be simulated in the present. I also believe that as time elapses, people subconsciously exaggerate their memories of the past. Then later, when they try to recreate it, they are expecting something different-greater- than what actually happened. The repercussions of attempting to bring back old times is a life without substance. Gatsby's own life is a demonstration of this consequence because he invested so much of his current time and effort into the past, that his present and future become increasingly bleak. Personally, I think that people are less likely to get what they desire if they are working towards an unreachable goal. If a goal is completely inaccessible, then any progress that they make toward their target is essentially useless. People are not more apt to fail if they are dreamers, only if they avoid reality. In wondering about the extent of a dream, I am inclined to ask how far a dream can go? Can a person achieve happiness by convincing themselves that their dream is a reality? Will Gatsby remain dissatisfied with his life because he knows that it is built upon a lie?

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  31. Idealism is a double edged sword. Without dreamers, society would never advance. People who have the same “hopeful vitality” that Gatsby had are the ones who drive progress towards the future and who build upon their dreams. However, these people stand in constant danger of being caught up in a dream that is unachievable. Gatsby had been so absorbed in a single, shallow dream that “he had committed himself to the following of a grail”. In a dream, anything is possible. But this world is ashen and bleak, and most of the time the ”green light” is deceiving. The ticking clock is man’s worst enemy because the dream is becoming less and less likely. The dream is unreachable because it will never live up to expectations and the past is unrepeatable because it will never be as good as the first time. The people in the Great Gatsby, and in the 1920’s, are always seeking the biggest and the best but that is a problem because if everything was the biggest and the best nothing would be. There are repercussions to perusing the past or an unreachable dream because disappointment is inevitable. People won’t get what they desire because humans desire more than this world will give. How can someone find the balance between an unreachable dream and a driving dream? Is it better to work towards an unknown future or a known past?

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