Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life By: Wendy Mass

Jeremy Fink is a twelve year old boy who is about to be a teenager in one month. He receives a mysterious box in the mail that is locked with the engraving of "The meaning of life" at the top of the box, and a note that says he should open it on his thirteenth birthday. He shortly finds out that the box is from his father who died in a car crash five years ago. With the box came a note from a lawyer saying Jeremy's father told him to send the box to him on his birthday, but unfortunately the keys are missing and can not be replaced. Jeremy tells his best friend Lizzy about the box and she thinks they should search for the missing keys. A little weary of the idea, Jeremy agrees to the idea and they start their adventure through New York and New Jersey. They search high and low going into old flea markets and the lawyers old office building but find nothing. They eventually find themselves working for a retiring pawnbroker, who has them delivering items to the original owners. In doing so, Lizzy and Jeremy meet many fascinating people, who teach them new things about the world around them. Eventually they find the keys, and when they open the box, there are a bunch of rocks that his dad collected at each important event in his life. Jeremy soon realizes that the meaning of life is living each day to its fullest.


1. If you received something that was reasonably hard to open, would you go through all the hassle to open it, or would you forget about it and move on? explain your answer.

2. What do you consider to be the meaning of life?

24 comments:

Jacob B 11-12 said...

It would depend on what it is that i am opening and if I know what is inside. If it were a box marked as "the meaning of life" like in this novel, I would probably spend more time trying to open it than something else. But i believe a box that teaches the meaning of life cannot be easy to open because life is not about the end result. Life is about the journey.

Kali D. 13-14 said...

Yes i agree. I think it would depend on what i would be opening to see if its something to spend a lot of time on. And yes of course something such as the meaning of life would definitely be a challenging thing to get opened, but life is about the journey.

tyler k 13-14 said...

Answering the second question, I believe the meaning of life is being able to enjoy life for what it is and taking every opportunity that it provides. Not taking anything for granted and living with no regrets as long as you are making decisions you feel are the right ones to make. The meaning of life to me is being able to be completely content with the life you lived and happy with everything you did without asking yourself "what if".

Betsy C 1314 said...

1 If i received something that was hard to open, i think that I would try to open it. It would definitely matter to me if it was a gift from a loved one. However, if it was just something that i found, i more likely would have moved on.

Allie H 11-12 said...

Regarding question # 2, I believe that the meaning of life is to give life meaning. My friend said that to me once, and I believe it is very true. If life has no meaning at all, then why would there be a meaning to life? We all have to venture into the world and find what makes us happy. Once we find what truly makes us happy, whether it is having the perfect job, having children, or even traveling, then life will be much more meaningful. Having things in life that make us happy give us meaning to life.

Courtney R 5-6 said...

It depends on what it looks like, to be honest. But I think that I'd most likely want to open it because I am the kind of person who needs answers. I can't usually go on not thinking about something if it is something that I'm unsure about.

I think that every person has a different meaning to life and that it is most definitely open for interpretation. Everyone is different, everyone has different goals. Some people may die unsatisfied with their lives, while others may willingly approach thier death with open arms. Everyone's meaning of life, at least i believe, is different.

Vanessa D. 13-14 said...

2.) I think it all varies, but personally I think the meaning of life is living your dreams, and living each day to the fullest. I think everything happens for a reason, and with each day, people learn new things which help them get through the next day and the next day.

Natalie S Mods 5-6 said...

1. If I received something that was hard to open I would probably be too fascinated that I couldn't resist trying to open it. Unless I knew the thing I could not open was insignificant, I would want to know whats inside to satisfy my curiosity. I don't often pass up a challenge.
2. I'm not quite sure what the exact meaning of life is because I believe it varies from person to person. Everyone has a purpose in life and has to make choices to fulfill their purpose or choices that derail them from their purpose. For me, I think the meaning of life is to pursue happiness and leave the world having made a positive contribution in some way. I believe the purpose of life is to leave a mark on the world.

LibbyS5/6 said...

1) If I recieved something that was difficult to open I would deffinitely open it, but I wouldn't go through the process that Jeremy and Lizzy did. I would probably get some pliers or a hammer.

MaryL11-12 said...

Yeah I would probably do the same thing, just break the box open. And as far as the meaning of life, I would have to say its something similar to what the books says; to take every day for what its worth and not let yourself get distracted by petty things that really don't matter. Just to enjoy your life because its really all we have.

Kali D. 13-14 said...

yes i agree with everyone, i think it depends on the type of person you are that would motivate you to open the box. I think something as challenging as trying to open a box with something in it that you do not know would be fun and adventurous. I also think everyone has a different thought on what the true meaning of life is, and i think the book is similar to what i believe it to be. Don't take anything for granted and live everyday to its fullest, because you never know when it could be your last.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

1. I was thinking the same thing as Libby. I wouldn't go through the process of searching through states to find a key. I would just break the box open.

2. As everyone else said, I think the meaning of life is living everyday to its fullest. You should live everyday like it's your last because you never know when it will end. Also, I think the meaning of life is all the experiences we go through to get to our destination.

Nick E. 13-14 said...

2. Personally, the meaning of life is to live that life to the fullest and do whatever it is that makes you happy. People were put on this earth to please themselves, not someone else. And there's no reason to worry about what happens after you die, that's one of the many reasons why I don't believe in Religion.

JessieW 11-12 said...

1) Yes, I would send alot of time trying to open the box or whatever was hard to open. I am a very determined person so I don't givng up on something. I am also very curious, so the harder and more time it took to open the box, the more curious I would be regarding whats in the box.

Greg P. 13-14 said...

Gernerally, the harder something is to open or obtain, the more valuable it is. Even if it not valuable, the mere fact of it being difficult to get makes us want it more

Alexander C. [13-14] said...

1. If I found something that I couldn't open, than I would understand that I was just not meant to open it. I would accept the fact that there are just some things that are not meant to be known in life.

2. The meaning of life is such a generic question that is thrown out so many times that people tend to ignore their individual response and focus on the answer that almost every human gives: "live everyday to the fullest". This is a fine way to view the meaning of life, but my cynical way of thinking has to interrupt this thought. The meaning of life should be different for each individual, because everyone on this earth is different. My own personal mantra is "you can't take it with you". This saying that is commonly used to describe someone's fortune being used up before they die. I like to spend money. It's one of my biggest weaknesses, and I know it. Anytime I get money from work or as a gift from a loving family member I feel this burning desire to spend it. My usual excuse to my disapproving father is, "Dad, it's stimulating the economy..." He does not like how his son feels that he can save the entire economy by spending his Christmas money on a new pair of tennis shoes. This tangent that I am currently on is focusing on the importance of one's own desire, one's wants which can lead to their happier lifestyle, but can also cause pain for others.
The meaning of life depends on the individual, and how they choose to live their life. They should not be forced to make sacrifices for others, unless they choose that path. Life is confusing, and thrives on humans' knowledge and ability to maintain its' continued success.

McKenzieM 11-12 said...

I'd be so curious to know what was inside, especially if it was from a loved one, that I would try everything to open too. For the second question, I agree that the meaning to life is living every day to the fullest and not taking things for granted.

Laura B. 13-14 said...

I think I would try to continue to open the object because for me, it is hard to start a project without finishing it. If I was to leave whatever it was that I was trying to open, that would be giving up and leaving a project unfinished. If I were to do this, the thought of an unfinished escapade would bug me until I had completed the task.

Richard B. said...

To answer question two, I believe many things contribute into what our own individual meanings of life are. Love, good health, perseverance, honesty, enjoyment, all can be argued with much support. I believe that it is a combination of all these things that creates the ideal meaning of life. Without one individual part, the others would suffer.

Joe K. 11-12 said...

I definetly feel like you should search as hard as you can to uncover that mystery. Things like that will stick in your head forever, leaving you to wonder what if if you do not open it. I feel as though not trying your hardest to open it would not do the sender of the package justice.

Mike B 13-14 said...

The meaning of life is diffrent for all people. To me sucess, family, fun and good health are important factors of a good life. I think everyone one should enjoy life and everthing it throws at you. Life isnt easy but the truly sucessful people are the ones that can deal with the problems and move foward. I believe you should live everyday of your life not looking to tomarrow but living in the moment. Life is only tempory and can end at anytime so you should fill the time you have with what makes you happy.

Megan D. 11-12 said...

1) Seeing as I am a dangerous mix of curiosity and stubbornness,I would continue to puzzle over the enigma until I had solved it or driven myself insane. My curiosity would have been insatiable if, like in this novel, I received a box addressed to me that appeared impossible to open. I can honestly say that I would try my absolute hardest to open it, spurred forward by both my curiosity and my inability to accept defeat.

2) People have been trying to figure out that answer since the beginning of man's existence. Although I believe that each individual finds meaning for their own life, I feel there is a universal meaning to life as well. It is more of a meaning to all life, and I believe that it is simply to live ones life to the best of their ability and to make sure that the world is a better place because one existed for a moment in time.

CorinneS5/6 said...

If I were to recieve a box like this, especially from my decesed father I would look for a way to opne it all the time, looking for some message from someone I loved. I think he was right to go looking for the keys because he obviously learned alot along the way.It seems his father wanted the keys to be missing so that he could go on the adventure of finding them. The meaning of life is having adventures that teach you about yourself and the world around you, and like the book says living everyday to it's fullest.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

thread graded, closed