Sunday, February 13, 2011

This Side Of Paradise




THIS SIDE OF PARADISE, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a story about Amory Blaine. Amory was born into wealth and spent his early childhood years traveling with his mother until he is sent to live in Minneapolis with his aunt and uncle. Amory slacks his way through at his new school, being far more educated than his peers, and decided to instead attend a prep school in New England. He gains admission into Princeton University. He concentrates mostly on trying to regain the hero status that he once held at the prep school, St. Regis. He makes new friends and becomes involved in a number of clubs. World War I begins in Europe at this time, but Amory pays little attention to it, being preoccupied by the many clubs and activities that he is involved in and a girl named Isabelle who he believes may be his first love. After a break up and a failed course that exempts Amory from keeping his post in the newspaper club, which his social success hinders on, he loses his motivation as a student. Shortly after, Amory's father dies. Amory is not concerned with the loss, but concentrates more on what will happen to his family financially. He continues on with his education, and soon leaves Princeton to go to war. While there, his mother passes away, leaving half of her money to the church. Upon returning, Amory falls in love with a wealthy, self-involved girl named Rosalind. He acquires a job at an advertising agency to try to earn enough money to please her. Rosalind's mother, however, talks her out of her engagement with Amory. She tells him that she would not be the same woman that he fell in love with if they were to marry without money. This leads Amory into a drunken disposition, in which he quits his job and is therefore unable to pay his rent. When the prohibition is passed, Amory relies instead on reading to numb the loss of Rosalind, who after a time, he discovers, will be married to a wealthier man. On top of this news, Amory also recieves the news of the death of his father figure, Monsignor Darcy. Being broke, Amory decides to walk back to Princeton. On the way, he is picked up by a wealthy man named Mr. Ferrenby, who is the father of a friend Amory lost during the war. They have a long discussion on politics and wealth, and Amory starts walking again towards Princeton. He passes a Civil War graveyard on the way, and reflects on the loves he has lost. The novel ends when Amory arrives at the University, pitying the students there who are still striving to fit the mold of the students before them.


1) Rosalind chooses a wealthier man over Amory because she feels that she will not be satisfied without money. Do you think that money often plays a larger part in marriage than love?

2) In the novel, Amory concentrates immensely on his social status at Princeton rather than his success as a student. In what ways do students today enforce the same concept of choosing their social life over their education?

29 comments:

Julie S. 5-6 said...

I think that love plays a bigger part than money but in certain situations money should play a bigger part. A prudent marriage should be a mix of love and the ability to support a couple or family. Marriages base solely on love generally lead to problems later on so as romantic as they are they should be replaced with a more well thought out marriage.

LibbyS5/6 said...

I think that a lot of people take money in to consideration when getting married, but I still believe that love is what leads to most marriages. While there will always be exceptions to this (gold diggers and trophy wives), most people place their love for people before their love of money.

Erika B 13-14 said...

While most people do get married for the sake of love, I do think there are many people today who consider money when deciding upon marriage. Money causes some people to feel infatuation or lust for a person, which in time wears off. In the end, I do believe love wins over money.

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

Love and money are not mutually exclusive. A man and a woman should be together for their own specific reasons. Money only plays a role into situations where people are not fully in love. By this, I mean people who are seeking to gain financially because of a relationship they have entered.

LeahS11-12 said...

In my opinion, I think they both sort of play off of each other. People most often marry because they love the person, but if there is a money issue with support when it comes to having a family, that can have an effect on love itself. If a woman really wanted children, for example, but was not financially capable with her and her husband's income, she may grow to feel differently about their marriage, and seek someone who can better support a family.

Kaitlyn S. 13-14 said...

1. I believe that love plays a larger part but money can be a huge factor in a relationship. Having little money and struggling can cause strains on relationships.

2. A prime example of students picking their social lives over education is during colleges and the many parties that are thrown. It would be quite difficult to prepare for classes if you had attended a party the previous night.

Brad S 11-12 said...

1. It only plays a part if the child has had a lot while they were growing up. Generally, the poor do not "require" or "have a need to have" vast amounts of money. They are used to not having much and getting by. Also, humans as a people do not like change, and going from poor to filthy rich would be a bit drastic. Their whole lifestyles would change and in the end they might be more miserable than they were poor.

Courtney R 5-6 said...

1) I believe that there should be a balance between love and money. I don't think that one should blatantly choose money over love though. I think that a couple needs to be able to support themselves before taking on marriage because many problems could, and often do, arrive without a steady sort of income.

Kelsey M. 11/12 said...

Ultimately, you should not marry someone just because they are wealthy. Unfortunately, it is important in todays society to have money in order to build a life with someone. Personally, I would not be able to solely marry someone because of their money. If you don't have a connection, the marriage won't last because you would never truly be fulfilled. I think it is important for both spouses to contribute equally to the income and for both to be successful. It does happen a lot where one spouse, especially the man, makes more money than the woman. People question these marriages all the time, but marriages based on money never last very long. Money won't buy you happiness.

Heather M. 13-14 said...

For some people, money is the most important thing in their life and the only thing that can make them happy. So when finding someone to marry, their only concern may be to find someone with enough money to support them and have a happy life. I believe that most people choose to marry because of love and not money, and the few that desire money, may go to the extreme to marry someone they have no feelings for just to get their hands on more money.

Hannah L 13-14 said...

1) I think that money plays a big part in some marriages but then you have those that get married and can barely afford a small apartment with how low of an income they have. I believe now a days money is a large part for some girls who want to take the easy way out and be trophy wives, but for those of us who actually plan to do something with our lives, I think that love is the largest part.

Megan D. 11-12 said...

Whether love or money plays a larger part in marriage depends on the individuals involved. To those people who value experiences and true love, money does not play as great a role. There are, however, people who value money far too much. One of my relatives would always tell the young girls in my family that "it is as easy to love a rich man as it is a poor man". Although I personally don't agree with her view on love, there are people who think like that.

Allie H 11-12 said...

Answering question number 1, I do believe that money often plays a larger part in marriage rather than love. I heard a statistic once that most fights within marriages start because of money problems. Money can be stressful, no matter who has to deal with it. But when couples come together and start sharing their money and paying bills together, tensions and differences often surface. Also, people who are very involved with material objects often chose their partners based on the kind of income they recieve because their objects mean more to them than love. They often believe that they cannot live without certain unnecessary objects, and by marrying someone rich, that person can always supply them with those objects.

tyler k 13-14 said...

Answering question one, i would have to unfortunately say yes since prenuptial agreements and things of that nature exist and the fact that most women aim to find wealthier men instead of ones that make them happy without the all the materialistic garbage.

Fritz J. 13-14 said...

2. Parties at college are a great example of how social life comes before education. This even happens to some extent in highschool when you choose to hang out with friends rather than doing homework.

Natalie S Mods 5-6 said...

1) In the society that we live in I believe that money has a bigger impact in marriage than love. The divorce rate in the U.S. is about at 50%. If all those couples really were in marriage for love the rate would not be that high. Also, most people have dreams of living a pampered life or easy life which having access to more money provides.
2)It is a sad fact that a lot of current day students value their social standing more than their education while at school. Many kids put their sports before their academic commitments like practice and games before homework and studying. Also, students have a tendency to not do their homework if a better or more appealing opportunity presents itself. Even though academics should always come first because an education can take a person the furthest in life, most students are preoccupied by other things in their life.

Kaitlyn H 11-12 said...

1) Although I think most marriages are legit and based off of love, sometimes people are selfish and do things because they think materials will make them happy.

2)Today in schools, students almost do the opposite. They try to not do their work and to do bad in their classes because they think it will give them the social status they want.

Justin B. 11-12 said...

2) I will assume that this question referes to a collage environment. In the job market it can matter a ton who you know. This is why I think people maybe overly focus on their social life in college. If they befriend someone who hits it big later in life they might be able to land a job with that person because they knew them in college. Or maybe one of their friends hits it big and comes looking for them because the friend remembers that "X" was really good at "X." Also remember that getting all C's at a university like Princeton will get you the same degree as getting all A's

Cieran B. 5-6 said...

1. Sadly yes most of marrige in todays world is out of money rather than love for many people fear of being poor and homeless. Other women are materialistic and just want nice things. This shows how greed also affects many marriges in todays world.

Sydney C.13-14 said...

2. Today students are constantly blowing thousands of dollars on failing out of a year of college in a thing sometimes referred to as 'the five year party'.I don't know if this is necessarily for students to improve their social status as much of it is a lack of responsibility in student studies.

Kyle P. 13-14 said...

I think with nonworking women money plays a pretty important role in marriage cause they want to feel secure. In Rosalind's case, who grew up having money, she feels that need even more.

Greg P. 13-14 said...

1) It really depends on the person. Some people love money more than companionship so in that case yes.

Mike B 13-14 said...

I do believe money can play a big part in some marriages but it depends on the person. Some people get married because of love and others do it as a way to gain wealth. I dont think people should get married if they are not in love because this cause divorce and more problems then it is worth.

Rachael B MOds 5-6 said...

Unfortunately, nowadays I do think that money plays an unusually large part in marriages. Even if a couple isn't focusing on the moneys the woman isn't what society calls a gold digger, money can cause stress and economic problems that can easily interfere in the intimate relationship between a man and a woman. Sometimes people get so caught up in the work world that they don't realize the debt that they are quickly sinking into, or even a man or woman under stress doesn't pay too close of attention to the prices of things when they go to the store to do simple mandatory shopping. These little things can eventually add up and intervene and ultimately destroy a marriage. I don't think money playing a part in marriage necessarily has to mean that a man or woman is solely concerned about how much their significant other has.

Kristen R. 11-12 said...

To answer the first question, I think that money is considered when thinking about marrying someone; however, I definitely do not think that it is the single determining factor for marriage. I feel that money is important in the sense that one desires to feel financially suppored through both one's partner's income as well as one's own. If a marriage were based solely on monetary funds, I believe that it would not last. There needs to be love and admiration for a successful marriage. To answer the second question, many people in our high school today choose their social life over their education. For instance, they do this by stereotyping clubs or activities as being "not cool" or something along those lines. Often high school students especially are mocked for receiving good grades when they should be repected for their hard work. Human nature causes people to feel a sense of need and belonging; therefore, it is inevitable that humans will always try to fit into the pre-established mold.

SeanK56 said...

People who are still immature will do everything they can to be cool. Sacrificing their education usually comes first. There has to be a balance between the two which many students never find.

MaryL11-12 said...

I read the same book so figured it was a good idea to blog on this one! To answer the first question, I don't think that money itself plays a bigger role than love, but I think what money symbolizes sometimes does. Money means security, money means you don't have to worry, money means you can stay home and raise your children. Money is a luxury, and women back then didn't have the same educational opportunities that we do today so I think it was a very smart choice on Rosalind's part to make that decision. I think that she chose with her head instead of her heart, which is not something that women and typically known for, and I believe it to be commendable.
To answer the second question, I mean, one word answers it. Facebook. How many kids sit and home for hours on facebook looking at pictures and commenting on statuses and whatnot when they have a test the next day or a paper to work on. They don't want to be left out of whatever's going on online so they choose it over their schoolwork, but that's only one example.

McKenzieM 11-12 said...

No I think that love plays a bigger role in most marriages but I definitely think money can affect it. Being married and stressing about money can take a toll on married couples and cause them to be unhappy.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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