Society As We've KNOWN It

How we're causing our society to come to its ruins

Reputations Are More Damaging Than You Think

When we think of our society, we don't imagine it as failing. We don't notice the major flaws that infect it. We don't stop to think that, "hey, maybe I'm causing a problem in my society." It is true that its in our human nature to place blame on others when it is an option. Who would want to blame the downfall of society on themselves? No one, right? No one wants to be blamed, but then who is there to blame? Believe it or live in denial, but we all have a part in the plummeting of our society. It is unarguably true that our society as we know it will eventually reach its downfall. Why? Where are the facts to back-up this ignorant assumption? The society presented in the famous novel, The Great Gatsby, came to an end because the people that it consisted of were "fake", materialistic people who only cared about their perfect reputation and money. With that statement, it is obvious that our society, too, will reach its ruins because not one of the describing words about Gatsby's society was an irrelevant description of the people that make-up OUR very own society.

"Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't need, to impress people they don't like." This thought-provoking affirmation was stated by society's very own; Will Smith. This quote could not have been anymore true and explicit when explaining both Gatsby's and our society. It is baffling that no one seems to catch on to the fact that trying to impress someone you dislike does not bring happiness. It is only a fueling piece of evidence to the fact that people only care about their reputation. Mother Teresa wisely explains how people view their reputation with the quote, "One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody." People become fake in order to achieve the reputation they dream to have. Daisy, from Gatsby's society, is a prime example of a fake person who only cares for her reputation. To get a better understanding as to why Daisy is labeled as fake, take into consideration the symbolic meaning of the color "white" throughout the novel. Daisy is constantly described using the color white; her skin is white, her car is white, her dresses are white, ect. The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, uses the color white to portray the sense of fakeness and emptiness in the personalities of the people. No symbolic figure is needed in order to immediately see that the people in our society duplicate the exact fakeness seen in the people of Gatsby's society. Even the protagonist, Jay Gatsby, builds up such a fake reputation in order to win over Daisy, the love of his life. He goes to great extents of earning money, and throwing ridiculously obnoxious parties in order to create his reputation. Another key example is Tom, also from Gatsby's society. At one of Gatsby's parties, Tom stated, "I'd rather look at all these famous people in - in oblivion," because God-forbid he looks at the celebrities with interest because it would hurt his reputation. Is this idea of "reputation" really all worth it? It assisted in leading to the downfall of Gatsby's society, just like it will assist in leading to the downfall of ours. Why is it that people want to be adored by people they hardly even know? This motive is only hurting ourselves and our society. The constant desire to have a superior reputation is bringing us down as a society because we get ourselves caught up in such foolish situations to the point where there's no place to go but down. Use Gatsby's society as a lesson. Everyone had their heads wrapped so tightly around their reputation that Gatsby ended up getting murdered because Daisy couldn't ruin her perfect reputation, and admit to the fact that she, indeed, was the one to accidently kill Myrtle. Even Daisy has to proceed to live her sad life with a man who treats her poorly, just to retain her flawless reputation that her society so sinisterly encouraged. Don't think for a moment that any good could come out of being untrue to yourself just to put up this acceptable reputation, because in reality, being fake will only result in the collapse of our ever-so-fragile society.

"The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil." - 1 Timothy Ch. 6 Verse 10

The Frightening Reality of the Power of Money

We as the people construct the values of our own society. We take people such as celebrities and put them on high pedestals because of their fame and their fortune. It would be foolish to disagree with the claim that we live in a materialistic society. It's unfortunate to say, but we live in an area where it's either you're rich or you're nothing. What makes someone better than another? It's just like the riddle, "What came first- the chicken or the egg?" There is no answer. There is no escaping the fact that all people care about is money- money and possessions, that is. Johnny Depp made the thoughtless comment, "Money may not buy happiness, but it buys you a big enough yacht to sail right up to it." This goes to show that people are willing to settle for the happiness that money can buy, because they don't know of the happiness that exceeds that. Money has caused such an expansion in the greediness and selfishness of people, that it will soon be a vital cause to the crash of our society, just like the way it was a cause to the failure of Gatsby's society. The East and West Egg explained in The Great Gatsby, are astonishingly equivalent to our societies today. The West Egg is easily compared to that of the North Shore of Chicago in societies such as Lake Forest and Winnetka. These societies share the trait of having old money; therefore, looking down upon the people with new money such as the East Egg or the town of Barrington. Why are we to be judged by the type of money we have? The importance we have placed on money has altered people to heartless, selfish souls who only care about what benefits them. Gatsby continuously hosted extravagant parties and generously welcomed his home to whomever wanted to have a fun time. People ungratefully used Gatsby for his parties and home, pretending all along that they were a friend of Gatsby's. But of course, when Gatsby was murdered, hardly anyone gave a care enough to attend his funeral. In fact, after Gatsby's passing, Nick Carraway received a call from Mr. Klipspringer, a "friend" of Gatsby's. Unaffected by the fact that Gatsby was dead, Klipspringer then proceeded to profess, "What I called up about was a pair of shoes I left there[at Gatsby's]. I wonder if it'd be too much trouble to have the butler send them on." After this disgusting conversation, it's upsetting to say that people truly only care about how someone can benefit them. Do you see what society is coming to? People no longer care about the well being of one another, as if their whole life is one big war between people trying to out beat them. What benefit is it giving us to say that we have something that someone else does not have? It does not bring us happiness, it brings us an arrogant and immodest pride. Society's very well-known Oprah Winfrey spoke, "Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." It's very hard to find someone who will stick with you through the bad times because all people want is to feed their greed and use people. This all might come as a slap in the face, but it is the reality of our society. We put money and materials in a higher importance rank than our own kind, and because of that, our society will fail just as Gatsby's had.

Our society is made up of "fake", materialistic people who only care about their reputation and what benefits them, exactly like the people Gatsby's society consisted of. Due to those identical qualities, it is concluded that our society will fail just as Gatsby's had. We have no one to blame but ourselves for how rapidly our society is coming to its ruins. No one seems to understand that as long as you are happy with yourself and have true values, reputation isn't important. It's almost impossible to find someone who are their true selves, because they fear that their true selves won't be accepted, and it's true that it's easier to fit in than it is to be different. We have to stop and wonder, "Who are we trying to impress and why are we trying to impress them?" Everyone gets so caught up in this materialistic society that I believe that people don't even know who they are anymore, and it's devastating. We seem to only care about money and possessions when in reality, when it comes down to it, it means nothing at all. Always remember, society doesn't force you to change; don't be the person with blood on their hands when we come to the downfall of society.

Money For What It's Worth

People throw their money at frivolous things, it shares the equivalence of burning it.
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There Is Hope- Change Starts With You

"We can't become what we need to be by remaining what we are." - Oprah Winfrey
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By: Chase Heidner

Period: 3

Monday, October 22, 2012