The Cost of Pursuing a Dream?
The Great Gatsby
Although about every single character loses somewhat of innocence throughout the novel as a reaction to pursuing their dream, Nick Carraway portrays the loss of innocence the most. Growing up a Midwesterner; being open minded, quiet, and honest gave him a sense of innocence that even he believed wouldn't fade. Also the way he believed in the good of the people and never really partied gave a pure and naïve look to him. However, moving towards the East and getting so involved with the luxury and money centered lifestyle changed it all. Living next to Jay Gatsby, the most materialistic man around town, opened himself up to a way of living he's never seen before. Parties after parties after parties eventually detoured and distorted his idea of the American Dream. Nick dreams of wealth but not in the same sense as Gatsby, however, he believes there is more to life than the quietness of and old town in the Midwestern, thus the reason he retreats to the East. Little did he know what he would get himself into. One of his first encounters with Tom and Myrtle in chapter 2 in the middle of their adulterous act, catches him off guard and makes him realize he is nothing like these disloyal and shallow people. Although Nick seems more of an outside and uninvolved, as he is at the beginning of the novel, he eventually works his way up to the forefront and becomes just like the others. By moving to the East in hope of finding business and wealth and becoming so involved in the sinful and guilty lifestyle lived there, his innocence is lost throughout the way and he doesn't even realize it. Not only does Nick notice his separation from his innocence and change in attitude, others in the novel do as well. When Jordan confronts him and admits she believed him to be a "rather honest, straightforward person" shows he is not so down to earth and trust worthy as many thought (Fitzgerald 120).
While money and employment were the main things lost during this financial crisis of 2008, many people did lose their innocence as well in this horrific depression. In a interview with Scott Talbott it is clear that well known and financed companies have been doing things they shouldn't be, ie losing their innocence in some way, which was an effect to their idea of a dream.
"NARRATOR: Scott Talbott is the chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable,
one of the most powerful groups in Washington, which represents nearly all of the
world's largest financial companies.
CHARLES FERGUSON: Are you comfortable with the fact that several of your member companies have engaged in large-scale criminal activity?
SCOTT TABBOTT: I, you'll have to be specific."
"These people are risk takers, they are impulsive. I see a lot of cocaine use and prostitution" - Jonathan Alpert (therapist whose clients include many high-level Wall Street executives)
JONATHAN ALPERT: "A lot of people feel that they need to really participate in that
behavior to make it, to get promoted, to get recognized."
NARRATOR: "According to a Bloomberg article, business entertainment represents 5
percent of revenue for New York derivatives brokers, and often includes strip clubs,
prostitution, and drugs. A New York broker filed a lawsuit in 2007 against his firm,
alleging he was required to retain prostitutes to entertain traders."
JONATHAN ALPERT: "There's just a blatant disregard for the impact that their actions
might have on, on society, on family. They have no problem using a prostitute, uh, and
going home to their wife."
"Wolf of Wall Street"- struggling stock holder in Wall Street, who spent a lot of his money on degrading things such as alcohol, prostitution, drugs, etc.
Is This the Beginning of the End for Miley Cyrus?
Article written by David Fiorazo
Although many know her as sweet naïve teen pop sensation "Hannah Montana", the girl that once portrayed her life through that blonde wig is no longer existent. World Wide actress and recording artist, Miley Cyrus, dreamed of getting out of the Disney Channel bubble she seemed to be trapped in. And that's exactly what she did. Along this journey, not only did she lose her title of Hannah Montano, but her innocence was also bygone. Fiorazo talks a lot about Miley Cyrus's past experiences that foreshadowed her most recent stunt concerning her looks and performances in 2013. From her several vulgar music videos, to a movie she took place in, the singer's innocence took a turn for the worse. "It’s apparent Miley lost her innocence, inhibitions, and self-respect" says Fiorazo and continues to question whether or not she is a "victim of Hollywood". Miley Cyrus is one good example of how pursuing a dream can cause one to lose their innocence.
Lord of the Flies
During a war in Britain, a plane evacuating a group of young schoolboys crashes on a deserted island with no nearby land in sight. After realizing the pilot was killed, the boys are forced to act as adults and live off of their surrounding resources. At the beginning of the novel, the boys start off as well-behaved children longing for rescue but eventually turn into cruel bloodthirsty savages. They even arrange roles (ie leader, hunter, etc) that causes the boys to take a turn for the worse and misuse their power. The outdoor lifestyle eventually gets to them and the innocence they once portrayed at the beginning of the novel is gone. Their main goal and focus was to live off the land and find a way of rescue, which just comes to show that innocence can definitely be lost while pursuing a dream. After killing their first sow, the boys chant in a circle the words "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" and then proceed to act like one of the boys is prey in a jokingly manner which only comes to prove that blood is the only satisfaction they can get and their innocence is completely lost (Golding 152).
"Greed is Good" by Gordon Gekko
In this speech addressed to Teldar Paper Stockholders, Gekko suggests that in order to pursue a dream, greed is needed. He declares that "Greed, in all of its forms- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge- has marked the upward surge of mankind. He is determined to save Teldar Paper after such a great financial loss of 110 million dollars just last year. He continues to proclaim that "The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest" and continues to believe that "you either do it right or you get eliminated." He believes that being greedy, and wanting what you want will help you pursue your goal. Therefore, in contrast to what I have been saying, the loss of innocence along the journey to success is not always a bad thing. Being greedy and selfish is the opposite of innocence and pureness, and according to Gekko, losing a little bit of that along the way in order to pursue a dream is what needs to be done. America needs to be greedy, people need to be greedy, companies need to be greedy; but with this an inch or two of innocence must be abandoned.