“Material Without Being Real” Essay Response
The essay we read confused me, I didn’t get what photographs and pictorialists had to do with The Great Gatsby. I didn’t see the relevance of their views. Pictures may have small things to do with The Great Gatsby, but I don’t think there was enough to ramble on and on for nine pages. I feel as though by the end of the essay they weren’t even talking about The Great Gatsby at all, but photos and how they show the unseen.
There were parts of the essay that did stick out to me. One that really made me think was, “appearances are not just deceiving: they are predetermined by prior appearances.” I don’t think they mean actually appearances necessarily, as more of the appearance of a person you’ve had a prior experience with. For instance; if you know someone with multiple tattoos and they don’t really care about much of anything and are loud and obnoxious, you will probably feel that way about most other people with tattoos. But it you know someone who is really intelligent and has multiple tattoos you might think that others with tattoos are smart as well, when they could be as dumb as a doornail. This could possibly be why older people have a hard time accepting young people with tattoos, because in their past they’ve had a bad experience with someone who had tattoos. So when the author says “prior appearances” I think what they’re getting at is that it’s not really the appearance but the appearance of a person in a prior experience.
In the essay the author questions if “we ever see Gatsby at all”. This sentence made me rethink the whole story. It made me wonder if the story was about Nick or Gatsby. In the book we learn about Gatsby but we don’t know him. Through Nick’s narration of the story we learn about him and eventually know him. In most foreign languages there is two forms of the word know. There is to know someone, like how we know celebrities, and there’s to know someone, like how you...
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