Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gatsby-Instructions for the Gatsby Household

Kitchen Staff

Wash hands in warm soapy water before performing any task.
Wipe and polish all appliances to a shine.
Go to market five times weekly and purchase a variety of food and ingredients regardless of the price. Necessities include Beluga caviar, Alaskan smoked salmon, and prime rib.
Go to liquor store four times weekly and buy enough champagne, scotch, wine, and gin to keep the cellar full.
Carefully prepare Mr. Gatsby’s meals making sure to always add elements of color. Use a lot of colorful vegetables, and if necessary, food coloring.
Place a bouquet of flowers on Mr. Gatsby’s breakfast tray every morning.
Garnish all of Mr. Gatsby’s plates with parsley and lemon wedges.
Dispose of items after they have been used once.
Wipe all china and crystal twice daily.
Polish silverware daily.
Scrub floors and counters every two hours and a half.
NEVER present Mr. Gatsby with food from a previous meal.

Cleaning Staff

Scrub all floors, wipe all windows, and polish all furniture before Mr. Gatsby’s time of awakening.
Dust Mr. Gatsby’s master bedroom twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
Dust all other rooms once daily. Important note: Use vacuum cleaner only when Mr. Gatsby is out in order to not disturb him.
Clean Mr. Gatsby’s bathroom after every time he uses it.
Clean other bathrooms daily.

Wardrobe Staff

Wash Mr. Gatsby’s dirty clothes daily. Imp note: Do not wait for more clothes to accumulate; you must wash every item of clothing as soon as it is given to you.
Add a touch of lavender to every load of wash.
Press and iron every item of clothing twice, in order to make sure that it is completely wrinkle free.
Shine Mr. Gatsby’s shoes daily.
Remove hair from Mr. Gatsby’s hair brush twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
Pick out outfit for Mr. Gatsby every night in order for him to wear it the following day.
Place his pajamas on the right side of his bed everyday at promptly 9 pm.


Cut grass every morning.
Water plants three times daily.
Arrange bouquet of colorful flowers from the garden every morning at 6 am and present it to one of the kitchen staff members.
Tend to the hedges, bushes, and plants twice daily.
Important Note: If flowers do not seem to be blooming, purchase flowers from florists and plant them.


Wash cars twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. Imp Note: Make sure that the cars shine.
ALWAYS open the door for Mr. Gatsby.
Fill the cars with petrol every night.
Pick up and drop Mr. Gatsby’s guests whenever instructed to do so.

Party Staff

NEVER leave a guest empty handed. Plates and glasses must be filled at all times.
Clean up any and all messes made.
Do not make conversation with any of the party guests; you are there to serve them.
Do not eat or drink until instructed to do so.

General Instructions

Always greet Mr. Gatsby whenever you see him.
Do not make direct eye contact with him.
Refer to him as Sir.
Wipe your feet before entering the house.
Maintain a clean and attractive appearance.
Do as instructed by Mr. Gatsby or myself without asking questions.
REMEMBER: Mr. Gatsby’s manor has to appear clean, shiny, and attractive at all times. In order to so you must follow all instructions exactly.

Samar Al Ansari

12 IB

Thursday, January 28, 2010


What purpose was Fitzgerald trying to fulfill by using both unrealistic and disillusioned characters?

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby tells the story of Jay Gatsby, a man who spends most of his life trying to fulfill his dreams. Gatsby spends his youth trying to fulfill his dream of belonging to the high class of society. Eventually Gatsby does become a wealthy man, but nonetheless he cannot fit into the social class he desires to be a part of, thus his dream is only partially fulfilled. In addition, Gatsby has a strong desire to gain Daisy’s love, but unfortunately his dream is not fulfilled. Numerous characters throughout the novel have certain dreams they wish to achieve, but what differs from character to character is the way in which he/she approach his/her dreams. Some characters are unrealistic and believe that their desires are within their reach, while other characters are more realistic and practical in their approach. Fitzgerald deliberately uses both unrealistic and realistic characters in order to show the reader that one can only obtain one’s heart’s desire when one is realistic. The ways in which Myrtle Wilson, Gatsby, and Daisy Buchanan approach their desires clearly show the contrast between unrealistic and realistic behavior.

Myrtle Wilson, the wife of a poor, unsuccessful blue collar worker, wants nothing more than to escape the unsatisfactory life of the working class. She meets Tom Buchanan, and shortly after, he is not a mere lover, but a means of escape. Myrtle, being naïve, actually believes she can obtain her heart’s desire. She approaches things in an unrealistic manner and convinces herself that she is getting what she always wanted. By acting the part of a wealthy woman belonging to the upper class of society, she believes she can eventually become one. During her outing with Tom and Nick, Myrtle clearly tries to act out the role of a wealthy woman by purchasing items she believes upper class women purchase. This is shown through Nick’s comment: “At the news-stand she bought a copy of ‘Town Tattle’ and a moving picture magazine and, in the station drug store, some cold cream and a small flask of perfume” (pg 31). Myrtle, the victim of illusion, cannot see things as they are. She sees Tom as her savior and truly believes that she will be able to escape her unhappiness. She fails to see the obstacles that prevent her from obtaining her heart’s desire. Tom would never leave his wife, especially for someone from Myrtle’s social class. Tom poured dust in her eyes and blinded her to the truth by telling Myrtle that he is not able to divorce Daisy, his wife, because she is of the Catholic faith. Myrtle foolishly believes him and by convincing herself of his love for her, she thinks she can obtain her heart’s desire.

Not only is Myrtle unrealistic, so is her sister Catherine as she truly believes that her sister will eventually become Tom’s wife; “When they do get married,’ continued Catherine, ‘they’re going West to live for a while until it blows over” (pg 38). Catherine’s optimistic way of thinking embodies the thoughts of many belonging to Catherine and Myrtle’s social class at the time. Everyone is under this illusion of prosperity and believes that their desires will be met. When Wilson finds out about Myrtle’s affair, Myrtle responds by running out to Gatsby’s car, believing it to be Tom’s. Myrtle approaches the situation unrealistically believing that Tom would save her, and as a result, she is killed. Myrtle’s death clarifies to the reader Fitzgerald’s view on unrealistic approaches; he believed they would ultimately lead to the downfall of the person and prevent him from obtaining what he truly wants.
Gatsby is the epitome of the unrealistic character. His ridiculously high expectations of Daisy prevent him from obtaining her love. Gatsby’s desire t o repeat the past, “Can’t repeat the past?’ he cried incredously. “Why of course you can!” (pg 116), clearly shows how out of reach Gatsby’s expectations are. He too, blinded by the dust of illusion, spends much of his adult life chasing after a desire that he can not obtain due to his unrealistic expectations. This is shown in Nick’s observations: “There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams-not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion” (pg 101). Nick’s statement is yet another example of Fitzgerald’s thoughts on the matter. Many agree that Nick’s narration is a reflection of Fitzgerald’s thoughts due to the similarities between Nick and Fitzgerald, thus this comment exhibits Fitzgerald’s opinion. Fitzgerald believed that Gatsby would continue to be disappointed because of his expectations, and thus could never obtain the ‘Daisy’ he idealized in his head. Gatsby idealizes his love for Daisy to the extent that he believes that their love is stronger than the forces of reality. Not only is Daisy married, but she belongs to a completely different social class. Nick’s comment, “He wanted nothing less of Daisy that that she go up to Tom and say: I never loved you” (pg 116), clearly demonstrates Gatsby’s unrealistic expectation of Daisy to disregard Tom and her marriage. Gatsby expects Daisy to confront her husband and confess the affair as well as tell him that she never loved him. That was extremely naive of Gatsby; he wants it all and is so blinded to the reality of the matter that he actually believes he can get Daisy in the end.
Daisy is quite a complex character, for she is torn between two conflicting desires. Daisy’s heart is torn between her need for security and her desire for love. Her desire to love Gatsby represents her unrealistic approach, while her desire for security represents her realistic approach. Before Daisy receipt of Gatsby’s letter on her wedding night, she was on her way to obtaining security. She was going to marry a wealthy man from a similar social level. Even though Daisy did not love Tom in the way that she loved Gatsby, Tom ultimately provided her with her needs; she was being realistic. But upon her receipt of the letter, Daisy gets drunk and goes astray of her path to achieving security. This is shown through Daisy’s order, “ ‘Take ‘em downstairs and give ‘em back to whoever they belong to. Tell ‘em all Daisy’s change’ her mine. Say ‘Daisy’s change’ her mine!’ ”(pg 81). Under the influence of alcohol, Daisy could not see things clearly and was under the illusion that her happiness could be fulfilled by Gatsby, thus she turned to the desire of love. After an extreme effort on Jordan Baker’s part, the effects of alcohol wore off, and Daisy pursued her desire for security by marrying Tom. Several years after her marriage to Tom, Daisy reignites her desire for love upon her affair with Gatsby.

In the confrontation scene between Tom and Gatsby, the transformation of Daisy is evident; she went from an unrealistic girl to a realistic woman. She is forced to make a choice between her two desires, and ultimately she chooses security. In Gatsby’s attempt to get Daisy to confess their love, “ Daisy that’s all over now-just tell the truth” (pg 139), his unrealistic approach is clearly demonstrated. Daisy at this point is still pursuing the unrealistic desire for love. This is demonstrated through her denial of her love for Tom: “She looked at him blindly. ‘Why,-how could I love him-possibly?”(pg 139). Fitzgerald’s deliberate use of ‘blindly’ clearly exhibits the absence of clarity in Daisy’s thought. Through Daisy’s reluctant statement, “I never loved him.’ She said, with perceptible reluctance” (pg 139), it is clear to the reader that Daisy is beginning to turn to the more realistic desire for security. The ‘dust in her eyes’ begins to wash away as Daisy realizes the true consequences of her actions: if Tom was lost to her, so was her security. The final comment from Daisy, “ ‘Even alone I can’t say I never loved Tom,’ she admitted in a pitiful voice. ‘It wouldn’t be true’ ”(pg 142), marks her transformation and her choice to pursue security. . At this point, Daisy realizes what she is about to do. In an instant her security could be taken away from her; thus this confrontation was Daisy’s moment of clarity. As for Gatsby, he continued to be blinded. Tom’s comment, “Go on. He won’t annoy you. I think he realizes that his presumptuous little flirtation is over” (pg 142), is highly ironic because Gatsby continued to be blinded; he does not undergo a transformation as Daisy did.
Gatsby and Myrtle, victims of the destructive force of illusion, did not obtain their hearts’ desires at the end. In fact, they both were killed. As for Daisy, she managed to cling on to her security by maintaining a realistic approach. Some might encourage Gatsby and Myrtle’s way of thinking and might label it as optimism, but their optimism only brought them death. Some might refer to Daisy as a pessimist, but as the philosopher Noir once said, “Pessimist is a word used by optimists to describe someone who sees the world for what it really is.” [1]

[1] “The Best Quote Posters, ” The Board of Wisdom, < start="11&topic=" listname="Quote%20Posters"> , October 28

Samar Al Ansari
12 IB

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Quote

To the whole world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the whole world

By Heather Cortez

Sunday, January 24, 2010

انزعي القناع

أنت بكل خطوة إياي ترافقين
أنا معك أينما ذهبت،تأخذين
بكل لحظة اسمي ، تهمسين
وطوال اليوم لي تشتاقين
والعبرات التي علي تذرفين
تروي وسادتي التي إليها تلجئين
ومع صورتي يوميا تتكلمين
وبالشعر إياي دائما تخاطبين
لكن اسمي أمام الناس، بت لا ترددين
وأصبحت سرا من الأسرار تخفين
وإن تضايقت، أمامهم تصمتين
لأنك على مشاعرهم تحرصين
أمي، اخلعي القناع الذي تلبسين
لقد تعبت وأنت من أجلهم تمثلين
اذرفي الدمع علنا لكي ترتاحين
ابكي! فبكل دمعة همك تغسلين
وتخففي اللهيب الذي به تحترقين
انزعي القناع الذي وراءه تختبئين
أخشى بأنك في يوم قد تمرضين
ورغما عنك، الفراش تلازمين
حينها، إخوتي وأحبائك ستؤلمين
حتى أنا، وإن كنت عند رب العالمين
إذا انزعي القناع ، كفاك أمي تتعذبين
رنده ربحي حماده
(أم سمر)
جميع الحقوق محفوظة للمؤلفة© 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Eighteen Years

Eighteen years went quickly by
Like the blink of an eye.
It’s only yesterday when I heard your first cry
Took you to sleep and sang you a lullaby.
Comforted you when I heard you sigh,
Wiped your tears and your eyes dry.
It’s only yesterday when we went to buy
The several dresses you picked to try
And the eye makeup I did apply.
Your life was too short to say good-bye.
How I cherish the moments we spent,
you and I,
And miss your eyes that sparkled like
stars in the sky
And your magical smile that kept my
spirits high.
With no wings, WHY? Why did you
have to fly?

Randah R. Hamadeh, 2009, Copyright©
Summer Rays

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Friday, January 08, 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Monday, January 04, 2010

صديقتي الحبيبة

صديقتي الحبيبة، كفاك ذهابا إلى مثواها
فزيارة القبور غير مستحبة رغم أن الرسول لم ينهى عنها
ذهبت عند بارئها، الذي أتى بها إلى الحياة وأحياها
وشاء بذلك اليوم أن يأخذها حيث عيناك لا تراها
ولكنه تركها في قلبك لينبض بذكراها
لا داعي يا حبيبتي للذهاب! هي معك وأنت معاها
أعلم أن عينيك لا تغفلان عنها وقلبك لن ينساها
.رحمة الله عليها، حورية من الجنة شهد كل من رآها

أتعتقدين بأنها هناك في القبر عندما تذهبين
وعندما سور من القرآن و الأدعية لها تتلين؟
كفاك يا حبيبتي! أقول ذلك فأنا أكثر المحبين
لك وللحبيبة سمر وللعائلة أجمعين
كل ما هنالك، إنني يا صديقتي عليك من الخائفين
وطلب مني أن أكلمك الأصدقاء و المقربين.
صدقينا فكلنا ندرك كم بقلبك لها شوق وحنين
.ونعلم بأنك من الصابرات والصابرين

أيتها الصديقة، أريد أن أقول لك ولباقي الأحباء"
بأنني أدرك مدى حبك لي وحب جميع الأصدقاء
وأقدر خوفكم وأحي بكم كل هذه المحبة و الوفاء
فإن كنت عزيزة عليك، فأنت أعز الأعزاء
ولكن اعلمي بأنني بزيارة قبرها أجد بعض العزاء
وأؤكد لك بأن ذهابي ليس به مشقة ولا شقاء
لا تشغلوا نفسكم بي، انه إليكم رجاء
"أدعو أن لا يصب أحدكم بمثل هذا البلاء
2010©رنده ربحي حماده
(أم سمر)
جميع الحقوق محفوظة للمؤلفة