Nick Carraway and the American Search for Meaning

I want to explore the way in which Nick Carraway’s mental fog in The Great Gatsby parallels American attitudes and search for meaning and purpose post-World War I. One passage, in particular, inspired this idea: Through all [Gatsby] said, even through his appalling sentimentality, I was reminded of something – an elusive rythm, a fragment…

The United States: A Culture of Improvement

The most interesting thing that I learned in this class concerns the origin of the principle of self-improvement. Self-help books, do-it-yourself guides, and self-improvement manuals all have become a ubiquitous part of Modern American culture since the founding of the United States. It entails a sense of human agency, a freedom to shape ourselves into…