Movin’ On Up- Reading Education as Social Mobility in Great Gatsby Quotes And Jane Eyre

Pink Floyd was wrong. Very wrong. So wrong in fact that its famous lyric, “We don’t need no education,” is an assault on the ears of anyone who considers themselves to be grammar aficionados.

As ironically implied by its error-laden sentence, Pink Floyd was definitely wrong about needing education. They needed it and we need it too, especially that now-a-days, a bachelor’s degree is often a rudimentary ticket to entry for low-level jobs. In fact, with the current economic funk sending more and more people back to higher education, it is no stretch to suggest that our society certainly values education as a way to move up in the world-or at least hold onto wherever one is currently.

Our value of education and the importance it holds is readily reflected in our literature. Authors often use characters’ educational training as a plot technique to move them beyond their lowly status and succeed. In that way, education is fundamental to the American dream, the individualistic doctrine that says if you work hard enough and learn hard enough, you will move up in the world. Education allows social mobility; it empowers the lower castes of society to pull themselves up by their proverbial bootstraps and make something of themselves.

No clearer literary example of this can be found than in Jay Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s self-reinventing tragic hero for which his classic novel The Great Gatsby is named. Gatsby-whose real name is Gatz-comes from a poor, Midwestern family with little inheritable potential for greatness. So he does what any red-blooded American does: he fakes it until he makes it. He takes a page out of Great Expectations and starts hanging out with the cooler people.

Though he doesn’t boast of it, the dude went to Oxford, only for five month. . Name recognition being everything, his new social-elite status is built on that fake education, which others use to buoy his credibility as someone of worth. A look at some Great Gatsby quotes, especially when Tom tries to discredit Gatsby’s education as to demean him, shows what value it has.

Never mind that his past catches up with him, or the fact he was murdered by an uneducated auto mechanic-the tiny Oxford detail encapsulates what is at the heart of the novel. The level of education distinguishes between who is upper class and who is lower class, and by the logic, the higher your education is, the higher your status will be. Even if it ends up being a total lie, thus implying the American Dream is shoddily built on arbitrary distinctions like higher education and unlikely to withstand any intense economic weather or destruction.

Another excellent literary example of education serving to buoy a character-whether it is an authentic one or not-is Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre’s education is mainly aesthetic feminine crafts-sewings, music, perhaps some foreign language-but it still allows her social mobility and money as a orphaned young woman. He education is her safe haven from her awful relatives, and eventually allows her to become a de facto teacher, governess and then wife of a super rich guy. Granted, the plotline is a bit more complex and convoluted than that, especially with the novel’s gothic elements and the crazy old pyromanic lady in the attic, but Jane Eyre’s formal education is what got the ball rolling.

While it may no longer be the case that education is the solve-it-all for society’s lower citizens, it has definitely been mythologized and painted that way-a necessary stepping stone to a high status and a better life.

Manage Risk, Avoid Danger – A Sensible Approach to Child Safety

The Child Safety Education Coalition (CSEC) has a website dedicated to encouraging and supporting activities which contribute to a reduction in unintended injuries to children and young people. In order to achieve their aim the member organisations will work together to educate and protect children from real dangers whilst at the same time provide opportunities for them to develop a common sense approach to risk and confidence.

Children Must Not be Wrapped in Cotton Wool.

This is a welcome approach: The Health and Safety Executive has published a light hearted myth of the month item for a couple of years now, many of them centred round unfound policies relating to the safety of children. This coalition which is promoting a common sense approach to risk, where children are allowed to play conkers and throw snowballs but are protected from real dangers, like being scolded by a radiator should be encouraged.

Heating Appliances – Have you got them covered?

The Care Homes Regulations of 2001 (13) confers a duty of care on the registered person to ensure that –

  • (a) all parts of the care home to which service users have access are so far as reasonably practicable free from hazards to their safety;
  • (c) unnecessary risks to the health or safety of service users are identified and so far as possible eliminated. Statutory Instrument 2001 No. 3965, Crown Copyright 2001

The Royal Society for the prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) report that around 80 people a day are injured by hot pipes and radiators. As with many accidents, it is often the most vulnerable, the very young and the very old, who are most at risk; If you are the registered person or have responsibility for young people or old people in your care, taking the iniative to reduce these injuries by fitting radiator guards and covering hot pipes should be considered.

Make Fire Safety Education Fun For Kids

Fire is dangerous and scary, most kids know that. However, the topic of fire safety is something that they should never be afraid of. In fact, kids should be made to realise the importance of this subject matter in the prevention of fires, risks, injuries, and fatalities.

When teaching safety to children, parents, child care givers, and teachers should remember that they should not terrify the kids or else, it may be possible for them to be too nervous to do the right thing in case a fire does happen.

Making kids safety education fun and enjoyable can help greatly in instilling valuable lessons in children more effectively. This can also help to ensure that they do not become too scared of fires, enough for them to freeze during an actual emergency situation. Having the confidence and knowledge on fire safety can make it easier for them to do the right thing during a fire breakout.

Here are some things to do to make fire safety education amusing without diminishing its importance.

1. Take the children to a field trip

Kids love field trips. Not only do they always learn about so many things, they are also always enjoyable. To teach kids about fire safety, it would be a smart idea to bring them to a fire brigade department. Here, they will get to meet firefighters and get to look around the fire station. Firefighters can also teach them some valuable lessons about fire safety, and may even show them how the fire extinguisher, fire hose, or fire truck works. Do not forget to schedule an appointment in advance before dropping by.

2. Read children books about fire safety to children.

Another activity that kids love is story-telling. Ask the children to gather around and tell them a story about a house fire that occurred where children were able to escape safely by not panicking and by keeping safety tips in mind. Be sure to include lessons on fire prevention and emergency preparedness in your story, which are simple enough for the kids to understand and absorb.

3. Play games that pertain to fire safety.

Instead of simply showing them how to do the Stop, Drop, and Roll method, turn this into a game and have them do this alternately. The one who does this properly wins a game. Another important safety lesson you can turn into a game has something to do with the fire exit. Instead of just pointing to them where the fire exits are located, have them find these exits on their own (while guiding and supervising them closely) and the one who finds them first wins a prize. Just do not forget to teach them about the importance of these things so that they won’t only have fun, they will also learn something.

Of course, even though it is a good idea to teach safety lessons in a fun and enjoyable manner, it is still important to reiterate at all times that fire safety is a very serious matter that should never be taken as a joke.