Why don't Myrtle and Tom get divorced from their spouses and marry each other? Catherine makes the excuse that Daisy is a Catholic, but Nick knows this isn't true. So what's the reason?
What do you guys think of Mrs. Wilson? I didn't really like her. She was kind of a different character and I felt like she held a lot of power over everyone else.
What does Tom's abuse towards Myrtle signify? Does he truly love her, or is she just a toy to him? If Tom is the equivalent of F. Scott, then is he still in love with Daisy?
morgant---I didn't like her either. She wasn't nice at all and thought she could order everyone around. And she said that her husband wasn't to lick her shoe! That was mean. It's like she gets whatever she wants and everyone has to bow down to her.
I think Tom is afraid of commitment. He's already had to "suffer" through one marriage, I think he'd consider another one his own personal hell. Myrtle is clingy, and I think if she pushes herself any further onto him, he'll push back. This was seen when he punched her.
Maddie- I was confused about that also. I was wondering if it is really love between them. First, he was very rude and reacted violently when she mentioned Daisy. Do they actually love each other maybe?
maddief---I think all women are just toys to Tom. He doesn't love Myrtle, or he wouldn't have broken her nose.
Amy- I was wondering the same thing, because both of them are hurting their spouses and it is just better to end it and if they really loved their spouses they wouldn't cheat on them. So I have no idea why they are prolonging their marriages.
Morgant-To be honest, I don't like any of the characters, except the narrator. They're all so... fake. Completely and utterly. I only like real people (I don't mean fictional versus in reality, just how the people are). Make sense?
After Tom breaks Myrtle's nose, it made me wonder if Tom ever treated Daisy like that behind closed doors. I can definitely see Daisy getting under Tom's skin a little bit, do you think he would ever abuse Daisy like he did Myrtle?
Amy: I'm pretty sure that Myrtle and Tom don't want to divorce their spouses because of how unexcepted divorce was at the time. Also I really don't think that they have a true love. I think it is just a physical relationship because their personalities don't seem to match.
morgant- I really don't like Mrs. Wilson either. Its not right that Tom and her are cheating on their spouses. What made me really mad was that Tom was acting so nice to Mr. Wilson and then after he left the room, him and Mrs. Wilson decide to go to the city together.
Amy~I think they are afraid to get divorced because it might mean something if they do. They could be afraid to walk away from someone who possibly has some dirt on them. Or possibly they are happy with how things are, just because they’re cheating doesn’t mean they dislike that.
Amy- I think that though they are not happy together, both characters may like the security of a marriage relationship and may just be using eachother for amusment.
Amy~ I think that the reason that they are not having a divorce is because Tom still has some attachments to Daisy. After all, Daisy really isn't Cathloic and he may have made that up.
Morgant - I think Mrs. Wilson is an extremely self centered character. She doesn't care if she hurts her husband by lying to him because she wants a better man to love and money and status
Did anyone find in strange that on page 34 (non-gold banded book) when Catherine said that when they [Myrtle and Tom] get married, they’ll go to Europe. Do you find this strange/ironic that Daisy and Tom went to Spain for a year? Could there have been a past that they were trying to hide while in Spain, like Myrtle and Tom will hide if they go to Europe?
Amy- This seems to relate a lot to "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" and the marriage of Macomber and Margot. There is not bravery in thier marriages and in some way I think they are too lazy to actually go through with a divorce. It is more interesting; they get 2 people for the price of one.
Amy- I definitely agree with you. I felt like she was very materialistic and just one of those people that need other people's acceptance. That always bugs me.
maddief - I think Tom's abuse towards Myrtle kind of exposed his hypocricy. He doesn't care about Daisy enough to not cheat on her, but when Myrtle is kind of disrespecting her Tom hits her. I think Tom isn't really in love with Daisy, but still doesn't want to completely let her go.
@Maddie: I think that it is showing that there is no such thing as true love. For Tom, love seems like an object that he likes to toy with to his advantages.@Olivia: I read ahead and, not to spoil much, that isn't true.
Amy- I believe that Myrtle and Tom are too cowardly to get divorced. They are both very weak characters with little personality other than getting bored with things after a "couple of minutes". Look at her with the puppy at first she was all about it but then it was cast aside and almost forgotten. I also believe if they were to get divored and remarried they would not have true love- they're just in it for the thrill and once they get married that thrill will be gone.
Why are there so many minor characters being introduced (Catherine, the McKees, etc.). What's the point of this? Nick just keeps meeting all these random people.
Parker- yes, I do see what you mean. I get that impression too, although there are some characters, like Myrtle, that I dislike more than others.
amy- I think Tom and Myrtle aren't really in love. They aren't in love with one another but neither are they in love with their spouses. Getting a divorce wouldn't solve any of their problems because they didn't want to be married to each other or their spouses.
Meganu - I thought about that too and I bet he probably does beat Daisy. That could be why she doesn't speak up against the affair too. and I wonder if this has anything to do with Fitzgerald's real life. We saw in the video how he beat his lover Shirley. I wonder if he ever hurt Zelda
lauren - do you think Myrtle really loves Tom? Or is thier relationship nothing more than money and status for her?
maddief- I was wondering about that too because Tom is supposedly meant to mirror Fitzgerald, who did love Zelda even after he knew she was having an affair. So does Tom really love Daisy and his affair is just something on the side? Because it seems like he doesn't really even love Mrytle at all. So, who loves who, and what is the point of his affair?
Yeah Amy and Morgan, I really dislike Myrtle. I though Daisy was a little annoying when she was first introduced, but at least her redeeming quality is that she is hurt by her husband's infidelity. Myrtle doesn't seem to have any good qualities. She cheats on her husband without the slightest thought towards her spouse.
On page 32 of the non-gold book, Catherine said, “I’m scared of him [Gatsby]. I’d hate to have him get anything on me” (Fitzgerald). What do you think she means by this? How will this play a role later in the book? What does she imply about Gatsby? (Also, I felt that it was a really abnormal and random thing to say…)
I strongly dislike Mrs. Wilson. She is such a immature worldly person. All she cared about was money and sex. I don't think she even cares at all about Tom she just like the money and what he gives her. He also probably makes her feel special even though he is such a jerk to her!
amyw- I noticed that too. I am not sure what the point of that was, or if they are going to play a major role later on in the book. I found all the new characters very annoiying though.
I was wondering if you guys think this is F. Scott Fitzgerald's commentary on cheating, how it's not true love and just a shallow relationship? If this is his negative commentary on affairs, why did he cheat on Zelda?
Megan~ I can see that happening, but she didn't seem to have any types of bruises or anything. He also seemed a bit submissive to Daisy at home where as he was the man of the affair.
Alexf~ I think that in some ways going to Europe references how nothing in their life ever satisfies them. This was very true for the time period, and it also relates the to affair itself.
All of the cheating and affairs remind me that sometimes people have sex to feel wanted and are married to feel secure. With their spouses they have security but they know that they feel trapped being with them so they have affairs to feel wanted by others.
Does anyone see the narrator as a weak character who doesn't know what he wants and can't stand up for himself?Like the part where he tries to leave before going up to the apartment. He tries to get out of it but tom has more control.
parker-YES! None of these character seem believable at all...the women and the men are too stereotyped, the men are very sex-hungry and just want women, and the women are so needy and stuck up too. These stereotypes just go too far, and make the characters unbelievable.
Also, does everyone think that Myrtle will stay with Tom even though he broke her nose?
What do you guys think about Tom and Daisy? When Myrtle was taunting Tom about Daisy, he reacted violently. Do you think maybe there is something there? I mean, if he didn't love her, why would he go and hit Myrtle?
Parker- I completely agree! I do not like any characters other than the narrator and Gatsby but looking specifically at the narrator- we have to take into account of how reliable he is. What are your thoughts on the narrator, is he reliable?
Amy- I was intrigued by all the characters as well and I kept noticing that Nick would meet someone and then make plans with them. I found that rather odd, so I don't really know why there are so many characters. Maybe it will all unfold later.
This is my guess, but kind of out there. This story relates largely to Fitzgerald's life, and in a way I think that Daisy may not be "all there", she may possibly have a mental issue. If this is the case, it makes me think that this is why he is having an affair, similarly Fitzgerald's own life. This is way out there but I can see how this may be a connection to his own life. We will just have to read and see!
rachels - I really don't think Myrtle loves Tom. I think it's mostly about the money, status, and sex for her because it doesn't seem like she thinks very highly of men in general.
@Amy: I think adding all of the minor characters is just to add some interest and some realism into the novel. It is very unlikely that you'd go to parties with the same people all the time. The other thing you have to consider is that by adding all of these people Fitzgerald has more places to add some social comentary.
Lauren - I was wondering exactly the same thing! After all of their drunken nights, he could very well have just beat Zelda. After Zelda was put in the mental hospital, he was using that other lady just like Tom was using Myrtle. He had a drunken night and she spoke out against it so he threw her around the room. But then that makes me wonder if he would've beat Zelda. Zelda had the same drunken nights as Fitzgerald did so she wouldn't have spoken out against him and made him angry...
My question is why is their affair taken so lightly by the society around them? They had a party in their apartment and nobody seemed ashamed of the fact that both Tom and Myrtle were married. I was confused by the part where Tom broke Mrs. Wilson's nose for shouting his wife's name when before the atmosphere was so nochalant about the affair.
So why do you think the narrator stays with them? I think he represents the person who has ideals but just follows the crowd so therefore has no idea how to keep them.
Jordan- I definitely agree with you! All the affairs and stuff make me feel like there really isn't any true love in this book. I mean we have married couples and then both sides are in an affair and they don't even love each other. It is kind of annoying really.
In my opinion, I think Tom's draw towards Myrtle is lust, not love. Lust is a bond that is very easy to break, unlike love which truly ties people together. That may have something to do with why Tom and Myrtle haven't left their spouses. Although they care for each other, it is difficult for them to throw off the chains that drew them to their spouses. Lust is simply not stronger than love.
oliviak---I was thinking exactly the same thing! Nick just follows people around and observes from the sidelines, so to speak. Everyone always convinces him to stay and he doesn't talk very much either.
OliviaK~Yes, I totally think that the narrator is a very weak character. I also think that the story isn’t so much as focused on him, but that he is just a way of telling the story. He’s just a bystander telling what he sees. Do you think that by the end of the book, he will ever be able to stand up for himself and gain courage because he learned how, or will he just always be a random guy?
Morgan- I do think that Tom cares for Daisy because of the way he reacted but I don't know why he is cheating on her. It frazzles me because I can't really tell what he wants.
Melissa: That is an interesting idea. In my point of view, I think that Daisy and Tom loved the idea of being together, and having the social status, but never actually loved each other.
Sabrina-I don't get a strong sense that the narrator is untrustworthy. You have a very strong point there, but for me, I think he's rather accurate. Do you see it otherwise?
Olivia~ I think that the narrator is really weak. He just seems to be going through the motions of life rather than taking it an living his own. He has to write all about it (It kinda seems like the book is a journal of his life) rather than just living in his life and having his own stories.
I think that it is possible that Tom loves Daisy and that Tom loves Myrtle too. He loves them differently and it is possible to love more than one person at a time.
Molly- That is exactly what I mean! I feel like he might love her, even a little bit, but I don't know what he wants because he apparently wants Myrtle but he was violent towards her. Tom is just a confusing character.
sabrinad - I'm not sure about the reliability of the narrator. At the very beginning he introduces himself as a very nonjudgemental person and as someone who values honesty. But when he is describing characters and interacting with them he seems to be making judgements on them. I don't know whether to view his descriptions of characters as his opinion or as fact.
jordans- I agree, i think having an affair is just to make them feel good about thierselves, like they are not really in love, therefore they aren't gaining anything from it. They already have a secure relationship with their spouse, so they aren't looking for another serious relationship, just someone else to want them.
Meganu - yeah it's an interesting scenario to think about. Since we know that Fitzgerald uses a lot of personal experiences in his writing he could have very well hurt the women in his life.
I think Tom's violence is his releashing his cowardly self. He feels so helpless about his whole affair, he's so deep into it that he takes it out on his partner in crime
karlyh---I think that incident was Tom's temper boiling over because he really does feel guilty about the affair, and he'd been able to suppress it before. But when his mistress shouted his wife's name, the guilt sort of "came to the surface" and he couldn't deal with it anymore.
Karlyh- I was wondering about that too. All the people around them thought that it was fine that they were both cheating on their spouses. I think that was just because it was Mrs. Wilson's and Tom's friends because I am sure not everyone would be fine with them cheating. I remember Daisy telling Tom that he had bruised her knuckles in chapter one, so I think that he abuses both Mrs. Wilson and Daisy.
Amy, yes myrtle will stay with tom because he has something that her husband can't give her. She is really just getting what she wants. This whole story is showing how selfish people are she is taking advantage of him. He can give her what she wants and she can give him something in return.
what do you think the giant eye glasses in the valley of ashes represent? Like Kenna said in the inner circle they seem to be watching over everything. What's the significance of that?
Rose, I completely agree with you those are some really harsh stereotypes! I think that Fitzgerald is attempting to show how shallow society has become. From a story's point of view though, it gets really dull.
Rose- I agree the characters are very stereotypical! What is Fitzgerald showing readers by having these highly stereotypical characters?Morgan- I wondered the same thing about why Tom would hit her. I think that he is just a very abusive character and I feel he will become more violent as the book progresses.
Alex- Great quote. I think that she notices the stature of Gatsby, he seems to be the highest of the high, and she wouldn't want to lose the ability to be a small part of his party. Also, people speculate he has a dark past, he possibly killed a man, and if she truly believes that, she doesn't want to possibly, well, die.
MelissaZ~I completely agree that this story reflects Fitzgerald’s life! I also think that Daisy isn’t all there because she was acting very strange and “spazzy” if you know what I mean. Also, on page 29 of the non-gold book, the narrator says, “I have been drunk just twice in my life, and the second time was that afternoon; so everything that happened has a dim, hazy cast over it…” I was wondering, while reading this, if you think that FSF made his narrator a non-alcoholic because he (FSF) regrets being an alcoholic? Maybe he was trying to show the negative consequences of drinking?
Hey people, just a thought. The narrator doesn't have to be 100% the same as F.S.F. We're all assuming that every facet is the exact same, and that everything corresponds, but it IS a fiction book. Things are allowed to be different. Basing something on someone, and having that exact person in the story, are two very different things.
Karly~ I think the society takes the affairs to lightly because its really none of their business and in the end they can’t do anything about it. Or they just don’t know, people get cheated on everyday and society just lives through it. Especially in their time it was more about having fun than being serious, in the city in particular the society almost adds to the temptation with their party atmosphere.
Okay this is kind of random, but I was wondering if anyone found any significance when Myrtle kept telling her sister that she would give her her dress when she was done with it? Did anyone see anything metaphorical about it? I just thought it was really interesting that she kept mentioning that.
Karly~ I think that the society is really just a lot looser or at least in the book. I was totally thinking the same thing because if a couple that was having an affair today and both parties were married and they threw a party, I would assume that the entire party of guests would really find it odd and awkward.
Jordans - I'm sorry but I have to disagree with what you said about it being possible to love more then one person at a time. I agree that there are different kinds of love like loving a friend or a sexual love but I don't think it is right at all to be involved with two different people at the same time.
Lauren - If Fitzgerald really did hurt Zelda and treated the women in his life badly, what do you think his relationship with his daughter was? We didn't really hear much about it.
I think the valley of ashes represents the collapsing of the American dream. If anyone has read The Jungle, you know about how the Industrial Revolution was bad for a lot of people, and these people were working for barely anything while the rich people lived in complete luxury. Immigrants in other countries were told that the "streets were paved with gold," and they came to America, worked for nothing, and discovered that exactly the opposite was true. The American dream only existed for a very few. This book was written not a long time after the Industrial Revolution, so Fitzgerald could be commenting on this.
Maddie and Twiggy-exactly! Maybe F. Scott is using these unrealistic characters to impersonate people in his own life...I'm still trying to figure out what the stereotypes symbolize
Jordan, you had a really good point about being able to love two people at the same time, but in different ways. I view the affair as an ice cream flavor of the month, something new and exciting, but available only for a short amount of time. His marriage with Daisy is like a person's childhood's favorite flavor, something that they will always return to. (Wow metaphors on food, I must be hungry! XD)
Rachel – About the eye glasses- personally I don’t believe they signify anything but if we were to go into that. I think they represent that someone is always watching and someone always knows your secrets. I feel that they could represent the narrator because he seems to be the one everyone tells things to- the secret keeper.
Cate- I actually did notice that. I was also curious about that. I didn't really see anything metaphorical, I just thought it was a part of Myrtle that she thought she could afford to just give it away and she was acting superior to the rest of them.
karlyh- I agree with you. Everyone knows about about all the affairs goin on, but why doesn't anyone care or do anything about it? They are giving the impression that they don't believe in true love, since none of them have it. If you think about it, there is really no couple so far in this book, married or just an affair, that supports a strong selfless bond within a relationship.
MelissaZ~Good point about Gatsby! Do you think that if/when the narrator meets Gatsby, they will become friends? Isn’t it surprising that they have yet to meet and have been neighbors for many years?! What does this say about Gatsby? Also, he must be the highest of highs because almost everyone that Nick talks to knows about and has been to Gatsby’s parties! Will Nick ever go to his party?
catem---I thought this represented how everyone bows down to Myrtle and how commanding she is. Everyone does what she says and caters to her every whim, and they get her cast-offs in a sense. Myrtle giving the dress away is just a physical representation of this.
Sorry, I meant Tom and Daisy, not Fitzgerald and Zelda.
On page 30 Tom says Wilson "thinks she goes to see her sister in New York. He's so dumb he doesn't know he's alive." Do you think that he really doesn't know about the affair or does he just choose to remain indifferent?
Meganu - I really don't know what Fitzgerald thought about his daughter but I think it's safe to assume that they must not have been extremely close simply because of the lack of information about her. Much like Daisy's child in the book I think F. Scott loved his daughter but was much too busy with his social life to focus on her entirely.
Lauren~ I agree with you on the fact that it is wrong to cheat on someone but I think it is possible to love someone even if you do hurtful things to them.
catem - I think Myrtle's focus on the dress was meant to show how superior she felt over everybody else when she was with Tom. When Tom picks her up she seems to get a whole new personality and that condescending comments towards her sister brings home the fact of how important she feels.
@Parker: I agree. I think F.S.F. took the "buisness in the day, party in the night" lifestyle and the love life (to a degree) from his life and that is about it. We can only assume so much about him from the book. Who knows; he could have beat Zelda after the parties, but we have no outside info to confirm that, so...
Lauren-Loving and "being involved" with someone are two different things. You love your parents, I assume? I hope so, at least. Those are two different people. Or maybe you love your grandparents, and so on. That's more than 1 person, and I'm assuming that you're not "involved" with them, and I think that you love them. Do you see why I have a slight problem with that statement? I do see what you mean, but still.
Alex- That is a great idea I didn't even think of, and could very much so be true. I actually don't think that Fitzgerald picks one character and bases that one character off of himself, but bits and pieces of each character seem to reflect other pieces of his life. He may not even do this completely intentionally. People tend to write about what they know and what is happening in their life at the time.
Karly- I was wondering about that too. I feel like Myrtle has so much power over her husband that he might not know about it. But then again, he might not be saying anything about it because he is afraid of her.
I think Fitzgerald's stereotypes are a commentary on society. The thought crossed my mind that it could be his method of satire, like he's satirizing the traditional roles of men and women in society.
Does anyone else think that Tom does love Daisy? I do think he is hurtful to her but I still think you can love someone even if you do hurtful things to them.
Morgant~ I may be wrong, but in a metaphorical way I saw it as you should try this lifestyle next. I am willing to pass my sins onto you. That may be going way too deep, but maybe this represents how love has become a thing of the past. It's a stretch, I know.
Jordan- I was thinking that too, but just because of Tom's violence towards Myrtle when she taunted him about Daisy.
Yeah Lauren, I also think that people shouldn't be involved in more than one relationship. But at the same time, I think that there are different forms of love, like love for a spouse versus love for a relative. Tom took the wrong route by getting himself involved in a sexual relationship, which I find is based on lust, not love.
karlyh---I think both Wilson and Daisy know about the affair but choose to ignore it.
Jordan I don't think that one can truely love someone if they can hurt them. If they truely loved someone why would they want to hurt them?
I think Daisy is actually very smart. It's not her fault that her husband is a Jerk! Honestly stupid people cannot converse as Daisy does.
Parkerh - Yeah sorry if I wasn't clear but I did say that I understand there are different kinds of love. I'm just saying that in this case I don't think it's okay for Tom and Myrtle to be involved in this almost false sense of love
As to what the inner circle is talking about, I think that Myrtle and Daisy were really similar. I think if Tom really wanted to have an affair, why do you think that he would have chosen someone so similar?
KarlyH~I was wondering the exact same thing! I half think he does know that she’s cheating on him, but that he just has to accept it. The reason I say this is because she’s apparently so “superior” to him, that maybe he is okay with her having an affair as long as he gets to say that she is his wife. Also, could maybe he be cheating on her also? I don’t know why, but I just get the feeling that everyone is having an affair with everyone else’s spouse…
Cate- That's a good way of looking at it, and it's an interesting point. I don't disagree with you, I just think it was a physical representation of Myrtle demonstrating her superiority.
jordans- I think that cares for Daisy, but I don't think that he is truly in love with her or else he wouldn't go off and cheat with Myrtle.
Jordan - I think Tom does love Daisy, at least some part of him does, he's just bored or feels let down or something. I don't think he's satisfied with his marriage, that's why he has Myrtle. Myrtle has something to offer that Daisy doesn't.
rachels---I agree. She has a very sharp wit and sounds intelligent. There's a lot to her, but a lot of people just write her off as stupid.
Lauren-Ok, that helps. Sorry if I blew up on you >.< But yeah, I never think affairs or inappropriate relationships are a good thing. Good point.
Olivia-I think you can love someone and hurt them but you cannot truly love some one hurt them and not feel remorse about it. I mean think about it everyone hurts people they love but i do not think you can cheat on someone you love.
Olivia~ everyone hurts people. Loving someone doesn’t make them impervious to flaws and to do bad things. I think loving people despite the pain can show love. I know I love my friends but I know I have and do and will hurt them. I don’t want to but I do just as you and everyone. Everyone hurts other people and everyone gets hurt I think.
Rachels~ I agree. I think that Daisy just puts forth a fake front so she doesn't intimidate her guests and friends. I think this kind of reflects the standards for society for women.
Kira- I am not sure why they would be so similar. Maybe Tom just likes a certain kind of woman but does not like the environment he is in with Daisy. Maybe he wants a city life with the same kind of people. But I don't really know. Just a thought.
Lauren, I completely agree with your thought that Myrtle and Tom are sharing a fake love. Do you think it's based on benefits instead of true caring for each other?
catem---Exactly. Society entreats women to act a certain way, and they pretty much have to. Intelligent women were intimidating, so she has to hide this part of herself around her husband and other people.
MelissaZ~I agree that he put bits and pieces of himself in all the characters! What parts of himself do you think he put in Gatsby? (Now, of course, we don’t know anything about him…except that he’s popular). I can see how he put his “love for love” in Tom, and his drinking disabilities in Nick, but what about Gatsby? Or maybe, is any of FSF in Daisy/Myrtle?
rachels that is what I was trying to say when I said that comment.
I think that an important thing to remember in the relationship between Daisy and Tom is their child. Daisy wishes for her child to have a perfect life and I think Daisy thinks that socially things might not be as easy for her if she comes from a broken home because society looked down on divorce.
Amy-Often times, intelligent women are STILL considered intimidating. I don't have a problem with intelligent people, regardless of race or gender, but some people sadly still feel that way.
Daisy reminds me of pudden head wilson because she is just thought of as that girl who is pretty and thats about it when in reality she is just way smarter then the rest of them so they dont know how to respond to her.
Alex- I never thought of that before! For some reason though, I see Wilson as a more submissive character and I can't see him having an affair.
parkerh---I know! This makes me so sad that intelligence intimidates some people.
Alex- I don't think there is any of FSF in the ladies of the story, and I think there will be more looks into the similarlties of Gatsby and FSF as the story progresses. Possibly every main man could carry one piece to his own life.
This is my make-up blog.@amy- I don' think Myrtle and Tom get divorced and marry each other because I think they each find safety in their spouses. Tom values commitment, but doesn't seem to want to give it himself. He wants to have someone there for him always so he feels like he always has power over someone.@maddie- Once again, I just think Tom needs power and is willing to use violence in order to maintain that power. And no, I don't believe he is in love with Daisy, but he felt guilty whenever Mytle mentioned her name. @Olivia- I don't think Nick is a weak character. I think at this point in the story, we were still trying to get to know him. He isn't as outspoken as Tom, and I thnk he just has better judgement. he wanted to leave before it got out of hand, unlike the other partygoers. That doesn't make him weak.
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