Biology

Assignment 1: Essay

 

Choose one (1) of the three (3) reading selections from the list of topic choices below. The focus is on brief but important primary source material written by important authors. In each case, the subject relates to the problems of certain people who are oppressed or impoverished.  In each topic, a different genre or approach is adopted to help readers see and perhaps address the problem.   Read the selections as identified with each topic below. Write a four-to-five (4-5) paragraph essay (2 pages minimum) which analyzes the work following the list of four things “your paper should cover” given just after the topics.

 

Topic Choices

1. Reading selection of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Her works are very popular today, with Austen reading clubs and all types of new books and events based on her ideas.   In 2017 England printed new 10 pound bank notes with her image on them. The chapter should be read in full at https://www.janeausten.org/pride-and-prejudice/chapter-43.asp

2. Reading selection from Samuel Johnson within the current text 21.12 from The Rambler the essay found here http://www.johnsonessays.com/the-idler/sufficiency-english-language/. Johnson was the editor of two coffeehouse magazines, The Rambler (1750–52) and The Idler (1758–60), and the author of Dictionary of the English Language, and subject of one of the first biographies by James Boswell. Johnson overcame numerous illnesses and handicaps.

3. Reading selection from Equiano’s Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, written in 1789.  This selection can be found in chapter 26 of our class text on pp. 901-902 (with background on pp. 893 – 897).   The context is the process of enslavement and then passage across the Atlantic.

4. Reading selection of Olympe de Gouges’ Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female citizen (written in 1791). The selection should be read in full at http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/293/ with background provided on p. 874 of our class text. You should also look at the revolutionary document of 1789 that she is “correcting”, called Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/rightsof.asp ). Olympe de Gouge has the status of women as her main concern. The general context is the French Revolution and the attempts to redefine rights and status once one replaces monarchy.

For the reading selection and topic you choose, your paper should cover the following:

1. Briefly introduce the writer and the situation that this reading is about.  Identify the genre or nature of the reading. (Who is the author; why did he or she write this piece?)

2. Using specific examples or lines within the reading, suggest the author’s key views and key aims for the reading audience. (Give a 1-2 paragraph summary of ideas)

3. Evaluate the author’s strategy and what you see as the work’s likely effectiveness (or lack of effectiveness) for the target audience.  If there is any known historical result, discuss that. (Look at the writing style and discuss who would read this)

4. Evaluate how the reading impacted you.  Identify any analogous situations today, and also key lessons you get from the reading that could be relevant to one’s professional and personal life. (How did you like this?  How do the ideas relate to situations today?)

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