Currently, first years, second years and fourth years have a homework assignment to complete. This assignment can be handed to me any time during the next two or three weeks. There is no strict deadline. Students are expected to write a 10-12 sentence essay on one of the following topics. Use of, and reference to the text is encouraged, but not necessary. These are purely 'English' tests.
Second Year Questions.
1.Why do Jane Austen's novels emjoy universal popularity?
2.Is Pride really a sin?
3.Where does prejudice come from?
4.Is Self-Knowledge really the key to happiness?
Fourth Year Questions.
1.Who suffers in times of economic and social competition?
2.Is there really a class of 'unseen' poor people?
3.What kind of people constitute 'the underclass'?
4.Are leaders impossible to contact for the ordinary man?
First Year Assignment
THIS IS ONLY A NORMAL FRIDAY AFTERNOON WRITING ASSIGNMENT. IT IS NOTHING SPECIAL. I PUT IT ON THE NET BECAUSE WE COULDN'T DO A LESSON ON FRIDAY. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO DO IT, YOU DON'T HAVE TO.
J.Hector St.John De Crvecouer : Letters From an American Farmer (1770)
Men are like plants; the goodness and flavor of the fruit proceeds from the peculiar soil and exposition in which they grow. We are nothing but what we derive from the air we breathe, the climate we inhabit, the government we obey, the system of religion we profess, and the nature of our employment.
Notes : Crevecouerss argument is based on a belief in determinism, a viewpoint based on the assumption that the character of a person is determined by external factors, i.e. geography, climate, social institutions, etc A firm belief in determinism opposes arguments favouring individualism, and emphasizes the importance of the world around us in determining our thoughts, beliefs and actions.
Question: To what extent do you agree with Crevecouer that we are all really like plants and that our characters are determined by external factors.
Essay Plan :
(1) Introduce the Question : What exactly is his view? Rephrase it using your own words and objectively mention whether or not you agree with his ideas.
(2) Give examples (from anywhere) showing how Crevecouer may be correct and how characters are determined by external factors.
(3) (a) Show the opposite side of the argument if you disagree with him, i.e. show how peoples characters develop independently of external factors.
(3) (b) Develop Crevecouers argument with more examples and show how logical his views are based on your own philosophical/religious opinions. In other words, emphasize the fact that he must be correct because.
(4) Conclude the essay by reinforcing the opinion you gave at the start and referring to examples that you have given in your essay.