The Victorian Period Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 1 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.1A: Morality Then and Now
The strict social and moral codes of the middle class in Victorian culture were one response to the unsettling changes that threatened traditional social structures. We live in a time also filled with rapid and often unsettling technological and scientific changes. What effect do you think these rapid social and technological changes are having on modern society? How do you think scientific advances are affecting the morality of society? Do you think the Internet has affected the overall morality of society?
• Write a two or three paragraph response discussing the current attitudes towards morality and "proper" behavior.
• Consider the motivations for these responses and how they are similar to or different from those of middle class Victorian society.
Alfed, Lord Tennyson Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 2 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.2A: Youth and Aging
An old saying claims that youth is wasted on the young-that only older people have the experience and perspective to appreciate the joys of youthful health and exuberance. Typically, you don't imagine a sixty-year-old skydiving or a thirty-year-old winning a gymnastics
gold metal. Stereotypes of the "proper" activities for older adults often don't account for the skills and talents developed over a lifetime of living. Tennyson's adventure-seeking Ulysses may be pursuing a young man's dream, but why should he abandon the passions of a lifetime merely because of his age?
• What activities are important in your life, right now, that you may not be able to continue doing for the rest of your life?
• How do you think you'll feel or react when you're faced with the task of not being able to do what you love any more?
• Can you think of any famous singers, dancers, or athletes who have continued their careers long after their skills have peaked? What (besides money) do you think motivates them?
• Respond to these questions in your journal with two or so paragraphs. Include in your response answers to all the questions posed in this assignment, as well as a discussion of how you think you would behave if faced with the same issues an aging star deals with.
Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 3 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.2B: "The Lady of Shallot"
Interpreting poetry can be an overwhelming task, but it is an important skill, which you will practice in this exercise. In a short essay, analyze the theme of "The Lady of Shallot" in light of Tennyson's comment about the Lady. Tennyson said, "The newborn love for something, for someone in the wide world from which she had been so long secluded, takes her out of the region of shadows into that of realities" (701). Before you begin, you can use a chart to organize your thoughts. Include in the chart: key words and phrases, symbols, images and opposing images, and theme.
After you have completed the chart, organize your essay based upon your thoughts above. "The theme is _____________________ and is shown by the ____________________ " is a good way to begin.
The Brownings Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 4 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.3A: Love Poetry
Have you ever been in love? Is it easy for you to express your love (not necessarily romantic love) for the important people in your life?
Expressing love through verse is a time-honored tradition. "Sonnet 43" is written in an Italian or Petrarchan sonnet form. Many of the lines from the poem will sound familiar, particularly, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." You will read the enumeration Elizabeth Barrett Browning offers, but how would you count the ways you love?
• Think of someone you love deeply. It can be a romantic kind of love or it can be a familial or friendship kind of love.
• In your journal, enumerate the ways you love this person. Count and describe ways you love him or her. Your response can be a poem, a paragraph, or simply a list describing how you love this person.
• Try to make your images and metaphors as fresh and original as possible. Whatever form you write in, you should have at least ten different ways.
Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 5 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.3B: Responding to Literature
1. Write a dramatic monologue, in either prose or poetry, in the voice of the Duchess. Base your monologue on an imaginary incident that could have occurred between her and the Duke-or one that the Duke himself mentions-and take into account the personality of both the Duchess and the Duke. Your monologue should be at least two paragraphs or ten lines of poetry.
2. Read the last sentence of the poem "My Last Duchess" Do you find it an effective conclusion? What-if anything-might the speaker intend to convey with such a comment? How does the comment support or detract from the overall message of the poem? In a paragraph discuss whether or not this ending is effective and consistent or ineffective and inconsistent.
3. Assume that the emissary is an insightful person. What kind of an impression do you think the Duke is making? (Be sure to use specific examples to support your claims.)
4. What do you think of the Duke's assessments of his Duchess? What problems do you have with his assessments? Do you think his assessment is objective? Why or why not?
How Much Land Does a Man Need? Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 6 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.5A: Pronouns and Antecedents
Complete the practice exercise on page 764 of Elements of Literature: Sixth Course.
• For the writing assignment, cut a paste a paragraph from another assignment that you've written and revise it in your journal.
Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 7 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.5B: Responding to Literature
1. How does "How Much Land does a Man Need?" function as an allegory? Explain how each of the following elements of the story-its characters, its setting, and its events can be read on both literal and symbolic levels.
2. You have seen British writers questioning the benefits of
nineteenth-century industrialization and modernization. How does this questioning change in a Russian setting? List and discuss three different ways in which Tolstoy either shares or extends the British writers' debate about progress.
3. In your opinion, does Pahom get what he deserved? Or did he pay too high a price for the "crime" he committed? Explain your response to Tolstoy's moral in a brief, well constructed paragraph.
The Bet Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 8 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.6A: Pre-reading Activities
1. What would you do for a million dollars?
Imagine that someone offered you to pay you one million dollars for completing a task. What would you be willing to do for one million dollars? List five things that may seem outrageous but that you'd be willing to do for one million dollars. (Please make sure your list is G rated!)
Now consider the following scenario: Would you agree to live by yourself, without any human company, for fifteen years to win a million dollars? For ten million? For any amount of money? A character in the story you're about to read bets that he can do it. His voluntary solitude raises questions for both the reader and the character. What do you think motivates people to make bets other than money? Explain your answer in a complete paragraph in your journal.
2. How do you feel about capital punishment?
The bet in this story evolves from an argument about whether or not capital punishment is more or less humane than life in solitary confinement. What do you think? Do you support capital punishment? Write a brief paragraph in your journal explaining your position.
Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 9 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.6B: Responding to Literature
1. Restate the lawyer's philosophy, point by point, as it is revealed in the letter he writes. Respond to each of his points, explaining your reaction to it and stating whether you agree or disagree with his argument. How could the lawyer's letter provide a commentary on state of Russian society during the last years of the czarist rule.
2. Compare and contrast Chekhov's story and Leo Tolstoy's "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" Write a paragraph comparing their statements about achieving material gain and comment on each story's ironic ending.
The Jewels Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 10 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.7A: Responding to Literature
1. Write a two-paragraph essay where you compare Tolstoy's
character Pahom (in "How Much Land Does a Man Need?") with de Maupassant's Monsieur Lantin. How does each character's personality contribute to his changing circumstances? What does each writer seem to suggest about nineteenth century notions of progress and self improvement?
2. We don't know very much about Madame Lantin-not even her first name. However, de Maupassant gives us some clues that help us understand her personality, and we can make inferences about her motivations. Write a brief analysis of Madame Lantin's motivations, her behavior with her husband, and her seeming lack of guilt. Use at least three examples from the text to support your answers.
3. Assuming that Maupassant's views and perspectives were
accurate, what can you conclude about middle-class society in late-nineteenth century France from "The Jewels"? Support your contentions with specific examples from the text.
The Rocking-Horse Winner Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 11 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.8A: The Love of Money
The old saying that "the love of money is the root of all evil" dates back to the bible. Over the centuries, immeasurable evil-hatred, war, murder-has sprung from the desire for riches. Even on the most personal level-wife to husband, parent to child, friend to friend-the craving for wealth can have devastating effects.
• What sacrifices have you seen people make in order to get money?
• What happens to their characters?
• Write a brief paragraph discussing what influence you've seen money exert in people's lives.
• Provide as many specific examples as possible.
Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 12 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.8B: Responding to Literature
Answer the following questions in your journal.
1. What do you think of Lawrence's decision to end the story as he did? In what way is the ending of the story a distortion of the usual fairy-tale ending? How does this ending support Lawrence's views on money and materialism as stated in the "Primary Source" text-box at the end of the story?
2. What is different about the style of Lawrence's writing when
compared to the other pieces you've read that reflect realism? List at least three differences and at least one similarity. If you hadn't been told,would you have known that it was written in a different time period than the other pieces you've read during this lesson?
Colonial Literature Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 13 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.10A: Clash of Cultures
Directions: Each of the pieces you will be reading presents a unique point-of-view on colonialism and the British Empire and describes a unique problem or circumstance. To get you thinking about some of the issues, I'd like you to think about the problems that can come up when two cultures try to coexist. You can use your own experience or the experiences of others you've observed in real life or in your reading to answer these questions.
You may not often stop to think about it, but America is a tremendous blending of cultures and heritages. Although the problems caused by cultures clashing in America are not as pronounced as the problems you will be reading about, they are still there. Some of the cultural conflicts you will read about are obvious and seemingly unsolvable, but some are bridged by the affection the groups involved have for each other.
What cultural conflicts have you witnessed in your own life? Do you think that there are some cultural differences that cannot be bridged, no matter how much goodwill the parties bring to the encounter? Do you think that, with enough effort, people can truly understand and appreciate one another's grievances, beliefs, and aspirations? Write some notes in your journal (about 10-15 lines) answering these questions.
Lesson 5 Journal Entry # 14 of 14
Journal Exercise 5.10B: Responding to Literature
1. Imagine interviewing each of the four authors of these selections. How might each author respond to the question, "What does the word empire mean to you?" Using the first-person point of view (writing as "I"), write four answers to these questions, each in the voice of a different author. After each response, list some words or phrases from the text that support your opinion of the author's definition.
2. How might the events of Southern Rhodesia during 1964 and 1965 have affected Lessing's portrayal of the relationship between Gideon the Farquars? Review the information on page 908 of your text to answer this question.
3. In her preface to African Stories, Lessing reveals that she holds the British responsible for much of her country's suffering. Whom does the narrator of this story seem to hold responsible for the suffering depicted here-the Farquars, Gideon, neither, or both? Use at least three examples from the text to support your answer.
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