There are three potential essay questions. Please respond to one. Your essay should contain thesis, address all parts of the questions, refer to specific parts of the texts, and be organized into appraximately 5-8 well-structured paragraphs.
1. A number of the essays we read this semester address the conflict or tension betweern the indivídual and the larger society Déscribe a few of these conflicts/tension using specific examples from the texts. Once you have described the various forms that this conflict takes, think about what the authors propose as solutions. Which author propose concrete solutions? Although they don’t share specific solutions, what do their responses to this tension/conflict have in common?
2 We began the semester by discussing Montalgne, whose personal motto was “Que sais Je” or, in English, “What do I know? Using examples from the essays we read this semester,please describe how this basic question is at the heart of the essay form. Which essays best illustrate this deep investigation into the sources and validity of our knowledge?
3. Many of the essays we read this semester address the way that language shapes our individual thoughts and the world in which we live. Using as many examples as possible from the assigned reading, compose an argument for why it is important to pay careful attention to language. What are the stakes or potential consequences of the way we, as individuals and as a society, use language?
Kramer, “Me, Myself, and I”. Heaney, “Digging” (Poem) Sanders, “The Inheritance of Tools” Desmond, “Cold City” Weiss, “How to Get Out of a Locked Trunk” Sotomayor, “My Beloved World” Jefferson, “The Declaration of Independence”. Addison, “Two Years are Better than Four”. Rosenberg, “Let Stars Get Paid” Posnanski, “College Athletes Should Not Be Paid” Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?’ Lunsford, “Our Semi-Literate Youth? Not So Fast”. Mebane, “The Back of the Bus” Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant”. Tan, “Mother Tongue” White, “Once More to the Lake”. Diaz, “The Money” Lanham, “Where’s the Action”. Gorney, “The Urge to Merge”. Orwell., “Politics and the English Language”
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