Ewrt 2 essay #5
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Ewrt 2 essay #5 Ewrt 2 essay #5 Document Transcript

  • EWRT  2    Essay  5  Prompt     1   Essay  #5     Essay  #5:  Over  the  course  of  the  quarter,  we  have  read  the  ideas  of  six  philosophers  and   discussed  many  issues  and  ideas  raised  by  them.  We  have  also  applied  their  ideas  about   governments,  rulers,  and  citizens;  wisdom,  justice,  and  equality;  and  perspectives,   privileges,  and  rights  to  our  primary  text,  A  Game  of  Thrones.  Because  of  the  breadth  of  our   inquiries,  I  offer  you  several  ways  to  proceed  with  this  final  essay.    Your  paper,  however,   must  include  the  following:       ¡ It  must  be  5-­‐6  pages  long  (not  including  the  works  cited  page).   ¡ You  must  use  at  least  four  credible  sources,  and  those  sources  must  be  listed   on  your  Works  Cited  page.  At  least  two  of  these  must  be  sources  we  did  not   cover  in  class.     ¡ Your  essay  must  adhere  to  MLA  formatting  rules.   ¡ You  must  submit  it  electronically  to  palmorekim@fhda.edu  before  Thursday,   December  12th  at  noon.     ¡ Your  essay  must  include  an  intersection  between  one  or  more  of  the   philosophies  we  read  together  and  A  Game  of  Thrones.     ¡ You  may  choose  a  topic  from  the  list  below,  or  you  may  use  one  of  your  own.   (Please  see  me  (or  email  me)  about  using  your  own  essay  topic  before  you   begin.)     You  may  use  your  posts  and  earlier  essays  as  fodder  to  help  support  your  arguments,  but   your  final  essay  should  be,  of  course,  more  sophisticated  in  its  final  presentation.       STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students  will  be  assessed  on  their  ability  to  demonstrate  the  following  proficiencies:   1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) Demonstrate academic (analytical, argumentative) writing based on reading of complex texts. Apply critical thinking skills to writing and complex readings. Demonstrate analysis, comparison, synthesis, and documentation of independent research. Write cogent, well-developed arguments that clearly articulate a thesis supported by textual evidence. Select, evaluate, interpret, and synthesize sources in the service of an argument. Document sources (print, electronic, and other) in MLA style.   The  Prompts:   Lao-­‐tzu   1. Apply the philosophy of Lao-tzu to one character in A Game of Thrones. Argue for his or her success or failure based on adhering to, or failing to adhere to, Lao-tzu’s philosophy. Can we apply Lao-tzu’s approach to government as either a public or personal philosophy in our contemporary world?
  • EWRT  2    Essay  5  Prompt     2   2. Apply the philosophy of Lao-tzu to the community of the Night’s Watch. Argue for its success or failure in this closed society. Can we compare the Night’s Watch to a contemporary community? Can we apply Lao-tzu’s approach to government in a contemporary situation? 3. Lao-tzu gives the ultimate leader the advice of “[practicing] not doing.” Which characters in A Game of Thrones follow, or fail to follow, that advice? How does “not doing” help or destroy them or their efforts? Argue for or against Lao-tzu’s advice regarding government action and involvement in either or both A Game of Thrones and contemporary America. Machiavelli 4. Pick a character or two (or a family) from A Game of Thrones that expresses the Machiavellian philosophy of “the end justifies the means.” Elaborate on how they justify the acquisition & consolidation of their power. Make an argument that upholds or rejects this approach to gaining and holding power. Finally, extend that argument to contemporary America. Does the end justify the means for us today? Use specific examples to support your final assertion. 5. Machiavelli argues that as a leader, “being disarmed makes you despised,” and he lays out ways in which a leader must arm himself. Using examples from a Game of Thrones, show how this advice is useful or destructive when leaders follow it. Finally, extend that argument to contemporary America. Does being disarmed make people or countries despised today? Use specific examples to support your final assertion. 6. Which characters from A Game of Thrones adopt a Machiavellian approach when it comes to ruling and/or maintaining power? Is this the most suited strategy to have in that world? For example, are Joffrey’s actions justified by Machiavelli’s methods of attaining and keeping the power of the throne? Use a character or two (or a family) to support your argument. Finally, extend your argument to contemporary America (or the world today). Do contemporary leaders use a Machiavellian approach? Should they? How does or would this approach affect citizens? Use specific examples to support your final assertion. 7. Machiavelli says that “A prince must not worry about the reproach of cruelty when it is a matter of keeping his subjects united and loyal; for with a few examples of cruelty he will be more compassionate than those who, out of excessive mercy, permit disorders to continue” (43). Argue for or against the prevalence of this philosophy in A Game of Thrones. Use examples from each of the key cities as support. Then consider if Machiavelli’s advice is heeded in contemporary society. Use specific examples to support your assertion. Thoreau 8. Is civil disobedience a practical and worthwhile response to injustice? Identify an example (or two) of Thoreauvian-style “Civil Disobedience” in A Game of Thrones. Argue for its success or failure as both a social protest and a personal undertaking. That is, does it disrupt or change the status quo? Do the personal risks and sacrifices outweigh the consequences of the disobedience? Finally, argue either for or against “civil disobedience” as an approach to
  • EWRT  2    Essay  5  Prompt     3   change that should be used in contemporary society. You might consider Martin Luther King and Gandhi as examples you might use. 9. Thoreau says, “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison” (para. 22). Explain what Thoreau meant by this; then pick one or two characters from A Game of Thrones and explain how this idea shows itself in the novel. Argue for or against the character’s moral and ethical strength. Then argue for the wisdom of adhering to moral and ethical strength in contemporary America. Use examples from both the novel and society to support your assertions. Cicero 10. Cicero give us three alternatives ” 1) We can perform injustice and not suffer it ourselves; 2) We can both perform it and suffer it; or 3) We can neither perform it nor suffer it.” (145) Find a character in A Game of Thrones that uses any of these alternatives. Describe the situation and argue for or against his choice and outcomes using Cicero has a fundamental text. Then, extend your insights to contemporary society. Argue for which of the three choices we embrace as Americans. Use specific examples to support your answer. 11. Based on Cicero’s definitions of wisdom and justice, make an argument for either “wisdom” or “justice” as the better choice for a leader in A Game of Thrones. Use examples of both to depict the success or folly of each. Consider other characters that might display characteristics contrary to your argument and be prepared to refute contradictions. Then, consider these same choices in our government today. Argue which, wisdom or justice, is most often used in ruling. Is our traditional approach appropriate? Why or why not? Plato 12. An allegory is a kind of story in which what happens is being compared to something else that is similar and unstated. Using Plato’s rhetorical strategy of dialogue, create a modern allegory that would be an allusion to “The Allegory of the Cave,” but that argues solutions to issues of either modern society or those apparent in A Game of Thrones. What would the images be? Who would control them? What would the escapee see outside of the cave? 13. Argue that Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” could be used as an accurate description of mankind’s relationship to the Truth in A Game of Thrones. Consider explaining who or what in A Game of Thrones represents the following: the people in the chairs facing the wall, the images on the wall, the fire and figures tending it, the “sun,” and the “Truth-bringer” Finally, submit a brief argument for how you could extend your application of the “Allegory” to contemporary society. 14. Choose a character from A Game of Thrones that you see as dynamic, that is, one that has grown during the novel. Argue for or against the philosophy of Plato concerning the process of enlightenment. Does the character follow the steps of the unchained prisoner? Does he or she become a philosopher king/queen because of the enlightenment? Or does he or she remain materialistic and greedy, as Plato says of the less enlightened leaders? Or is there another reason for incompletion of the steps? Use specific, step-by-step examples. Substantiate that your character irrefutably did see the light. Then, consider America today:
  • EWRT  2    Essay  5  Prompt     4   Do we follow the same steps to enlightenment? Are our leaders philosopher-kings? Should they be? 15. In “The Allegory of the Cave,” Plato writes of prisoners in a cave who can only see images on a wall, and concludes, “All in all, then, what people in this situation would take for truth would be nothing more than the shadows of the manufactured objects” (1). Explain what Plato means, and then argue that a particular clan, family, or castle keep duplicates the conditions of prisoners in the cave when it comes to beliefs about the world. Explain what their mistaken beliefs are and why they have them. Finally, extend your argument to contemporary society. What are our modern caves? Can we escape them? How or why not? Is it smarter to choose to remain in our metaphorical caves and be safe or should we enlighten ourselves yet risk danger by venturing outside our cave? 16. In G.R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, some of the characters somehow end up Beyond the Wall. Is this space outside of the “cave” of the kingdoms? Does being beyond of the wall make people wiser or give them better insight? Are any of them capable of serving as Plato’s “Philosopher King?” Justify your answer, and be sure to consider the limitations of allegory. Then, extend your insights to contemporary society. Argue for a space or spaces that are outside of “the cave” of ignorance. Woolf 17. Consider Virginia Woolf’s stance on talented women writers and their place in society, as well as the opportunities afforded them in which to practice their art. Argue for or against a similar situation for women’s opportunities in A Game of Thrones. 18. Virginia Woolf creates a character she names Judith Shakespeare. She is, of course, William’s lesser know, and tragically failed sister, who meets her end at her own hand after being impregnated by Mr. Nick Greene, an “actor-manager.” Interestingly, a playwright and pamphleteer Robert Green attacked William Shakespeare in 1592. Pamphleteers were a less respected group of writers, and he was likely envious of Shakespeare’s genius. Woolf no doubt alludes to him when she creates the rather despicable Nick Greene. Nick Greene has access to the arts and theater that Judith cannot have. Argue for or against the idea that Nick Greene “takes pity” on Judith in an attempt to use her genius for his own gain. Then discuss this same situation as it might apply to characters in A Game of Thrones. Finally, extend your argument to contemporary society. Do men still use the resources and abilities of women to further their own careers? 19. In “Shakespeare’s Sister,” Virginia Woolf uses a cool and controlled tone, a rhetorical strategy that allows her to manipulate male audience members into listening to her arguments about the plight of women (and working class and poor men) throughout history. Do marginalized characters in A Game of Thrones use these kinds of rhetorical strategies to increase their own power base? Make an argument for one or more characters that achieve power based on the ability to control rhetoric. Make sure to provide specific examples. Explain how the character’s rhetoric influences others’ thinking and ultimately wins him or her opportunity, power, or freedom. Is rhetoric still such a powerful tool in contemporary society? Use specific examples to support your argument.
  • EWRT  2    Essay  5  Prompt     5   20. In Virginia Woolf’s “Shakespeare’s Sister,” Judith finds herself at the mercy of society’s patriarchal nature. Despite her enormous potential and talent, she is unable to pursue her passion; she has little control over the events in her life. In G.R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, several women are in a position similar to Judith’s. To what extent do men dictate the events in these women’s lives? Finally, argue whether Woolf’s assertions about a woman’s role extend into the 21st Century. Does the patriarchy still dictate the roles and rights of women? 21. Virginia Woolf’s passage about Shakespeare’s sister can be directly compared to three sets of siblings in A Game of Thrones: Robb and Arya, Jaime and Cersei, and Daenerys and Viserys. Compare the situations of these three women and their brothers to that of Judith and William Shakespeare. Argue that (and how) their lives would be different had gender not played a role in their fates. Discuss the application of your theory to modern society. Do these limitations and opportunities still hold true for women today? 22. Can Virginia Woolf’s depiction of Judith Shakespeare’s plight be related to men as well? Consider the male characters in A Game of Thrones. Do any of them face similar struggles with gender roles and limited opportunities? Argue that men are also victimized by social standards and expectations. Describe and elaborate on the different stigmas, obstacles, and/or difficulties that these characters experience and how they affect them. Then, extend your argument to the 21st Century. Are men still suffering the kinds of oppression Woolf points to in “Shakespeare’s Sister”? Why or why not? Alternatively, you might consider class, gender identity, or ability as qualities that influence opportunity in the ways Woolf asserts sex does. Multiple Texts 23. Using A Game of Thrones compare and contrast the approaches to government of Lao-tzu and Machiavelli. Argue for the best approach by illustrating moments of success and failure in A Game of Thrones. Then extend your argument to contemporary America. Are these methods in play in the 21st Century? Should they be? Which one should/does our government most closely emulate? Will it lead to a successful outcome for Americans?