Sunday, January 3, 2010

Weekly Agenda 1/4-1/8/2010

Check BB annotations
-review book ending
-review Vere's speech
Check Outlines
-share theses-post-its on posters
Essay due 1/10 to by 10pm
HW Bring independent reading book tomorrow

Organize essay following structure or make sure your outline does so:
Identify your counterargument. What are some logical fallacies?
-look at handout C: The Other Side. How will you construct your argument?

Excerpt from H. Bruce Franklin’s Essay:

“Billy Budd and Capital Punishment: A Tale of Three Centuries”

Billy Budd is not, however, a mere treatise against capital punishment. Melville is using contemporaneous awareness about the issue to explore the larger ethical, philosophic, and political questions it so dramatically focuses. Undoubtedly New York Assemblyman Hitt was overstating the case when he claimed in early 1890, "at present there are only two classes of the community who yet favor capital punishment and these are clergymen and prosecuting attorneys."(60) Nevertheless, Melville could safely assume that almost all potential readers in 1891 would regard public execution and hanging as relics of a barbarous past, would be sensitized to the larger issues surrounding capital punishment, and would already either oppose the death penalty outright or consider it warranted only for first-degree murder and treason. Even the most ardent proponents of the death penalty in late nineteenth-century America would be embarrassed by positions such as these: "Vere justifiably condemns Billy to death" (Peter Shaw); Billy Budd is a "murderer and a cause of his own death" and Melville "is to be identified" with Captain Vere (Milton Stern); "the virtuous man, Captain Vere," must "punish the violence of absolute innocence"--that is, must kill Billy Budd--since "absolute, natural innocence" is "at war with the peace of the world and the true welfare of mankind" (Hannah Arendt).(61) Readers in 1891 would be far more likely to wonder, like the surgeon (235) and the narrator (236-37), whether Vere is insane.

Answer the following questions:

  1. Is there any evidence that Captain Vere is insane? How might this impact his decision to ask for Billy’s death?
  2. Is Melville a “murderer”? Why might people consider him thus?
  3. Is our new system of putting individuals to death (by lethal injection) humane? Are they still public spectacles?
  4. Recall that slavery is a hot topic back then? How does Melville weave his condemnation of it into his text?
  5. Consider the ending of the book, how might citizens back then respond compared to now? List all elements of the arguments.

Review signal phrases
-establish context
-establishing credentials
-establishing authority
-good verbs
-not necessary with statistics
HW Optional roughdraft for class/peer edit

Review Syntax and Rhetorical analysis handout
-how to we word sentences for emphasis
-what rhetorical devices can we employ to emphasize our point
--rhetorical questions
(make sure any unknown terms are in your literary devices rings)
-practice paragraph by identifying
HW Works Cited page
Need Literary Rings for tomorrow.

Flag Burning Synthesis Papers back
-review rubric
Review Kinds of Multiple Choice on AP
Introduction Pico Iyer
-"The Humble Comma"
Argument Essays due Sunday by 10 to

-identify rhetorical techniques