Sunday, February 3, 2013

Weekly Agenda 2.4-2.8

Billy Budd, Sailor

Book Check -23
Record the persuasive elements of Vere's speech, Ch 21, pp96-99:
1.  When does he shift styles (change in tone), or how does he adjust his speech for his audience?
2.  Identify and outline Vere's thesis, supporting evidence and conclusion.
3.  What is his most persuasive point and why?
4.  Are you convinced by the end of his speech?  What decision would you make and why?
5.  Do his words match his name?
BEGIN MOVIE (Permission Slips due Tuesday and Wednesday)
HW Finish reading BB for MONDAY, book check MONDAY.



HW READ the following excerpt after you finish the book and then complete questions for Journal #6
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 (or unstable)? 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.

Argument Essay Packet
-introduction to the assignment
-sharing other sources
-creating a thesis; post-it share; peer feedback
Essay due 2/19 o by 12pm 
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? 

HW Thesis and Outline due tomorrow, TUESDAY.

Final book check -30
-review, final analysis discussion
Peer Review Outline
HW Draft #1 due tomorrow, WEDNESDAY.