Monday, December 8, 2014

Never Argue with an Elephant

Elephant trumpets, "Please don't shoot me!
Just write a good paper..."
Choose one of the following prompts.

Option 1

“Shooting an Elephant” concludes: And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.” Orwell implies that such petty and selfish reasons, if we are honest enough to admit it, often drive our actions. Write an essay in which you argue for or against Orwell’s position concerning human motives. Support your essay with evidence from your reading, observation, and experience.

Option 2

Early in the second paragraph of the piece Orwell’s narrator says, “Theoretically – and secretly, of course – I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British.” And he concludes the same paragraph: “Feelings like these are the normal by-products of imperialism; ask any Anglo-Indian official, if you can catch him off duty.” With these qualifiers, Orwell suggests that a duplicity accompanies authority, a difference between the expression of the public and the private self. Write an essay in which you defend, challenge, or qualify that position regarding human expression. Refer to your reading, observation, or experience to support your position.

Option 3

In paragraph 7 Orwell observes that “when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys,” and that “He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.” Consider the implications of these statements concerning human nature. Write an essay in which you support, refute, or qualify Orwell’s paradox and metaphor. Refer to your reading, observation, or experience to support your position.

Vital Statistics

Due December 19, 2014
750 words (+/- 10%)
MLA format required

Remember that this is an argument paper. You are not analyzing the essay per se, but arguing a position about a broader issue raised in the essay. Sources for writing argumentative essays are below.

Upload both in Google Classroom and in Turnitin. We can use Turnitin for formal peer reviews, and for both you and I to check papers for plagiarism and grammar. Based on my experience with the JFK papers and the feedback from 3rd period, it's better to grade the actual papers on Google Docs as the feedback is so much easier to read and process (it's oddly kind of messy in Turnitin).

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