Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 18

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Here I Am" by SOJA; "Old Yellow Bricks" by Arctic Monkeys; "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World]

Newton's First Law of physics (a.k.a. inertia) states that a body will remain at rest or on its current course unless it is acted on by an external force. So it goes with our habits of mind, except that some of us have developed mental defenses strong enough to resist new information. Is there a force strong enough to shake an individual or a community out of obsolete, hidebound ways of thinking? If such a force exists, describe it; if it doesn't, invent it.

1. Journal/collect HW
2. Naming/branding revisited
3. "Clean up your blog! We're having guests!"

1. Clean up your blog. We're having guests.
2. Write an introductory paragraph (or two, if need be) to the following prompt and bring to class tomorrow (1/19)
3. Take advantage of the Wikipedia blackout to begin your BQ research without convenient distraction; find ten online resources that help answer your big question.  Type them into a draft Bibliography using MLA style.  Consult p. R31 in your textbook if you need a guide.

PROMPT (in honor of Ryan Cecil)
The following excerpt from John Milton's Paradise Lost recounts Satan's most persuasive temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden. In a well-developed essay, explain what the speech reveals about both Satan and Eve and how the author achieves this. Be sure to include in your discussion such techniques as diction, imagery, and any other devices you identify in the piece. Do not summarize the passage.

[Text after the jump]
From Paradise Lost

He ended; and his words, replete with guile,
Into her heart too easy entrance won; 
Fixed on the fruit she gazed, which to behold
Might tempt alone; and in her ears the sound 
Yet rung of his persuasive words, impregnated
With reason, to her seeming, and with truth:
Meanwhile the hour of noon drew on, and waked 
An eager appetite, raised by the smell 
So savory of that fruit, which with desire,
Inclinable now grown to touch or taste, 
Solicited her longing eye; yet first
Pausing awhile, thus to herself she mused.
   "Great are thy virtues, doubtless, best of fruits, 
Though kept from man, and worthy to be admired;
Whose taste, too long forborne, at first assay
Gave elocution to the mute, and taught
The tongue not made for speech to speak thy praise:
Thy praise he also, who forbids thy use, 
Conceals not from us, naming thee the Tree
Forbids us then to taste! but his forbidding
Commends thee more, while it infers the good 
By thee communicated, and our want:
For good unknown sure is not had; or had
And yet unknown, is as not had at all.
In plain then, what forbids he but to know,
Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise?
Such prohibitions bind not.  But, if Death
Binds us with after-bands, what profits then
Our inward freedom?  In the day we eat
Of this fair fruit, our doom is, we shall die!
How dies the Serpent? he hath eaten and lives,
And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and discerns,
Was death invented? or to us denied
This intellectual food, for beasts reserved?
For beasts it seems: yet that one beast which first
Hath tasted envies not, but brings with joy
The good befallen him, author unsuspect,
Friendly to man, far from deceit or guile.
What fear I then? rather, what know to fear
Under this ignorance of good and evil,
Of God or death, of law or penalty?
Here grows the cure of all, this fruit divine,
Fair to the eye, inviting to the taste, 
Of virtue to make wise: what hinders then 
To reach, and feed at once both body and mind?"
   So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the fruit, she plucked, she eat!
Earth felt the wound; and Nature from her seat,
Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe,
That was all lost.  Back to the thicket slunk
The guilty Serpent...


  1. For the bibliography, do we bring a hard copy to class or put it on our blog to correspond to our Big Question?

    Kelly Brickey
    Period 3

  2. Yeah, it was only a 24-hour thing. Um, way to do the assignment... lame.

    As for pages: when you create a new post look just above the composition window at the three buttons: New Post, Edit Posts, and Edit Pages. Click on Edit Pages, click the blue New Page button, and you're in business.

  3. I did that but I still cannot get it to work for me... Any other tips?