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2008/07/08

In Our Time-Chapters IX-XI Reading Questions

Chapter IX
1. Hemingway often fixates on the notion of "manliness." What aspects of manliness are focused on in this chapter?
2. Why include this chapter, set after the ending of the war, in a book largely focused on war and its effects?

Mr. and Mrs. Elliot
3. In what ways does Hubert Elliot lack masculinity according to the author?
4. What is the effect of Hubert's lack of masculinity on his relationship with his wife?

Chapter X
5. How is this a vignette a metaphor for the war? (note: focus on the roles of the generals and leaders, the picadors, and the soldiers, the horses)

Cat in the Rain
6. Discuss the contrast between the American and Italian approaches to happiness as portrayed in this chapter.
7. Why is the American wife unhappy in this chapter?

Chapter XI
8. In this vignette, explain the symbolism of the crowd rushing in to participate in the bull fight?

Out of Season
9. During the walk to the fishing hole, Peduzzi openly carries the fishing rods despite the fact that it is not fishing season. Why does he do this?
10. How does this scene reflect on the nature of marriage, of the relationship between men and women?

2007/11/16

The Prince-Discussion Questions

1. What is your view of human nature? Are people inherently good or evil? How does your view of human nature affect your relationships with others, including how you will manage and lead them? How does Machiavelli view human nature?


2. Machiavelli makes the point that leadership (and perhaps great leadership) occurs when conditions are such that great leadership is necessary. Do aspiring leaders need a crisis to shine?

3. On change, Machiavelli says:
"nothing is more difficult to handle, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than to put oneself at the head of introducing new orders. For the introducer has all those who benefit from the old orders as enemies, and he has lukewarm defenders in all those who might benefit from the new orders". Why, when making a change, are some enemies and some only lukewarm supporters? Why does the leader require force to successfully accomplish change? Do you agree with his position?

4. Is it necessary to eliminate those who oppose you? What are some ways to accomplish this end? What are the organizational means to eliminate those who oppose you?

5. The example is given of Hiero of Syracuse, who "left his old friendships and made new ones". Why might this be necessary to hold onto power?


6. What modern political examples do we have of leaders who use fear to motivate others, who eliminate their opposition? Is this effective? Is this beneficial?


7. Differentiate between a cruelty well used or badly used. What are some examples.


8. "One ascends to the principality either with the support of the people or with the support of the great". Discuss.


9. Why would a proverb of Machiavelli's time -- "Whoever founds on the people found on mud" be so well accepted it was trite?


10. Machiavelli argues that the Prince needs to make his people dependent on him so that they will support him. Discuss this idea.

11. Machiavelli argues that a prince should always be armed and preparing for war and all the possibilities that may occur in a given conflict situation (Section XIV). Consider war as conflict with others outside the organization and as with those within. Does his advice make sense or is it applicable more to the military?


12. "It is necessary to a Prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good". But shouldn't we all strive to be good, for being not good will harm others, and if we all act goodly, then there will be no need to be not good?


13. Machiavelli argues that a leader should be both loved and feared, but that if you have to pick one, pick fear. Explain. What is your position on this? Have you any personal experience with these two positions?


14. Machiavelli argues that a Prince must always appear to be a good person for most will only ever see the appearance and not the reality. How important is it for a modern day leader to manipulate appearances?

15. Is Machiavelli’s book “evil”? What role does virtue play in Macchiavelli’s state?

2007/10/03

Weeping Woman: Journal Response

Please respond in a journal to Picasso's Weeping Woman, shown below.


2007/07/11

In Our Time-Chapters XI to XIII Reading Questions

Chapter XI

1. In this vignette, explain the symbolism of the crowd rushing in to participate in the bull fight?

Out of Season

2. During the walk to the fishing hole, Peduzzi openly carries the fishing rods despite the fact that it is not fishing season. Why does he do this?

3. How does this scene reflect on the nature of marriage, of the relationship between men and women?

Chapter XII

4. What is suggested by the author about the relationship a man can have with another man versus that of a man and a woman by the "melding" of Villalta and the bull? Why are these two able to bond where so many others in this novel cannot?

Cross-Country Snow

5. What does this scene reveal about Hemingway's assumptions regarding male bonding and male relationships?

6. What does George's use of the name "Mike" instead of Nick reveal about the relationship between these two close friends?

Chapter XIII

7. How is this vignette a commentary on masculinity and discipline? What does this vignette seem to be saying?

My Old Man

8. How does Joe's telling of his father's story reflect the problems faced by individuals trying to make sense of the modern world?

2007/07/10

In Our Time-Chapters VIII-X Reading Questions:

Chapter VIII

1. In this vignette, what does the author show through the use of the derogatory term "wop"?
2. Why does the author choose to set this vignette in America, whereas the previous vignettes have all been set in Europe during the war.

The Revolutionist

3. What commentary does the author seem to be making about beliefs and ideals in this chapter?


Chapter IX

4. Hemingway often fixates on the notion of "manliness." What aspects of manliness are focused on in this chapter?
5. Why include this chapter, set after the ending of the war, in a book largely focused on war and its effects?

Mr. and Mrs. Elliot

6. In what ways does Hubert Elliot lack masculinity according to the author?
7. What is the effect of Hubert's lack of masculinity on his relationship with his wife?

Chapter X

8. How is this a vignette a metaphor for the war? (note: focus on the roles of the generals and leaders, the picadors, and the soldiers, the horses)

Cat in the Rain

9. Discuss the contrast between the American and Italian approaches to happiness as portrayed in this chapter.

10. Why is the American wife unhappy in this chapter?

2007/07/09

In Our Time-Chapters V to VII Reading Questions:

Chapter V

1. In the vignette, how does the author emphasize the chilling and heartless nature of killing?
2. Why is Nick so angry at the beginning of "The Battler"?
3. How does the conductor trick Nick in this chapter?
4. What is wrong with Ad Francis and how does he become this way?

Chapter VI

5. How does Nick respond both emotionally and in terms of his actions to his paralysis?
6. What seems to be the author's commentary on the nature of love in "A Very Short Story"?
7. In what ways does the war affect the love affair described in this chapter?

Chapter VII

8. What is the effect of the internal monologue in the Chapter VII vignette? How does it emphasize the impact of the violence on the unnamed soldier?
9. What is ironic about the soldiers promises?
10. In "Soldier's Home," how is Krebs impacted by the war in terms of his relationships with the people in his home town? (Give examples)
11. Why is Krebs unable to make plans for his future?

2007/06/28

In Our Time: Chapter 2

Answer the following questions using complete sentences. Points are awarded based on the quality of your response.

7. Where does the Chapter II vignette take place?

8. What kind of people evacuate in Chapter II?

9. What type of weather is described in Chapter II?

10. What does Dick Boulton accuse Nick's father of stealing?

11. What religion is Nick's mother in Chapter II?

12. What is Dick's son's name in Chapter II?

13. Who gets into a fight with Dick Boulton in Chapter II?

14. What does Nick's father clean in his cottage in Chapter II?