Tobindia


Sep 17

A modest proposal by J. Swift


Posted: under Alice in Wonderland.

http://pd.sparknotes.com/lit/modestproposal/

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/modestproposal/study.html#explanation3

http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/modest.html

http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/ModProposal.html

What is Swift’s attitude toward the beggars he describes in the opening paragraph?

The irony of this passage, and in Swift’s treatment of the poor in general, is neither simple nor straightforward. His compassion for these people is mitigated by a strong sense that people ought to take the initiative to help themselves out of their own difficulties. Swift’s language here plays on the popular judgment of beggars as lazy opportunists. While Swift does not entirely dissociate himself from this opinion, his purpose here is to show the complex web of social and economic realities that supports and perpetuates such a situation.

Where do the speaker’s allegiances lie in this essay? With what social groups does he identify himself?

The speaker is a Protestant and a member of the Irish upper class. While he professes sympathy for the plight of the poor Catholic population, he also holds a fairly contemptuous opinion of them. He takes great pains to enumerate the advantages of his proposed project for the wealthy, who would presumably be called upon to implement it. Yet Swift’s irony implicates this moneyed class for their monetary greed, their personal indulgence, their unflagging attention to their own self-interest, and their indifference to the state of the poor and the state of the nation as a whole.

What sort of persona does Swift create for the “author” of A Modest Proposal?

The “proposer” is notable for his vanity, his cold-heartedness, and the ruthlessness of his logic. He represents the hypocrisy and superficiality of many would-be reformers, whose seeming benevolence masks such impediments as prejudice, intolerance, sentimentalism, and hyper-abstraction. His reductive handling of suffering humans as statistical entities and economic commodities is what makes him most unappealing, in spite of the calm and reasonable tone of his argumentation.

Where do you detect differences between the “proposer” and Swift himself?

If Swift does not actually think the Irish people should eat their children, what does he think they should do?

Who is the audience of this work?

Who will be the beneficiaries of this “Modest Proposal”?

When did it first become apparent to you that Swift’s proposal was not serious? How did you respond?

What relevance does A Modest Proposal have for contemporary social and political issues? Can you think of historical situations that pose similar problems about ends and means?

Write a persuasive essay of your own that uses some of Swift’s rhetorical strategies (adopt a persona, for example, or profess opinions that you do not hold as a way of strengthening your real arguments.)

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Sep 14

geothermal energy from Larderello


Posted: under Uncategorized.

[display_podcast]

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Sep 11

Seven Habits of Highly Connected People


Posted: under Uncategorized.

The first thing any connected person should
be is receptive. Whether on a discussion forum, mailing list, or in a
blogging community or gaming site, it is important to spend some time
listening and getting the lay of the land. by Stephen Downes

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Apr 10

Wind Power in Pontedera: an interview to Mr. Rockets by Giulia Botti, Saida Gallucci, Arianna Campazzi, Debora Mingo, Federica Vassallo


Posted: under Uncategorized.

[display_podcast]

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Apr 09

Peccioli a brilliant solution by Valentina Gallucci, Alessandra Reali, Silvia Proetto, Yuan YongPing


Posted: under Uncategorized.

[display_podcast]

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Apr 07

National Geographic: an interview by Francesca Barabotti and Giulia Martelloni


Posted: under Alice in Wonderland.

[display_podcast]

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Nov 08

listening to Alice in Wonderland


Posted: under Alice in Wonderland.

visit this website

alice-in-wonderland

all chapters are read in a very pleasant and comprehensible way

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Nov 08

Down the rabbit hole


Posted: under Alice in Wonderland.

1. There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, `Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!’ (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat- pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
What does this tell us about Alice’s character? Also, notice how long and complicated this sentence is.

2.
2. In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again. What does this tell us about Alice’s character?

3.
3. (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say .) This seems to be a typical result of Alice’s learning.

4.
4. (and she tried to curtsey as she spoke– fancy curtseying as you’re falling through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) What does this tell us about Alice’s upbringing? Note, the 2nd person.

5.
5. `Dinah’ll miss me very much to-night, I should think!’ (Dinah was the cat .) `I hope they’ll remember her saucer of milk at tea-time.’ What does this tell us about Alice?

6.
6. `What a curious feeling!’ said Alice; `I must be shutting up like a telescope .’ Be careful of what you wish for.

7.
7. Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the words `EAT ME’ were beautifully marked in currants. `Well, I’ll eat it,’ said Alice, `and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so either way I’ll get into the garden, and I don’t care which happens!’
What does this tell us about Alice’s intelligence?


Remember: the white rabbit, falling, the key; the garden, her literal mind `But it’s no use now,’ thought poor Alice, `to pretend to be two people! Why, there’s hardly enough of me left to make ONE respectable person!’

http://www.leasttern.com/alice/aliceques.html

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Nov 08

growing up in Wonderland


Posted: under Uncategorized.

When Alice falls down the rabbit hole, she tumbles into a topsy-turvy world that only children can create — one filled with imagination and pieces of fairy tales. Despite her unfamiliar surroundings, Alice attempts to interpret everything around her from a logical point of view. However, her natural childishness consistently offsets the sensibility and maturity that she tries so hard to show. At the beginning of the story, Alice tries to read her older sister’s book, only to become bored because it lacks pictures. She notices the unusualness the bottle labeled “Drink Me” but then drinks its contents without a thought for the consequences. Throughout Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll constantly emphasizes the conflict between Alice’s desire to be sensible and grow up and her natural childish impulses. This conflict is apparent in Alice’s conversation with herself while trapped in the white rabbit’s house.

I do wonder what can have happened to me! When I used to read fairy tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one! There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought! And when I grow up, I’ll write one — but I’m grown up now,” she added in a sorrowful tone: “at least there’s no room to grow up any more here.” [42]

Alice thinks that she has grown up, but only physically — the concept of maturity never seems to cross her mind. Yet she tries to act like an adult, claiming that she knew that “this kind of thing never happened” in the fairy tales that she “used to read.” However, immediately after this sentence that denounces fairy tales as childish inventions, Alice claims that there “ought to be a book about me.” In this way, she belittles and yet admires fairy tales. The last sentence of this passage, “And when I grow up, I’ll write one,” sums up Alice’s conflicts between her childish imagination and her desire to grow up.

Questions

1. What is Carroll trying to say about fairy tales and the way that “sensible” people view them?

2. Alice speaks of writing a book about her adventures. Why does Carroll insert this kind of irony into the story?

3. When Alice describes “growing up,” she uses terms based on size and not maturity. Why?

4. Does the phrase “at least there’s no more room to grow up any more here” have a larger meaning for the book or Alice’s hope of growing up?


Victorian Web Overview Lewis Carroll Leading Questions

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Nov 07


Posted: under Uncategorized.

Welcome to our weblog/reader’s guide for Alice in Wonderland. Over the next few weeks, we will be adding our reactions, responses, research and more to this site. We’re also hoping to have you join us in the process.

Let’s start building! -

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