Existentialism

Existentialism is a philosophy of life that emphasizes personal choice and subjectivity; that is the idea that our everyday choices, actions, and reactions determine who and what we are. Find out more about existentialism. Write as summary of what your have discovered.

Explain how a text you have studied reflects elements of this philosophy.

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Survival in Film

View at least two movies that focus on World War II. List three specific events that deal with survival in a war setting. What survival strategies do these movie characters use? Are there any lessons to be learned from these movies.

Alternatively, view the movie Jaws. How does this movie deal with survival. What other movies have you enjoyed that also deal with the theme of survival?

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Sin of Omission

Sometimes the failure to speak or act when others expect us to reveal what we know is referred to as a “sin of omission.” Describe a situation in which you were tempted to commit the “sin of omission” or in which you actually did refrain from revealing what you knew. Would you do so again? Explain.

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Anachronism

Anachronism (noun): an error in chronology; a person or thing that’s chronologically out of place. Write a story in which a person or thing is out of place, or recount a time when you felt out of place.

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Analogy and Related Devices

Choose a topic from items 1-15, or choose a subject from items 16-30 and add an appropriate image to it. Then develop your choice into an extended analogy. (See also the guidelines that follow.)
1. Music as a drug
2. Prejudice as a wall
3. Human metabolism as fire
4. A career as a mountain to climb
5. Life as a road
6. A library as a brain
7. The playing field as a battlefield
8. The human race as a family
9. Addiction as a crutch
10. A paragraph as an essay in miniature
11. A career as war
12. The beehive as a city
13. Reading as programming a computer
14. A career as marriage
15. Dancing as life
16. Crime as ________________
17. Wealth as ________________
18. A library as ________________
19. Dating as ________________
20. Old age as ________________
21. Our legal system as ________________
22. A doctor as ________________
23. A teacher as ________________
24. Religion as ________________
25. Divorce as ________________
26. Nuclear missiles as ________________
27. Health as ________________
28. School as ________________
29. A book as ________________
30. The planet Earth as ________________

Process in Writing: Guidelines
Follow at least some of these steps in writing your essay of analogy.

1. Choose a topic you really like, because motivation is the single greatest factor in good writing.

2. If you complete one of the topics from 16 to 30, be sure to invent an analogy (with two items from different categories), not a comparison and contrast (with two items from the same category). Know which item is your real subject, and which one exists merely to explain the other.

3. Now freewrite on your topic, to achieve the spontaneity and originality that spark a good analogy.

4. Incorporate the best of this freewriting into your first draft. Let the ideas flow, not stopping now to revise or edit.

5. In your next draft add any more points of comparison that come to you (a strong analogy is fully developed). Read your prose aloud to detect awkward passages, and revise. Trim deadwood. Heighten TRANSITIONS.

6. Now edit for things like spelling and grammar.

7. Write and proofread your good copy. Save the essay in case your teacher suggests further revision.

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Plinky Prompt

You’re making a documentary about something that you feel so passionate about that you’ve saved up for a decade to get it made. Ok, you’re not making a documentary really, but you’re writing a post about the same subject. Go write it!

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Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Floating Lanterns XII
On August sixth every year
the seven rivers of Hiroshima
are filled with lanterns
Painted with the names of the
fathers, mothers, and sisters
they float on their way to the sea

Almost there, pushed back
flame snuffed out
Darkly coming back in pieces
Tossed by ocean waves

That time, years past
these same rivers were filled
With the corpses of those
fathers, mothers, and sisters
— Poem by Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki
Translated by Nancy Hunter and Yasuo Ishikawa

Research the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by answering these questions:

  • What led to the decision to drop the atomic bombs?
  • What was the strategic objective of these actions?
  • What judgements have historians made about these events?
  • What other questions do you have about Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

Find descriptions, photos, or videos clips of the aftermath of the bombings. Using the information you have researched, write your own poem about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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Example

If one of these traditional or popular sayings expresses an important lesson you have learned about life, illustrate it in an essay developed through extensive use of example. (See also the guidelines that follow.)
1. Experience is the best teacher.
2. Money cannot buy happiness.
3. The best defence is a good offence.
4. You have to like yourself before you can like others.
5. Practice makes perfect.
6. True wealth is measured by what you can do without.
7. If you try to please the world, you will never please yourself.
8. Time is money.
9. Virtue is its own reward.
10. No pain, no gain.
11. Beauty is only skin-deep.
12. Money is the root of all evil.
13. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
14. The more you have, the more you want.
15. Love is blind.

If your answer to one if the following is based on strong experience, support it in an
essay developed through extensive use of example. (See also the guidelines that follow.)
16. The (best/worst) program on television is _______________.
17. _______________ is the best book I’ve ever read.
18. The (best/worst) spectator sport of all is _______________.
19. One kind of music I really detest is _______________.
20. _______________ is the (best/worst) restaurant I’ve ever tried.
21. My favourite newspaper is _______________.
22. _______________ is the most practical computer for my needs.
23. My favourite musician is _______________.
24. The very (best/worst) film I have ever seen is _______________.
25. _______________ is my favourite holiday spot.
26. _______________ is my best subject this term.
27. The radio station I prefer is _______________.
28. _______________ is the best teacher I’ve ever had.
29. The political leader I most admire is _______________.
30. _______________ is my favourite city.

Process in Writing: Guidelines
Follow at least some ojthese steps in developing your essay through examples (your teacher may suggest which ones).
1. Choose a topic you think you like, and try it out through brainstorming or freewriting. Do you have something to say? Can you supply examples? If not, try another topic.

2. Visualize your audience: What level of language, what TONE, what examples, will communicate with this person or persons?

3. Do a rapid “discovery draft,” leave extra white-space. Do not stop now to fix things like spelling and grammar; just get the material down with pen or keyboard.

4. The next day, look this draft over. Are there enough examples? Or: Is your one long example explained in depth? If not, add more. Does each example support your main point? If not, revise. Are examples in order of increasing importance? If not, consider rearranging to build a climax.

5. Check your second draft for TRANSITIONS, and add if necessary. Test your prose by reading aloud, then revise awkward or unclear passages. Now reach for the dictionary and a grammar book(buttons, menus or tools) if you need them.

6. Proofread your final copy slowly, word by word (if your eyes move too fast, they will “see” what should be there, not necessarily what is there).

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