Fourth Quarter Journal Assignments

  1. Journal One: Discuss a connection you see between something in the stories of Greek Mythology we have studied so far and present-day life (the stories include the Trojan War as well as the mythological stories we will be dramatizing in the Mythology Project Assignment). Be specific in describing the aspect of the story that seems to provide an analogy for contemporary life, and be clear in explaining the connection you see.
  2. Journal Two: Think carefully about the story of Odysseus' encounter with the siren's that we read in class. Here is a link to the story: Odyssey, Book XII Excerpt. What do you think is the deeper meaning of the story? What psychological insight does it reveal into human nature? What in the modern world might it symbolize? Does there exist any temptation that is beyond the human will to resist, something that might even lead to our ruin? Are cellphones like the sirens? Drugs? Love? You may take your discussion of the story in any direction you would like in order to get 400 words.
  3. Journal Three: In Canto III, Dante comes upon the first sinners he sees being punished in Hell, the Opportunists (Canto III, lines 22-66). What is their crime? Why is its punishment so harsh that they must, "envy every other fate" (which means they would rather trade places with anyone else being punished in Hell)? Why are the angels who don't take sides in the war between God and Satan placed among them? Can you make any connection between the opportunists and the history of the world since Dante? Who else might be included in this group, and why?
  4. Journal Four: In an essay of 400 words, please respond to the following question:
    In the Canto of Ulysses Chapter of Survival in Auschwitz, Primo Levi says, "I would give today's soup to know how to retrieve the forgotten passage." What is Levi trying to remember, and why is it so important to him that he would--despite being on the threshold of starvation--give up food to recall it?
    In responding to this question, please quote from at least two of the sources from the document you received in class. Try to integrate quotes into your own sentences, and be sure to indicate the author of each source. Author names are given in parentheses.
  5. Journal Five: On page 160 of Survival in Auschwitz, Levi says, "It really meant the Lager was dead." What event prompted Levi to make this comment? How does Towarowski's gesture "kill" the Lager? What is revealed about the nature of the Lager and the nature of human life outside of the Lager in this passage?