Kakos' 4th Hour

Reactions and comments from my fourth hour Honors American Literature class.


My favorite place in the world to be is underwater. My second favorite place is the front of a classroom.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Her Letter to the World

Please read the following poem by Emily Dickinson and respond to the questions below:

This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty.

Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!

What inferences could you make from this poem about Emily Dickinson as a poet and a person? Examine also her picture above and comment on her expression, clothing, and/or overall appearance. How does she strike you?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Should Blogs Be Censored?

Blogs dance back and forth across the line between private thoughts and public space. I thought you might be interested in the following article about teenage blogging, freedom of speech, and the dangers of "exposing" yourself on the internet. Feel free to comment (as if you needed an invitation).

Monday, January 23, 2006

Resistance to Civil Government

Under what circumstances would you be willing to go to jail for a moral or political principle? Alternatively, explain why you wouldn't be willing to commit civil disobedience under any circumstances. Do you agree with Thoreau's decision to go to jail instead of paying his poll tax? (A poll tax, by the way, is tax on each voter.)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Private Opinion

Please comment on one or both of the following quotations by Thoreau:

"Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate."

"Age is no better, hardly so well, qualified for an instructor as youth, for it has not profited so much as it has lost...Practically, the old have no very important advice to give the young, their own experience has been so partial, and their lives have been such miserable failures...they are only less young than they were."

To what extent do you agree or disagree with Thoreau? What questions do these statements raise?