Page 1: Lincoln’s Metaphors
Why do you think Lincoln chose the verse from the New Testament “A house divided upon itself cannot stand” (Luke 11:17) as the basis for his speech? What significance would this image of a threatened home have for nineteenth-century Americans? How might it have resonated with American ideals of domesticity? Examine the speech closely and start your entry by describing how Lincoln launches and then develops the house divided metaphor. Here are some pointers about thinking and writing about metaphors to help you examine the speech:
Metaphors pervade our ways of thinking
Metaphor is a way of thinking by analogy
The logic of metaphors is implicit
The implicit logic of metaphors can be made explicit by scrutinizing the language
We can recast figurative language to see and evaluate its arguments.
One way to open up your writing about the metaphor is to start with obvious meanings, but keep looking for less obvious ones. In most cases, the less obvious and possibly unintended meanings are more telling and more interesting than the obvious ones you can easily see. To keep yourself from stopping with the first answer, use this construction at least 3 times in your answer: This metaphor seems to be about X, but could also be about Y.
Page 2: Choose your own analytical approach OR Bonus points for writing about the movie
On this second page, you may choose an analytical approach from the strategies we’ve learned to write into another aspect of the week’s readings. Use the comics terminology to analyze part of the graphic novel, for example. Do not use the same strategy you used for the Douglass commonplace entry–make sure to practice a different one.
Answer this prompt question about the movie for 100 extra points (if your answer is strong!):
During a key scene in which some of the politicians explain their position by talking about the slippery slope they will start down if the slaves are freed, they mention allowing women to vote. This causes an uproar from people on both sides of the debate. Look into the history of voting rights, and note when different groups of people were first allowed to vote in the United States. Why do you think it took so long for women to be allowed to vote? Are there clues in the film about why the response against women voting was so strong? Do you think that some of the prevailing attitudes about women voting were similar to some of the attitudes in 1863 about freed slaves voting? How and why? Make sure to refer to specific movie scenes in your writing.
links to use
LISTEN: John Williams, “Freedom’s Call” (from Lincoln Soundtrack, 2012)Links to an external site.
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