1. Students will be required to (a) paraphrase the following: and (b) give the situation and the subject, as clearly as they can in a few words:
The world has never had a good definition of the word “liberty”, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word, we do not all mean the same thing. With some, the word “liberty” may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name,—liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names,—liberty and tyranny.
Address, Sanitary Fair, Baltimore
April 18, 1864
2. Students are asked to write out their understanding of two short poems. Some examples are:
“I, Too, Sing America”
By Langston Hughes
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I’ll sit at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed
I, too, am America.
“Take Something Like a Star”
By Robert Frost
O Star (the fairest one in sight),
Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says, “I burn.”
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
I gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may take something like a star