Monday, December 5, 2016

Blog #17: Hope and Fear. Survivors and Empathy

Due: Bring a printed copy to class on Monday, December 12
Minimum Words: 800
Textual References and Links: Four
Remember to quote and cite the works you are using correctly.

It seems we're always living at some point on a continuum of hope and fear. They are two emotions that are powerfully motivating and almost ever-present in our lives.  In class, we discussed how closely related the two emotions can be. Some of you went so far as to say that the two concepts are the same thing. Of course, I disagree. Others have talked about the important roles each play or the relationship between the two emotions.

Huge topics call for a lot of latitude in responses. So, I've provided several possible questions with an important disclaimer near the end. Synthesizing sources is essential.

  • How do hope and fear shape and change people? How does the roles of hope and fear change throughout a person's life?
  • What is the relationship between hope and fear? How does this play itself out in some of the works we have read and how could this relate to real life?
  • Do we truly treat survivors as winners and those who don't survive as "losers"? How is this attitude present in literature, history, and the way we treat others. What can be done about this?
  • We've talked extensively about all of the advantages fear has with motivating people. What benefits could their be from leading with hope? What advantages should there be with leading through fear? How does this show itself in some of the literature we've examined in class?
  • Hugh Howey wanted us to explore Plato's Allegory of the Cave and the 24-hour news cycle and what it does with our optimism and pessimism. Can you fully explore these ideas in the context of Wool and/or the other works we've read in class.
  • What role does hope and fear play in education in general or your education specifically? What themes from some of the works we have read fit well with your educational experience?
  • We started to explore the idea of pride and ego as they relate to fear. We also looked at the popularity of superheroes during times of fear and hopelessness. What connections can you make with these concepts and the discussions in class as they relate to the literature we've studied as a whole?
  • Propaganda can be used to inspire hope or create fear. We looked at some stereotypes created about Germans, Russians, and Japanese people during World War II. Why is it important to fear an enemy? What are the positive and negative consequences of propaganda? 
  • Under what circumstances is hope more powerful than fear? How can fear be healthy? How does this show itself in life and what connections can be made with the work we have studied in class?
  • MAUS explores the idea of survivor's guilt as it relates to hope, fear, and ego. It also brings up the fear that defined lives in the concentration camps. What conclusions can you make based on this work as they relate to other things we've looked at. If you need help citing a graphic novel, check out this resource.
  • Is there truly a difference between fear and anxiety? Is all fear the same size? How could it be important to recognize these distinctions? Is it truly possible to dance with The Resistance
If you haven't figured this out by now, it is essential that you provide evidence from the texts we've studied in class to support or illustrate your claims. Beyond that, you can create any question for yourself to pursue that allows you to synthesize multiple sources in your writing. Citing evidence and using correct formatting worth 25 of the 50 points of this blog.

Works for your consideration:
  • Wool by Hugh Howey
  • The Lady or the Tiger by Frank Stockton
  • Hiroshima by John Hersey
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  • The Republic by Plato
  • MAUS II by Art Spiegelman
  • "All The Kings Horses" by Vonnegut
  • The introduction to Slaughterhouse V.
  • I, Zombie by Hugh Howey
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • The blogs and opinions of Seth Godin
  • The Hunger Games, specifically Catching Fire by Suzane Collins
Seth Godin has a unique perspective on the fear that stops people from being creative and publishing ideas or shipping new products. Here's him talking about Dancing with Fear.

He has a ton of other information about the hard work of doing Emotional Labor and often talks about how the best of us are paid to confront failure and overcome fear. If you want stuff by him, ask McCallum. 

Here is some help with how to format citations like a pro.

Don't forget to provide links within your text to your outside sources and credit all opinions that are not yours.

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