Fall essay

Essay by riderdinnenCollege, UndergraduateA-, October 2014

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Questions from The Search for Self (Essay #1)

"The Good Soldier" Colin Powell p. 192

1. In response to the statement "Well, gosh, you're the black secretary of state," Powell says, "No I'm not . . . I'm the secretary of state who is black." What does this response tell you about Powell's notion of the importance of race?

2. Why does Powell tell kids that, in addition to himself, he wants General H. Norman Schwarzkopf to be a role model for them as well? What is the significance of this assertion?

"My Hyphenated Identity" Jhumpa Lahiri p. 205

1. Consider the statement: "I felt intense pressure to be two things, loyal to the old world and fluent in the new, approved of on either side of the hyphen." What does Lahiri mean by being loyal and fluent? Have you ever felt pressure to be two contrasting things at once?

2. What did writing allow her to do that she could not seem to master in her real life?

"Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams" Alfred Lubrano p. 218

1. What does Lubrano mean by the term "Straddler"?

2. What is the fundamental difference (the core values) that defines middle-class vs working-class? Do you agree with this distinction? Why or why not?

3. What does Lubrano mean in his concluding sentence: "The perceptions we all have of the other side can have a greater impact than reality"?

"Loneliness . . . an American Malady" Carson McCullers p. 241

1. Why is it that people are more alone in the midst of a crowd than when they seek out solitude in the country?

2. McCullers says that once we are a "we," we are not haunted by the questions of "Who am I?" "Why am I?" Do you believe this is true? What...