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Choose one (1) of the three (3) reading selections from the list of topic choices below. The focus is on brief but important primary source material written by major authors. Read the selections  as identified with each topic below. Write a three to four (3-4) paragraph essay (250 words minimum) which analyzes the “surprise ending” of the reading selection. 

Topic Choices

  • Reading selection from Descartes’ Discourse on the Method (Part IV). Descartes begins with a  proof of one basic conclusion and ends with a proof of something much grander. Remember to focus on the surprise and point of realization, not the details of the philosophical argument. Read Part IV of the Discourse on the Method located at http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/authors/descartes.html. This is only four or five (4 or 5) pages of the larger work.
  • Reading selection of Swift’s A Modest Proposal. It is essential to recognize the genre of this work, as discussed in our class text, which you should consult and cite. Swift promotes a radical solution, but subtle options are mentioned. You are looking for surprise and a point of realization. Read and focus on A Modest Proposal located at http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/modest.html
  • Two (2) reading selections from Voltaire’s Candide. Consider how these readings start and end in terms of the action and the beliefs. You are looking for surprise and a point of realization. These selections can be found on pp. 834-835 in the textbook. In addition, consult the class text at pp. 815-817.

For the reading selection you choose:

  1. Clearly state in your own words the “surprise ending” in the reading you selected. Clearly identify the point in the reading when you realized that there were elements in the reading that surprised you. Not all of the surprises come at the end.
  2. Evaluate how successful the author was in convincing you to accept the validity of the “surprise ending” that was different from what you expected.

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