Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Civil Disobedience Homework

Future English majors, 

Tonight you are responsible for analyzing the whole of Henry David Thoreau's landmark essay, "Civil Disobedience." In this seminal piece of writing for Transcendentalism and all subsequent movements for nonviolent social change, Thoreau makes three main arguments. Overall, he states: that a government must be composed of individuals who each have a strong conscience (i.e. a sense of ethical truth and a willingness to work for it), that a government must respect every individual, and that citizens had the right to disobey a system whenever it came to operate against what was for the good of everyday people.  

He accomplishes his goals through exploring a number of examples and thought experiments. In your comment below, provide 10 bullet points that encapsulate his arguments throughout the whole of the essay. It would look like something as follows, but does not have to fit any specific order:

  • Argument 1
  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Argument 2
  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Example 3
  • Argument 3
  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Example 3
Secondly, you must respond to these questions in 2-3+ sentences: What is a contemporary parallel to Thoreau's act of civil disobedience? What is an issue that you care about that you would be willing to perform a similar act for, and what would your act of civil disobedience look like? 

Thanks y'all,

Mr. Healy

Monday, March 6, 2017

Tituba, Puritanism, and Ideology

Hello all!

Please read the following Smithsonian  article about Tituba as a historical figure and respond to the following questions:

How did Puritan ideology play a role in Tituba's trajectory in the community?

How did she play with/play into that ideology in order to protect herself?


Post your comment below! Thank you :)

Mr. Healy

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Ethics of Information

Hello Juniors!

Please read the following articles and respond to the question below in a comment. Thank you!




When information concerns national interests it can transcend the idea of an individual having a single will. Where is the right and the wrong in the situation described in each of the articles? Was it right of Kazan to report on his friends, former friends, and colleagues as alleged communists/sympathizers? Or was it more ethically questionable if he was motivated by exclusively self-interest? Is the issue ultimately more complicated than simply a right/wrong set of boundaries for thinking? Comment below.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Polster Article

Howdy juniors!

Please read the following article tonight and be ready to discuss it tomorrow. As you read, make note of any questions you have about the content, and take general notes as you read. When you are finished, post in a comment the most interesting thing that you have found below!

Here is the article:


To access, use the password on this sheet: 


Thank you!

Mr. Healy