Question 3 (40 minutes. This question counts for one-third of the total essay section score.) In The Spectator



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Question 3

(40 minutes. This question counts for one-third of the total essay section score.)



In The Spectator for December 15, 1711, Joseph Addison wrote:

If the talent of ridicule were employed to laugh men out of vice and folly, it might be of some use to the world; but instead of this, we find that it is generally made use of to laugh men out of virtue and good sense by attacking everything that is solemn and serious, decent and praiseworthy in human life.
What is Addison discussing in this quote?

A =If ridicule was “employed to laugh man out of vice and

folly, it might be of some use in the world

+ B =But instead, “it [ridicule] is generally made use of to laugh

men out of virtue and good sense by attacking everything

solemn, serious, decent, and praiseworthy­­­­

Conclusion=Therefore, ridicule is ________ (of no use in society).
This “syllogism” is the topic of Addison’s commentary in The Spectator. You are being asked to “defend, challenge, or qualify” this analysis. You aren’t being asked if you agree or disagree. You are being asked if his argument is accurate or inaccurate—true or false.

Write a carefully reasoned persuasive essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Addison’s assertion. Use appropriate evidence to support your argument.
(1) Determine the Big Question:

How does society encourage individuals to make necessary changes and amend “inappropriate” behavior?

Do individuals have a right or duty to cajole fellow citizens into appropriate or “good” behavior?
(2) Use that precis’.

(3) Determine what the quote says---

Addison states that if used to encourage individuals to act appropriately and/or do positive things in society, ridicule serves a useful and noble purpose. However, during his day, individuals and society used mockery to motivate and celebrate immoral or foolish behavior. Therefore, according to Addison, ridicule has little value in the world.
(4) Take a stand--- Do you agree or disagree with Addison?

[I agree/disagree] with Addison because when used

A.____________________B. ________________C. _____________.
(5) Shape that statement of stance--- Get the statement “fleshed out….dressed”

While Addison’s comments were written more than three centuries ago, his commentary concerning the role of ridicule in society are instructional and applicable to today’s society. (agree)

Finished Introduction:

When observing human behavior and the successes and/or failures of western society, frequently one considers how does a society encourage its members to behave appropriately or amend “bad behavior.” In the December 11, 1711, edition of The Spectator, Joseph Addison discusses his theories on the role of ridicule in a society. According to Addison, if used to encourage individuals to act appropriately and/or to motivate individuals to accomplish positive things in society, ridicule serves a useful and noble purpose. However, in 1711, Addison observes that individuals and society use mockery (ridicule) to motivate and celebrate immoral or foolish behavior. As a result of the less than noble use society has for ridicule, Addison insists that ridicule has little value in the world.
While Addison’s commentary concerning the value of ridicule as a “corrective tool,” his description of the misuse of ridicule is quite accurate even today. (agree)


Sample Student Paragraphs:
In his quote from “The Spectator” in 1711, Joseph Addison states that ridicule could be of some worth to the world, but instead is used to laugh men out of virtue by attacking everything that is excellent and praiseworthy and serious in human.

Important:

  1. What is the big idea—big question that is being discussed in the Addison quote?

  2. What are you defending , challenging or qualifiying?


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