freedom and feeling

Candide & Titus Andronicus

Due end of day Tue Dec 1st

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For any question bear in mind two broad notions of freedom and feeling (anger, joy, sadness, fear, despair …) that have been broached in class.

A. Freedom as a choice: to choose what you want when you want; implies thought is necessary and need not imply options.

B. Freedom as possible worlds: the world could have been otherwise; implies options are necessary and need not imply thought.


Feelings as passions: a spring to behavior as something that happens to you internally; it may define your character as types of habits (dispositions). It involves reactions.
Feelings as emotions: a spring to action as something you do internally as a result of how you think (whether unconscious or conscious); it need not be a habit of thinking. It involves responses.


Notice that A and 2 live happily together and may account for one-acts and B and 1 live happily together and may account for different behavior. Let us just say that A and 1 as well as B and 2 require a bit of work to understand how they might live together. In class, our positive notion of freedom was (A/B+2)


Choose one of the following & don’t do both:

Develop a rationale for whether ‘cultivating one’s garden’ in the way Voltaire describes at the end of the text helps to answer how to avoid the major kind of hindrances on Candide’s freedom as indicated in his early adventures?
In Chapter XXX (the last chapter), Candide and others visit the Turk farmer who states “our labor keeps us from three great evils – boredom, vice, and want.” Identify examples of each in the earlier chapters and evaluate whether optimism as expressed by Pangloss promotes those evils.


Do the following.

In Titus Andronicus, four figures seek vengeance: Tamaroa, Lavinia, Titus, and Aaron. Contrast any two of the characters. You may either contrast their behavior in terms of passion or emotion OR in terms of social/subjective ontology (societal roles/expectations) or objective ontology (creativity freed of societal norms and or based on natural familial bonds).


The evaluation is based on maximum textual support, clarity, concision, and reasonableness of position. Don’t bother with a direct quotation, paraphrase with page numbers. You can even paraphrase and have multiple pages to support it. If in the end, your essay lacks page references, do not expect to do well. As repeated in class – the assumption is you have the assigned texts so that page numbers align with the texts I’ve assigned.

Best essay or essays receive an A. In short, classmates set the bar for the paper standing.

Preparation Tips:

A cover sheet with your name and identification and what question you choose (1 or 2).
A bibliography in Chicago Manual of Style of the relevant texts.
Each essay should be a minimum of 2 pages (not 1.25 pages), double-spaced with standard formatting. The cover sheet and bibliography do not count toward the pages. No single essay should be more than 4 pages.
Dive in. Avoid an introductory paragraph or a concluding paragraph.
Key assertions or claims will require textual support. For this, do not rely on direct quotation (unless it is capturing a phrase or short sentence).
The goal is to demonstrate the depth of knowledge.
You are not presumed to believe what you write. Yet what you write should be within reason (i.e., supported by the text – do not make a conjecture without textual support).
Feel free to read all the secondary material you wish. Do not rely on secondary sources for a position. In the end, be authentic, be creative, and utilize reasons based on the written word.

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