THE AGE OF REASON
By Rachel L., Michael O., and Jenna T.

JONATHAN SWIFT
Author of "A Modest Proposal"

Eat babies... end world hunger.
Eat babies... end world hunger.


#4. What personal prejudices does Swift reveal in this proposal?

Swift presents his personal prejudices against the government and politicians in Ireland during this time. He blames society’s problems on the government and mainly on the population. He discusses how the population is getting out of control and allowing obscene things to occur in his country. He is angry with the fact that the Irish have taken so much abuse from the English rather than taking action against them.


OUR MODEST PROPOSAL

FOR PREVENTING THE CONSUMERS OF ALCOHOL FROM BEING A DANGER TO THEIR COMMUNITIES, AND FOR MAKING THEM BENEFICIAL TO THE PUBLIC

It is a dreary task to examine the statistics on drunk driving in America. On average, someone is killed as a result of an alcohol-impaired driving crash every thirty minutes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2007, an estimated 12,998 people died in traffic accidents involving a driver with an illegal BAC. To think of just one family who loses a member due to drunk driving is sad indeed, but to reflect upon the thought of 12,998 families suffering as a result of drunk drivers' bad choices is heart-wrenching.

A sure-fire way to prevent drunk driving crashes is to stop the drunk drivers before they can do any harm. Therefore, I suggest the placement of BAC-check stations at every mile of every road. An intoxicated person would be unable to proceed past these stations. Of course, someone with an illegal BAC level would be arrested and fined. The prisoner shall remain imprisoned for twenty years, ensuring twenty years of safety for citizens who might have been otherwise negatively affected by the drunk driver. These stations are not only a deterrent for drunk driving, but an effective method to get drunk drivers off the road.

To cut down on the number of imbeciles who endeavor to drive under the influence of alcohol despite the inevitable BAC-check, I propose the outlawing of the sale and consumption of alcohol. A twenty-first century Prohibition, if you will. Alcohol is not a staple of the human diet. I am ashamed of America's addiction to and reliance on such a harmful substance. A country whose inhabitants are slaves to their desire for a drug is certainly not a "land of the free." Ideally, American's will accept the challenge to live up to their name and break free from their bond to alcohol. When alcohol is no longer being consumed, the drunk driving problem is immediately solved.

But if citizens are having trouble following the rules which are designed for their own wellness, then they do not deserve to be well. It is the innocent people being killed in crashes caused by drunk drivers who deserve to keep their lives. Poison the drinkers; it's that simple. Whether the poison should be lethal or not is another debate for another time, but either way, the poison will certainly prevent persons under the influence of alcohol from driving on the roads and putting innocent, rule-abiding citizens in peril.

Of course, not all Americans will embrace these brilliant ideas (for I believe most people are afraid of failure), so our nation will stick to the semi-effective methods in which complete success is impossible. (This certainty of failure is comforting, perhaps because there is no anticipation.) These methods I am referring to are law enforcement and propaganda aimed at teens. Currently, the penalties of a DUI conviction may include fines, jail time, probation, and community service. Perhaps there would be less drinking and driving going on if the penalties were more severe. In addition to these laws, there are advertising methods which are intended to persuade teenagers to stay away from alcohol. These "advertisements" include television commercials which illustrate the consequences of drunk driving and public school health classes which educate students about alcohol.

Although the former suggestions for the prevention of drunk driving would prove far more effective than the latter, I am sure that America will choose to remain with the less effective actions. This decision only proves America's hesitation to end drunk driving, and reveals the deep roots of the problem.


DUI Checkpoint
DUI Checkpoint






ALEXANDER POPE
Author of "The Rape of the Lock"

Of the numerous characters in Alexander Pope's mock epic The Rape of the Lock, Belinda best portrays Pope's personal views on English society. Pope claims that Belinda is beautiful but causes many problems. Belinda is also preoccupied with her own personal appearance, which Pope uses to satirize the high English society of the time which was overly concerned with appearance. When one of Belinda’s beautiful, entangling curls “Love in these Labyrinths his Slaves detains” (Canto 2, Line 24) are cut, Belinda shrieks. Belinda then returns to her room in despair where she stays locked up and having others come to pity her. Pope then argues against personal beauty when the Nymph states “Say, why are beauties prais’d and honour’d most?” (5, 9) which shows Pope’s detest of the fixation on personal appearance. However, Belinda detests the speech and continues to believe that personal beauty prevails over more substantial qualities.
Belinda in Despair
Belinda in Despair





SAMUEL JOHNSON
Author of "Dictionary of the English Language"

DICTIONARY FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS:

ballin' (adj) - Hype, awesome or wonderful; at the top of one's game.
This word has a hip-hop music origin; it was also found often at Emmaus High School basketball games.
That shot he scored was ballin'!
chill (adj, v) - Relaxed, cool, calm, collective. To relax or calm down.
This word was originally used to describe a pot of boiling water that had gone from crazy and bubbly to a calmer state and cooler or "chilled" temperature.
Mike, you are freaking out; you need to chill.
sweet (adj) - Nice, awesome, cool, extreme.
This word was originally used to describe candy, but eventually its use was broadened to describe all things good and pleasing.
I just bought that sweet new iPhone.
poser (n) - A person who acts like something or somebody they are not.
This word comes from the word "pose" meaning to act or portray.
That girl who wears skater shoes but doesn't skateboard is such a poser.
mad (adv) - Really, very, extremely.
This word is a variation of its classic meaning of "crazy", now used to describe a crazily high level.
Sean did mad good on his SAT score: he received a perfect in math.
props (n) - Recognition, respect.
This word originally meant physical things that give support to other literal things, but now is more figurative.
We deserve props for all the time we spent completing our awesome wiki.
whack (adj)- Crazy, strange, weird.
This word comes from the verb "to whack", which forces the whacked subject into a state of disarray.
She is so whack for declining his prom invitation.
creep (v) - To stalk, follow, or obsess over.
This word was originally used to describe the way in which a stalker follows someone.
Me and Genny were creepin' on Mike in Mont St. Michel by taking lots of pictures without his knowledge.
Completely unaware...
Completely unaware...

stoked (adj)- Excited, pumped, or looking forward to.
This word was first used on the popular MTV show Laguna Beach.
I am so stoked for the French trip!
fresh (adj) - Smart, sarcastic, rude.
This word became popular among mothers who were surprised by the new attitudes of their pre-teens.
The young girl responded with a fresh remark when her mother denied her permission to go out after failing her English final.







ADDISON AND STEELE
Authors of "On Apparitions" and "On Female Vanity"
In On Apparitions (No. 110) by Addison and Steele, the narrator is taking a walk down an old and mysterious, haunted abbey. Rumors of headless horses and mysterious noises were spread by the butler and a maid. The narrator takes a walk during the night to examine the abbey first hand for himself. The narrator states that "[the abbey] was one of the most proper scenes in the world for a ghost to appear in," which exemplifies how mysterious it is. He learns from his friend sir Roger that most of the house was locked up after someone had died in a room out of the fear of death. The knight living in the house only had a very small amount of the house left in which to live as all the doors were locked up. Eventually a chaplain comes to exorcise the rooms in the house. After the exorcism, the family no longer feared the death and all the rooms were opened.

Addison and Steele's On Apparitions exemplifies the ideas and beliefs associated with the Age of Reason in numerous ways. Formal religion is shown as a chaplain was required to perform an exorcism to make the rooms livable again, which shows how important it was for a church figure to dissipate the evil spirits. The story is also satirical as it mocks those who believe that ghosts and evil spirits exist and shows how irrational and unfounded fears lead to spilt milk and the belief that the grounds were haunted. The story also showed the intellectual and rational aspects of the Age of Reason as it showed how unfounded the fears were.

The concerns in Addison and Steele's writing are still present today. Many people are still superstitious (Friday the 13th, black cats) and fear the paranormal and believe in ghosts.


Haunted Lane
Haunted Lane
Ghost
Ghost


The article On Female Vanity explores how women dress themselves up to extreme measures. The author compares women to valuable diamonds shown in a case of black velvet. He is trying to portray the extremes at which a woman will generally present herself to the rest of the world. The author states that the measures a woman takes to make herself up are distracting from her natural beauty. The gifts that nature has given to every woman is hidden behind make-up and clothes. The author also explains how men, in general are very turned off by all the make-up, jewels, clothes and adornments that a woman brings upon herself. He says that a woman is changed entirely after she is finished dressing from before she started. It is stated that this mask prevents any woman from being loved, as her real self is hidden away behind it. The author goes on to say that men enjoy more than anything else a woman in a plain dress without anything showy. The author further proves his point while concluding the article with a story of a woman who obtained a large fortune from her family. Since her family did not want her to marry and give it away, they dressed her up in nice clothes and expensive accessories that until age sixty, she was still not married and not in love.
This article does exemplify the beliefs popular during the Age of Reason. It is shown in this article how women are acting in ridiculous ways for the sake of others. The author is presenting a common sense view. He is being realistic about the way women are dressing up too much because in reality, men enjoy a simpler look. The author presents a very rational argument which relates to the beliefs and ideas of the Age of Reason.
There are many similarities between the views of Addison and Steele and present day concerns. Women are shown all over the media in ridiculous and over the top outfits. Often, young people see these images and want to achieve a similar state of “beauty” or what they perceive as beautiful. This yearning for beauty leads to extreme measures taken by women all over the world. A sense of self-hatred is born out of this as well. This can be seen in women with eating disorders, who have gone so far to starve themselves just so they can fit a perfect image.

Use those old CDs to make sure you look good!
Use those old CDs to make sure you look good!








SOURCES:
http://www.centurycouncil.org/learn-the-facts/drunk-driving-stats
http://dui.findlaw.com/dui/dui-overview/dui_basics.html

http://www.history-magazine.com/spectator.html
http://people.umass.edu/sconstan/
http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides2/Pope.html