The topic for this paper can be any of the materials we have read up through week 5 this includes the following: “The Lottery,” “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” The Code of Hammurabi, The Book of Deuteronomy, Antigone, Dante’s Inferno, or “The Trial of Susanna Martin” from Cotton Mather’s Wonders of the Invisible World. What I would like you to do is to choose one of the works above and write a short paper that contains two parts.
The first part will be a discussion of the work in its historical context: based on the selections I gave you, what constitutes effective law and order in the society that created the document. What constitutes criminal behavior? How do its legal codes differ from those in twenty-first-century America? The second portion of the essay will be an expansion of what we have been talking about on the discussion board. I would like you to talk about a contemporary issue that mirrors or is reminiscent of the issues described in the literature—how are they the same and how are they different. For example: the death penalty is a crucial part of both Deuteronomy and The Code of Hammurabi; what sorts of controversies surround the death penalty today? Another example: We see Creon’s inflexibility as a lethal character flaw. Has inflexibility in our legal system caused any controversial problems? (The three-strikes laws come to mind here.) This paper should be between 4-5 pages in length, though longer is almost always better. It should be written in proper MLA format with a works cited page.
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