Learning check

1. Vocabulary

Translate the following words into Danish:

obnoxious _____________________________________________________________________

 

perpetrator _____________________________________________________________________

 

atrocity ________________________________________________________________________

 

tacitly _________________________________________________________________________

 

abusive ________________________________________________________________________

 

euphemism ______________________________________________________________________

 

 

Learning check

Revision of the text

Answer the following questions. Use about 20 words for each.

a) What happened at Abu Ghraib?

 

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b) Who was Hannah Arendt?

 

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c) Who was Adolf Eichmann?

 

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d) What happened at My Lai?

 

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e) What did Stanley Milgram’s experiment show?

 

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f) What did Philip Zimbardo’s experiment show?

 

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g) What is the lesson we can learn from the experiences of the above?

 

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Text-related assignment

1. Written assignment: letter to the editor

Write a letter to the editor where you defend the soldiers who abused Iraqi prisoners. (Use about 150 words.)

 

Find information about the New York Times and read examples of letters to the editor. NB: You may need to set up a user name and password to access the New York Times archives.

 

Helpful links:

 

The New York Times writer’s guidelines for letters to the editor:

http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/lettertoeditor.html

 

New York Times letters editor, Thomas Feyer, provides detailed answers to questions about what kinds of letters get published:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/23/opinion/23READ.html?ex=1141189200&en=1fd8b7f8078f4183&ei=5070

 

Wider contexts

1. Psychological and cultural context: evil. Discussion and reference to other texts

Are the soldiers who tortured the Iraqi prisoners evil? Is man evil? Discuss. Read the article “Bad or Mad?” p. 137 and/or look at the quotations on p. 135 in Wider Contexts for inspiration. You must substantiate your point of view by referring to other texts.

 

Wider contexts

2. Political contexts: extremist political homepage, comparison with other texts

a) Find an extremist political homepage, e.g. http://www.kukluxklan.bz/  

b) What is characteristic of the language used? Should society introduce some kind of censorship to prevent such language? Why/why not?

c) You may also find it useful to read Mick Hume “Is Abu Ghraib the Military Version of Reality TV”, p. 59 in Wider Contexts and Hendrik Hertzberg “Words and Deeds”, The New Yorker, January 24, 2011.

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2011/01/24/110124taco_talk_hertzberg

 

Wider contexts

3. Political context: Harold Pinter’s poem “American Football”

Read Harold Pinter’s poem “American Football” and discuss Mark Billington’s comments which you can find on the net by googling “Harold Pinter American Football”.

Does this add to your understanding of “Why not everyone is a torturer”?

 

Link collection