Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Questions to accompany "Targets of Aggression" by David Barash

AP English Language and Composition mcrawford
12 sets of questions to accompany “Targets of Aggression” by David Barash
(from the 5 Oct. 2007 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Ed.)

1. With what literary examples does Barash open his essay? How does he make use of these examples?

2. Which paragraph or paragraphs mark the transition from literary examples and introduction to the attempts by scientists to understand stress and misdirected aggression? How does Barash signal this transition?

3. Explain what has come of the experiments with rats. Are the conclusions drawn reasonable?

4. Why, at the close of the information about the experiments with the rats, does the writer put the words “good” and “natural” in quotes?

5. After brief mention of the town of Banja Luka in Bosnia as an example, Barash asks us to consider another more recent example. Explain. Why does he see this as misdirected aggression?

6. After the above example, he returns to the research of physiologists. What does he explain?

7. What is a scapegoat? What does the price of cotton example reveal?

8. Reconsider justice? Explain.

9. “Modern science may even owe its existence to scapegoating”? Explain.

10. What “difficult questions” arise from what Barash brings together in this article?

11. Why do you think he closes with a review of some religious ideas? Why the quote by Chesterton? What does it mean? What does it do for the essay?

12. What does he seem to be holding onto in the final sentence? What does he mean by “bio-logic?” What does this conclusion have to do with the concerns of question #4 above?

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