Summer Reading Assignment on the Novels of American Authors

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

Questions and Answers

  • What is the significance of the topic of this book in the telling of United States history? Be sure to cite four specific examples including page numbers from the book that support your answer.

”Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” tells the story of a young slave girl, Linda. Her significance in this book and US History is her perspective of being a slave as a child and it helps the reader or a learner have an insight of how slavery was back then. It is important to comprehend and understand the obstacles that slaves had to face in order for them to be free. It also gives an understanding of the masters that these slaves had because not all masters slaves had were cruel and some did have some empathy towards slaves. “My grandmother’s mistress had always promised her that, at her death, she should be free; and it was said that in her will she made a good promise.” (Page 13) “For years my master had done his utmost to pollute my mind with foul images, and to destroy the pure principles inculcated by my grandmother, and the good mistress of my childhood.” (Page 47) “My master had power and law on his side; I had a determined will.” (Page 73) “My friends feared I should become a cripple for life; and I was so weary of my long imprisonment that, had it not been for the hope of serving my children, I should have been thankful to die; but, for their sake, I was willing to bear on.” (Page 105)

  • Share your insight and perspective on two of the characters in the book. Why did you select those two characters?

Linda’s role in the book is courageous because she had to grieve and overcome a lot in her lifetime. She overcomes her parents’ passing as well as letting her children get sold to Mr. Sands. Linda risked being a runaway slave just to save her children and help them be free. Dr. Flint’s role in the book is how abusive he is toward Linda. It is important that we can look past on how poorly Slaves were treated. Dr. Flint represents how evil a person can be when they have power towards somebody.

  • Do you believe that the stories told or the overall story in the book would change/alter/influence the minds of readers and their understanding of United States history? Did it change or influence your understanding of United States? Explain.

The stories that Harriet Jacobs shared was very truthful because she wanted to create a anti-slavery cause to others. It can influence a learners mind by the details that Harriet Jacobs shared in the book. It also gives the reader an insight of how cruel a master was, but it also gives an insight of how kind some masters were.”Incidents of a Life of a Slave Girl” did influence my opinion to Slavery because it help me understand that not all slave owners were unfair to their slaves.

  • How does literature influence the telling and understanding of historical people, places, and events?

US literature can influence a person’s mind by educating them. It is important to educate a person’s minf because it helps prevent any horrible events like Slavery or 9/11. It can influence a person to create causes and spread awareness to others.

Impression

My overall thought of the book was that it was amazing and I honestly wanted to read more of Linda’s adventure. It was emotional for me and Linda to let her children get sold to Mr. Sands and reading how she grieves after her mistress dies. Even though she was small at the beginning of the book she still knows what is going on and she knows that she is a slave. I loved how courageous Linda was throughout the whole book and how much she had to sacrifice to get a taste of freedom.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown

Questions and Answers

  • What is the significance of the topic of this book in the telling of United States history? Be sure to cite four specific examples including page numbers from the book that support your answer.

The significance of “Bury My Heart at Wounded knee” is to explain the relationships the natives and white americans. Dee Brown details how horrifying the Genocide against the Natives was. As well as how the whites tried to live peacefully with the native americans. “Before these laws could be put into effect, a new wave of white settlers swept westward and formed the territories of Wisconsin and Iowa. This made it necessary for the policy makers in Washington to shift the ‘permanent Indian frontier’ from the Mississippi River to the 95th meridian” (Page 6) “He probably was not surprised that few Navahos could be found. He knew that the only way to conquer them was to destroy their crops and livestock—scorch their earth.” (page 24 ) “Truly, he thought, that nation of white men is like a spring freshet that overruns its banks and destroys all who are in its path. Soon they would take the buffalo country unless the hearts of the Indians were strong enough to hold it.” (Page 65) “Thus did the Cheyennes and Arapahos abandon all claims to the Territory of Colorado. And that of course was the real meaning of the massacre at Sand Creek.” (Page 98)

  • Share your insight and perspective on two of the characters in the book. Why did you select those two characters?

The Sitting Bull was my favorite character in the book, he led the Teton Sioux tribe. The Sitting Bull was portrayed as a resistance against the brutality and aggression to the natives. He is a leader and his people is his priority and no matter what, he keeps fighting for them. Even if it means giving up his life. The Crazy Horse fought along side of the Sitting Bull and helped him with many successful guerilla attacks. He was the chief of the Oglala Tribe, But his people were often starving which caused him to surrender. I chose these two characters because they reflect on how people can be brave and stand up for others. I also chose them because they show good leadership and companionship towards their tribe.

  • Do you believe that the stories told or the overall story in the book would change/alter/influence the minds of readers and their understanding of United States history? Did it change or influence your understanding of United States? Explain.

I think that this book would drastically influence the mind of a learner. This book is impactful to the United States history because it shows how white men would treat others. But it also shows they different tactics and strategies that the natives had to fight the whites. It was a dark time for the United States and this book helped me realize the savageness and brutality Native Americans had to deal with in this time period.

  • How does literature influence the telling and understanding of historical people, places, and events?

Literature can give a voice to people. In this book, Dee Brown gave a voice to the Native Americans. He told stories of the genocide against Natives and the history of many tribes. Most importantly, he recognizes the many battles, struggles, and leadership that the Natives had. It’s important to recognize the leaders of the tribes because they fought for what was right and brought justice to their tribes.

Impression

I thought that the book was pretty interesting, I enjoyed the details that Dee Brown used in the battles. The most impactful moment was when Abraham Lincoln had some empathy towards the Santee Tribe, because he only decided to imprison the one who weren’t involved in the retaliation.

Hiroshima by John Hersey

Questions and Answers

  • What is the significance of the topic of this book in the telling of United States history? Be sure to cite four specific examples including page numbers from the book that support your answer.

The significance of this book is the pain and terror that affects many after a nuclear war. Because after the bomb hit, Hiroshima citizens were still suffering from the radiation that came from the bomb. Some overcome the obstacles and difficulties but most are affected or killed by the bomb. Another significance is are these six characters, because once they were defeated they decided to help others and overcome the pain of it. “A hundred thousand people were killed by the atomic bomb, and these six were among the survivors. They still wonder why they lived when so many others died.”(Page 13-14) “All the way, he overtook dreadfully burned and lacerated people, and in his guilt he turned to right and left as he hurried and said to some of them, ‘Excuse me for having no burden like yours.’’ (Page 47) “He experienced such horror at disturbing the dead—preventing them, he momentarily felt, from launching their craft and going on their ghostly way— that he said out loud, ‘Please forgive me for taking this boat. I must use it for others, who are alive.’” (Page 56) The rector of the Novitiate, who had been a doctor before he entered the religious order, cleaned the wounds of the two priest and put them to bed between clean sheets, and they thanked God for the care they had received. Thousands of people had nobody to help them.” (Page 69)

  • Share your insight and perspective on two of the characters in the book. Why did you select those two characters?

Mrs.Nakamura was a victim of the Hiroshima bombing, but she stands out the most because she is the only one who guides her family. She is also the only character in Hersey’s book who is in poverty because of the atomic bomb. But even though she is suffering economically it didn’t stop her from taking care of her family as well as being able to get a good job. Dr. Sasaki was a surgeon in the Red Cross Hospital in Hiroshima. He helped cure the survivors of the bombing because he was the only physician who did not get affected by the bomb. He treated thousands of people who were suffering and he also tried to find a cure for the radiation but realized he was making it worse. Dr.Sasaki was selfless in his acts and he didn’t really want to be recognized for his heroism.

  • Do you believe that the stories told or the overall story in the book would change/alter/influence the minds of readers and their understanding of United States history? Did it change or influence your understanding of United States? Explain.

I think that this book shows the perspective of the Japanese during World War II. I believe that we are only shown from the United States perspective on how the war affected us, but we don’t really talk about how the Japanese citizens felt throughout this. I think that this can influence a learners mind because there were children and harmless victims affected in this historic situation. It is understandable that Japanese people were outraged because this really wasn’t their fault but it also shows a humanizing characteristic from each person who helped survivors. Although everyone knows how devastating this event was it is very disappointing that only few truly know how a war can affect many other victims who weren’t involved in the situation.

  • How does literature influence the telling and understanding of historical people, places, and events?

Although the topic of Hiroshima is difficult to talk about, it is important to discuss how it came to be a tragedy. Maybe reviewing a topic like Hiroshima can prevent any other nuclear war in the future that can endanger other human beings. It is also thoughtful to recognize the people who had to lead during this tragedy. Without the help of the six characters that Hersey mentioned, Hiroshima would have never been able to be rebuilt nor could have it been able to move along this event.

Impression

I think that it was unique to learn about the different perspectives of different people because even though most were helpful throughout the tragedy, some were isolated and didn’t really want to help. There was some selfless acts in this book and it was very hard to read how some died painfully in this book. It was also difficult to read the suffering that some characters had to face emotionally. The topic of Hiroshima or any event in WWII fascinates and interest me to discover and read more about these characters and this historic event.

Thirteen Days by Robert Kennedy

Questions and Answers

  • What is the significance of the topic of this book in the telling of United States history? Be sure to cite four specific examples including page numbers from the book that support your answer.

The significance of this book is how the different governments came together to fight this crisis. Another significance is that all of the different governments have an equal share of responsibility and none are more important than the other. One message that this book is also trying to give is that it is important to understand the situation before acting on it. “And so we argued, and so we disagreed-all dedicated, intelligent men, disagreeing and fighting about the future of their country, and of mankind.” (Page 28) “During all these deliberations, we all spoke as equals. There was no rank, and, in fact, we did not even have a chairman.” (Page 36) “Everyone had an equal opportunity to express himself and to be heard directly.” (Page 36) “During the crisis, President Kennedy spent more time trying to determine the effects of a particular course of action on Khrushchev or Russians than on any other phase of what he was doing.” (Page 95)

  • Share your insight and perspective on two of the characters in the book. Why did you select those two characters?

President John F. Kennedy is the hero in “Thirteen Days”. He is a wise and intelligent leader of the United States and he managed to calm people down during this crisis, even though he didn’t know the outcome of it. His leadership skills are shown by creating this group who guides and advises him to make these important decisions. He was very thoughtful of the situation and didn’t just act on without carefully thinking it through because he knows that his country was in his hands. John F. Kennedy shows how leaders should lead a group or a country because without the group or country there wouldn’t be a leader. Robert F. Kennedy is the brother of John F. Kennedy and he advises his brother to make a decisions. It was a big responsibility for the president but if it wasn’t for his brother then he might have made mistakes and would’ve put the country and Cuba in danger. Robert acknowledges the growth and maturity in the group that the President created. I chose him because he simply played an important role in advising decisions for the president.

  • Do you believe that the stories told or the overall story in the book would change/alter/influence the minds of readers and their understanding of United States history? Did it change or influence your understanding of United States? Explain.

I believe that the story that was told in this memoir could influence a reader by teaching them the importance of government decisions. It also shows the tension and pressure that government officials had to deal with during this crisis. Once the reader realizes that being in any government is very difficult, the reader could understand any political decisions that were made throughout time. This definitely influenced my political views of a President because they are the one who have to make sure that this country is safe. I also have more respect for government officials because now they help and advise the President in making big decisions like the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  • How does literature influence the telling and understanding of historical people, places, and events?

This memoir can definitely change a person’s view in politics, especially now. It is important to understand the pressure and tension that the President had to deal with as well as the community. Learning about the cautiousness of making a simple decision could affect everything else.A president’s job of taking care of the country is not easy but this memoir showed us that the president doesn’t make decisions on his own but gets help from others.

Impression

When Robert Kennedy found out about the crisis I knew that it was bad news for everyone. I think that it became a lot of pressure and honestly the idea of the blockade was really smart. The strategies that were used here was to avoid any further wars and it wasn’t easy because the US did feel threatened. If the cuban missiles were fired, it would have been another devastating period like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is disappointing to read that the Soviets were even installing missiles after what happened in Hiroshima. I would have killed many other innocent victims. I thought that Kennedy’s decision to not make any hasty decisions was understandable because it wasn’t an easy task to deal with. I feel happy that their wasn’t a nuclear war because it could’ve have destroyed mankind.

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