Friday, August 11, 2017

Reading Period 1: August 11-September 7: The Three Musketeers

Due dates:
Quiz: Monday, September 4, 7pm
Assignments: Wednesday, Sept 6, 7pm
Post assignments to the Google+ Community under the appropriate category. Email quiz to me with the subject header Stickybeak Quiz Reading Period 1.

Long Read: 

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, chapters 1-20

Short Read: 

The Great Automatic Grammatizer by Roald Dahl


"a total stranger one black day" by e.e. cummings

a total stranger one black day
knocked living the hell out of me--
who found forgiveness hard because
my(as it happened)self he was
-but now that fiend and i are such
immortal friends the other's each
Creative Assignments:

Cardinal Richelieu is a very manipulative person, particularly with the king. Read their conversations, on page 169 and 177, where the Cardinal is saying the opposite of what he wants the king to think, just to get the king to disagree with him. This is called reverse psychology, and you can read a bit more about it here. Write a scene of about 250 words including dialogue between two people, one of whom is using reverse psychology on the other one. Maybe you'll write about a mom trying to get a kid to pick up his room by claiming that he can't do it, or a little sister getting the flavor of cupcake she wants by insisting she wants a different one. Have you ever used reverse psychology? You could write about that. Make sure you punctuate your dialogue correctly using quotation marks and commas where needed.


Take a look at this current satellite map of Paris, which is marked with lots of the locations in the novel. Here is a link to the street view, instead of the satellite view. Here is the famous Merian map of Paris in 1615, which shows the fortifications and farmland, and the Bastille. When you're looking at it, realize the Merian map is facing sort of southeast. On the Merian map, zoom in to find the Pont Neuf, and Notre Dame, the Louvre, etc. Finally, take a look at the famous Turgot map of Paris in the early 18th century. Now make your own hand-drawn map of Paris. Include the Seine River and ten landmarks -- from the book, from modern times, or from history. Use unlined paper and make sure you include a compass to show which way is north, and a key if needed.


The Nike of Samothrace, or the "Winged Victory" as it is known, is an interesting piece of art in that it inspires a lot of intense feelings in people, and yet it has no head or arms. Write a poem about this sculpture in which you try to capture the emotions portrayed in this marble work. Here is a site that will show you some other views of it.

Writing Assignments:

The Louvre was originally built as a square, moated castle with defensive towers at each corner. As Paris grew, it became a more elaborate palace. Take a look at this drawing of the Louvre Palace as it was during the reign of Louis XIII. Nowadays, it is no longer a fortress or a palace, but an art museum. At the art museum, there are certain rooms and displays that are visitor favorites: the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory, and the Venus de Milo. These areas can become very crowded -- but does that stop people from looking? A research team at MIT used Bluetooth data to figure out whether the size of the crowd affected the time the visitors spent at the museum. Take a look at what they found out.

After thinking about the traffic flow reflected in the MIT simulation, write a personal essay of 250 words about what you would do if you got a chance to go to the Louvre. Would you head straight for the Mona Lisa? Would you be bothered by large crowds of people? Would you try to see everything or just skip through the most famous galleries? Browse the museum's collection here. Which art pieces would you most want to visit?


As you are reading The Three Musketeers, you may run into a line or paragraph that makes you angry. This book was published in 1844 and reflects some attitudes and ideas that we no longer like. For example, on the top of page 117, you'll find this:

"There is in affluence a host of aristocratic attentions and caprices that go well with beauty. Fine white stockings, a silk dress, a lace bodice, a pretty slipper on the foot, a fresh ribbon in the hair, will never make an ugly woman pretty, but will make a pretty woman beautiful, to mention what the hands gain from it all: hands, women's hands especially, must remain idle to remain beautiful." 
What do you think of that quote? Is the narrator correct, that hands must be idle to be beautiful? In a 250 word essay, say whether you agree or disagree with this quote, and why. You might give examples of what you consider beautiful, and compare it to the list you find in the quoted paragraph.


Read the short story "The Great Automatic Grammatizer" and explain the last line for me, in an essay of 250 words. Remember that you will need to explain the story a bit to set up your explanation.


Here are twenty questions to make sure you're paying attention to the things I want you to notice in the reading. Each number lines up approximately with a chapter, so if you're looking for the answer to number 5, start in chapter 5! The quiz is open book. Copy the questions and add your answers in an email to me, and use the subject header Stickybeak Quiz Reading Period 1. Quizzes are due on Monday, Sept 4, at 7pm. Full answers are appreciated, but one word answers are fine when that is all the question requires.

1. What were the three presents D'Artagnan's father gave him, and what had happened to each one by the end of the first chapter?
2. Give one thing that M. Treville and D'Artagnan have in common.
3. What does M. Treville suspect about who might have sent D'Artagnan?
4. What three people has D'Artagnan got himself signed up to duel?
5. Why does D'Artagnan end up fighting beside the musketeers instead of against them?
6. "As he had already accomplished something in making this child revolt against his master, he said no more." In this quote from page 65, the "he" is M. Treville. Who is the child and who is the master?
7. What would it mean that D'Artagnan considers Athos an Achilles, Porthos an Ajax, and Aramis a Joseph on page 86? (use the note!)
8. Who does M. Bonacieux suspect of abducting his wife?
9. Which Englishman is the queen suspected of being in love with?
10. How does D'Artagnan establish an alibi so that no one knows he was getting La Porte from the Louvre at half past nine?
11. What was Mme. Bonacieux's mission, which D'Artagnan interrupted?
12. Why is the Duke of Buckingham planning for England to go to war with France? What does he want out of it?
13. What two characters are being held captive in the Bastille in chapter 13?
14. What does the Cardinal learn was in the rosewood box, according to his spy Mme de Lannoy?
15. Who won the argument between M. de Treville and the Cardinal?
16. The Keeper of the Seals took a letter away from the Queen. To whom was it written, and what was it about?
17. Why is it a problem for the Queen that the King wants her to wear the diamonds to the upcoming ball?
18. From what location can Mme. Bonacieux and D'Artagnan overhear M. Bonacieux and the Comte de Rochefort talking?
19. Where did D'Artagnan get 300 pistoles, and how did he divide it up amongst himself and his friends?
20. How did Aramis, Porthos, and Athos get waylaid on their way to London?