Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1, Homo Sapiens, Chapter 2, Types of Men)
This lesson explores Chapter 1 in which Mencken discusses the nature of man.
1) Textual Analysis: What does Mencken say about the nature of man? How does he compare his view to that of a "modern scientist"? What is man a product of?
2) Group Discussion: How does religion relate to Mencken's discussion of the nature of man? What does the establishment of religion say about man? What are the consequences for humankind of a belief in a higher power?
3) Brainstorm: Given Chapter 1, create a list of all the traits of humanity as Mencken sees them. What kind of view is this of humanity? Is Mencken being accurate, or playful/facetious?
4) Homework: Students should write a paper in which they answer: What kind of view is Mencken's of humanity? Is Mencken being accurate, or playful/facetious? How does Mencken's tonal preferences and reputation as an acerbic wit factor...
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