Jailbird Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. After receiving the fan letter, why did Vonnegut feel he didn't need to write this or other books?

The key phrase in the fan letter Vonnegut receives is "love may fail, but courtesy will prevail." Based on Vonnegut's comments on the letter, this idea is a theme Vonnegut tries to discuss in his books. The summation of the point states what Vonnegut attempts to express in hundreds of pages and feels it wasn't necessary for him to have expressed it.

2. Is "The Sermon on the Mount" a reasonable defense for Sacco and Vanzetti? Why or why not?

Sacco and Vanzetti were icons of the working class. Being falsely accused of murder drew people to cite the "Sermon on the Mount." The sermon does tie to these men loosely. They were embodying the virtues of humility and poverty. They inspired people to fight for the rights of the downtrodden, which is reflected in the phrase "the meek shall inherit the earth" from the Sermon.

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