The rhetoric of liberty | English homework help

First watch this Washington Post “Opinion” video, by the famous documentary film maker, Ken Burns: Our Monuments are Representations of Myth, Not Fact. (Links to an external site.)

Then, read this short article on the History Channel website by Becky Little: “The Statue of Liberty Has Long Been a Symbol of Protest (Links to an external site.).” 

Then answer these questions: 

1. Given what you read, why do you think Ken Burns says that the Statue of Liberty is a “myth” not fact? Give specific examples to support your answer. 

2. Why do you think that the Statue of Liberty has become such a symbol of protest? In other words, when people are protesting something, why do they tend to use the statue of liberty as a symbol to make their point? Pick one example from the History article to explain your answer. 

3. Find an example political cartoon that uses the statue of liberty. You can search for “political cartoon” and “statue of liberty” (use the quotation marks). Choose one and include it here (either as a screenshot in your Word document or as a separate attachment–do not merely post the link to the image). What is the argument you think this political cartoon is making? How can you connect the cartoon’s argument to ideas from Ken Burns video and Becky Little’s article? 

4. These are three examples of three very different texts (the two I provided and the one you chose) all entering into conversation about what the Statue of Liberty stands for.  They are all discussing social justice in some way.  Across these texts, many people are using the same rhetorical tool–the symbol of the Statue of Liberty. In other words, they could have talked about “liberty” and “freedom” without using/referring to the actual Statue of Liberty, but they chose to use that symbol.   However, the audience, purpose, and genre affects how they use it. Pick two texts/protests from this assignment and describe how the use of the Statue of Liberty was different in those examples. (For example, you can choose 2 protests from the History.com article, or one protest from the article and contrast it to the video, or contrast the video and the political cartoon you chose, etc.) Think carefully about how the protester/filmmaker/writer/artist is using the symbol–how the audience, purpose, genre affect the use of the symbol. 

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