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HUM 112 WEEK 4 ASSIGNMENT 1 – ESSAY
Choose one (1) of the three reading selections from the list of topic choices below. Read the selection in
the textbook. Write a three to four (3-4) paragraph essay (250 words) which analyzes the “surprise
ending” of the reading selection.
1. Reading selection from Descartes’ Discourse on the Method (Part IV). Descartes begins with the
problem of being able to prove his own existence but ends up with an argument proving the
existence of God. Read more about the Discourse on the Method located at
2. Reading selection from Swift’s A Modest Proposal. Swift begins with offering the solution that the
English could do things which might solve the problem of overpopulation and the mistreatment of
citizens in Ireland. It ends by offering the solution that an internal change in the Irish government
would best solve the problem of overpopulation and a populace victimized by its own
government. Read more about A Modest Proposal located at
3. Two reading selections from Voltaire’s Candide. The story begins by acknowledging the
foolishness of the superstitious traditions held by the people in the city of Lisbon but ends by
confirming Voltaire’s belief that religion in general is equally based in false superstitions.
For the reading selection you choose:
1. Clearly state in your own words the “surprise ending” in the reading you selected. Identify the
point in the reading when you realized that the ending would be different from what the beginning
of the reading suggested that it would be.
2. Since you were expecting a different ending, evaluate how successful the author was in
convincing you to accept the validity of the “surprise ending” that was not clearly suggested at the