The primary documents, normally an extract of text (especially a quotation) or image, is provided as a context for analysis, discussion, or translation. A well written gobbet should have the following elements:
a. it will identify the document and context (including its language, whether the text provided is a translation, and the place where this document was done), its purpose and the main characters involved;
b. it will comment on the particular point or points raised in the extract (ask yourself, why was this extract set?);
c. it will explain any distinctive words or phrases;
d. it will then, towards the end, comment more discursively on some of the broader issues involved. Is this a true or accurate narrative of events? Are the hopes of the protagonist ultimately realized? Where does this extract fit into the wider context of what we know from our sources?
Try to make about four to five points, and do not write more than 800 words or fewer than 500. Avoid an over-lengthy introduction; get to the point quickly, do not simply rephrase the wording of the gobbet, and make sure that you analyze it. Gobbets are designed to assess your ability to comment critically upon source material, whether a text or an object. Each gobbet will have at least one specific point that should be addressed/analyzed, so always consider why a particular passage/image has been chosen.
For those of you also taking literature modules in other Schools, please note that history gobbets are less an exercise in textual criticism and much more an attempt to get to the heart of the issues contained within a document, and the issues concerning the nature of the document itself.
On the following pages are your gobbet selections. For your assignment you are required to write on two topics. Only one can be chosen from a particular week. If you have any questions – please ask!
Do two gobbets: so in total 1000- 1600 words
The two gobbets that you need to do are:
1) The fiat has gone forth! With steam and electricity, and the new powers born of progress, forces have entered the world that will either compel us to a higher plane or overwhelm us, as nation after nation, as civilization after civilization, have been overwhelmed before. It is the delusion which precedes destruction that sees in the popular unrest with which the civilized world is feverishly pulsing only the passing effect of ephemeral causes. Between democratic ideas and the aristocratic adjustments of society there is an irreconcilable conflict. Here in the United States, as there in Europe, it may be seen arising. We cannot go on permitting men to vote and forcing them to tramp. We cannot go on educating boys and girls in our public schools and then refusing them the right to earn an honest living. We cannot go on prating of the inalienable rights of man and then denying the inalienable right to the bounty of the Creator. Even now, in old bottles the new wine begins to ferment, and elemental forces gather for the strife! – Henry George, Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth: The Remedy (1879).
2) Anarchist Emma Goldman was tried for conspiring to violate the Selective Service Act. The following is an excerpt from her speech to the court, in which she explains her views on patriotism.
a. Who is the real patriot, or rather what is the kind of patriotism that we represent? The kind of patriotism we represent is the kind of patriotism which loves America with open eyes. Our relation towards America is the same as the relation of a man who loves a woman, who is enchanted by her beauty and yet who cannot be blind to her defects. And so I wish to state here, in my own behalf and in behalf of hundreds of thousands whom you decry and state to be antipatriotic, that we love America, we love her beauty, we love her riches, we love her mountains and her forests, and above all we love the people who have produced her wealth and riches, who have created all her beauty, we love the dreamers and the philosophers and the thinkers who are giving America liberty. But that must not make us blind to the social faults of America. That cannot make us deaf to the discords of America. That cannot compel us to be inarticulate to the terrible wrongs committed in the name of patriotism and in the name of the country. We simply insist, regardless of all protests to the contrary, that this war is not a war for democracy. If it were a war for the purpose of making democracy safe for the world, we would say that democracy must first be safe for America before it can be safe for the world. – Emma Goldman on Patriotism (July 9, 1917)
Conclusion: do two gobbets exercise, the ones posted over here each of them between 500-800 words so in total between 1000-1600 words.