Make-up assignment for students absent on day one of The Sunflower discussion:
You must answer the following questions in 50-100 words each. All answers must be typed and carefully proofread. The answers to the 8 questions below as well as the prepared information for the five author commentaries assigned must be submitted via e-mail within 48 hours of returning to class. Students who do not submit this assignment as stated will have more points deducted from their final grade.
1. How much exposure have you had to Holocaust-related issues prior to reading The Sunflower? Consider your experience with books (diaries, memoirs, or poetry), films, high school courses or course components, trips, TV documentaries, etc.
2. What specifically did you find most fascinating or interesting about Simonís experiences as related through The Sunflower?
3. Similarly, what specifically did you find most disappointing, upsetting or troubling about Simonís experiences as related through The Sunflower?
4. What is the significance of the actual sunflower in the novella? How is it used? What causes Simon to mention it? Why do you believe it is so significant that Wiesenthal would use it as the main title of the book?
5. Role-playing: Moral defense.† You have been given the task of justifying Simonís actions as not only appropriate and morally acceptable, but correct (including at Karlís bedside and upon visiting Karlís mother). What arguments would you put forth to defend his actions? Be sure to remain focused and not allow contrary views to be included in this answer.
6. Role-playing: Moral prosecution.† You have been given the task of justifying Simonís actions as not only inappropriate and morally unacceptable, but wrong. What arguments would you put forth to condemn his actions? Be sure to remain focused and not allow contrary views to be included in this answer.
7. Simon remains silent in the presence of Karlís mother, not telling her the brutal truth about her sonís participation in the slaughter of thousands of Jews. What reason does Simon give the reader for not telling Karlís mother the truth? How do you feel about this decision?
8. If, like Simon, you found yourself at Karlís bedside, and in the presence of Karlís mother, what would you have done in both circumstances and why?