Discuss the French history and explain the reaction to the generalizations about the French
Respond to either two questions or one question and then comment on a classmate’s response. Make sure all responses are thoughtful and meaningful.
1. The French love of power
N-B state in Chapter 6 “Until-the-Bitter-End-ism,” that the French have a penchant for controversy and doing battle with one another–a state of mind N-B suspect may arise from their love of power as well as from their history. From your readings in French history, what evidence is there to support this hypothesis?
2. The French mind-set and change
A typical stereotype of the French is that they are reluctant to change. Another popular tongue-in-cheek observation noted by A-M on p. 32 of Au Contraire! is that the French believe if God lived on earth, he would live in France.
After reading about French history, what is your reaction to these generalizations about the French?
3. Language as a cultural value
The French have a saying: ” If something is well thought out or is well
conceived in the mind, it can be expressed or communicated clearly.” (Ce qui se
conçoit bien s’annonce clairement.) How does this statement represent a cultural
value that is rooted in history?
4. What if Louis XVI’s life had been spared?
In a poll taken several years ago, most French people would not have chosen to send Louis XVI to the guillotine. Do you think sparing the king and queen’s life would have changed the course of French history? If so, would the change have been for the better or for the worse?