3 page interpretation of Edmund Burk


For this assignment you are to offer a clear interpretation of a short section from Edmund Burke’s book Reflections on the Revolution in France. This is the section identified in bold at the bottom of this prompt. This assignment does not ask for your opinion. Instead, it requires you to engage in a thorough and rigorous interpretation of the text in front of you. Your argument is your interpretation of the text. What are the main points in your assigned section? How do they hang together? How do Burke’s ideas in that section connect with ideas that arise earlier in the text? Make sure your paper answers all three of the above questions

You can only offer a meaningful interpretation of your section if you have read and understood every page of the book assigned on the syllabus prior to it. This is your chance to engage with the text directly and independently. Do not consult any outside sources. Do not work in groups. Rather, focus on what you can make of the text yourself, all on your own. You will be graded based on evidence of your serious engagement with the text.

First read all the assigned pages for the day, then work on gaining a clear understanding of the short-assigned section. Ask yourself: what are its main points? What are the logical connections between them? How do they link up with what you have read from Burke so far? Make sure that your paper includes answers to all three of the above questions. In writing your paper, you may use a format like: “In this section Burke makes one (or two, or more) major overarching point(s) and illustrates it/them with X examples…” Please DO NOT use the following format: “First Burke says X, then he says Y, then he says Z and his final point is W.” The first format shows that you have absorbed and digested your assigned section and are offering your understanding of it. The second format tells your reader nothing about how you understand the relationships between the different ideas in the assigned section. It is best if you avoid quoting the author altogether. If however you must quote the author, you may only use very short quotes that you then explain clearly in your own words.

Interpret pp.159 (paragraph beginning with “In this whole contrivance…”) – 163 (up until the end of the paragraph ending with “…most desperate game.”) And p. 173 the paragraph that begins “To a person…” and ends “…last very long.”