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By Sylvan Barnet; William Burto; William E Cain

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Sample text

They dance because dancing affords a special kind of pleasure. For similar reasons people watch athletic contests and go to concerts or to the theater. We participate in activities such as these not because we expect some sort of later reward but because we know that the experience of participating is in itself rewarding. Perhaps the best explanation is that the experiences are absorbing—which is to say they take us out of ourselves for a while—and that (especially in the case of concerts, dance performances, and athletic contests) they allow us to appreciate excellence, to admire achievement.

But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. ’ But the father said to his servants,‘Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring hither the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat, and be merry. ’ And they began to be merry. “Now his elder son was in the field, and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.

TOPICS FOR CRITICAL THINKING AND WRITING 1. Paley wrote the story, but an unspecified person tells it. Describe the voice of this narrator in the first paragraph. Is the voice neutral and objective, or do you hear some sort of attitude, a point of view? If you do hear an attitude, what words or phrases in the story indicate it? 2. What do you know about the setting of “Samuel”? What can you infer about the neighborhood? 3. ” Is race important in this story? Is Samuel “Negro” or “something else”?

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