Sample Para—i.e. answer for Post 1

In her article “The Arc of Justice and the Long Run,” Rebecca Solnit provides a definition of hope that shows she values political and cultural resistance to oppression. Because Solnit is invested in seeing possibility for equality and justice even when the reality is that there is lots of injustice, lots of oppression in the world, she defines hope as “a sense of the grand mystery of it all, the knowledge that we don’t know how it will turn out, that anything is possible” (8). Solnit contrasts hope with optimism, which she asserts only acknowledges the idea that “everything will be fine no matter what”; in her view, hope is more realistic because it allows for unpredictable events that may turn out good or bad in the long run (8). The very unpredictability of historical change means that even centuries of oppression may yield an unexpected turn. To support her argument, Solnit gives examples of unpredictable events—like the return of the Pequots to human history and the way music with African roots has traveled the world inspiring people to fight for self-determination—that highlight her concern with political movements that free people from bondage and restore their ability to control their lives.