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1. What does the word “enshrined” (line 2) suggest about how Americans viewed freedom of speech? [1]

From the Passage
This amendment enshrined the freedom of speech, as it was henceforth illegal to make any law that impeded on the freedom of religion, press, and the right to peacefully assemble or petition the government.

Answer
The Americans viewed freedom as something sacred and the society must uphold this core values of the country. (significance)

2. Why has the author written the word “talking” in italics (line 15)? [1]
( meaning of word in italics or quotation or parenthesis – intention or purpose)

From the Passage
In talking about free speech, we are talking, not fighting. We are not settling our disagreement by arm-wrestling or a pistol duel.

Answer
He wants to emphasize the contrast between (2) the use of words to handle disputes and the use of violence to do so, demonstrating how freedom of speech is to be depicted. (content of the purpose)

3. “As soon as you show up to a debate to argue against free speech, you have lost it” (lines 16−17).

Why does the author make this claim? Use your own words as far as possible. [3]

From the Passage
The very thing we are doing when we ask whether free speech should be fundamental — exchanging and evaluating ideas — presupposes that we have the right to exchange and evaluate ideas… As soon as you show up to a debate to argue against free speech, you have lost it.

Inferred Answer
A discussion involving opposing viewpoints is only possible with free speech. Thus, the person participating in such a discussion to oppose free speech, is already conceding defeat as he is actually proving that free speech is essential to prove his point and thus, the other side is right.

4. What “logic” is the author illustrating with the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (line 26)? Use your own words as far as possible. [2]

From the Passage
The victimised subjects did little to resist the tyrannical regime. The reason that citizens did not resist is that they lacked common knowledge — the awareness that everyone shared their knowledge. People will expose themselves to the risk of reprisal by a repressive regime only if they know that others are exposing themselves to that risk at the same time.
The story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes’’ illustrates the logic. When the little boy shouted that the emperor was naked, he was not telling them anything they did not already know. But he was changing their knowledge nonetheless, because now everyone knew that everyone else knew that the emperor was naked. That emboldened them to challenge the emperor’s authority with their laughter.

Answer
The logic he is illustrating is that only when an oppressed people realise that all the rest think alike will they be more likely to face the possibility of retaliation by an oppressive government.
- the masses will only be encouraged if there is freedom of speech to provide them the knowledge of the collective power and the understanding of the issue

5. “humour is no laughing matter” (line 30).

Explain why this is a paradox. Use your own words as far as possible. [3]
(2 truths that contradict each other)

From the Passage
…humour is no laughing matter — why humour, even when tasteless, is terrifying to dictators and protected by democracies. Humour, especially satire and ridicule, can stealthily challenge assumptions by forcing its audience to see that those assumptions lead to consequences that everyone recognises are absurd.

Answer
It seems absurd/contradictory to say that humour, which is the expression of something funny, is serious. In reality, it makes sense because humour can surreptitiously/furtively go against expectations by making its recipients recognise that these basic norms bring ridiculous/illogical outcomes.

Humour is to provoke laughing and funny matters but is also used to show the severity of issue through a satire.

6. Explain the author’s use of the word “even” in the phrase “anyone who even questions free speech” (line 2). [2]

From the Passage
Millions of Americans support free speech… and that anyone who even questions free speech had better shut up.

Answer
The word ‘even’ suggests that American uphold the value of free speech to such an extreme that merely having doubts/reservations about the value of free speech is intolerable/unacceptable to them.

7. How do the victims of hate speech suffer “more than” (lines 7−8) the victims of hate crime? Use your own words as far as possible. [1]

From the Passage
emotional harm… is even more long-lasting and traumatic

Answer
The victims’ suffering can be more sustained and more disturbing emotionally.

8. Based on lines 14−16, what does the author suggest about how most defenders of free speech view those who argue against it? [2]

From the Passage
Most defenders of free speech argue that those who pretend to be worried about the harms of free speech are more interested in trampling your right to say whatever you please. Arguments about harm are not even worth answering.
(what are their views about them and how should they be treated.)

Answer
Those who argue against free speech are viewed by defenders of free speech as insincere in their concerns about the evils of free speech. They show blatant desire to crush others’ right to free speech. These illogical people are to be treated with disdain.

9. What was the price of free speech that the Europeans were “unwilling to pay” (line 39)? Use your own words as far as possible. [2]

From the Passage
…genuine pain and intimidation. In America, where everyone had the right to speak their mind, civil-rights and women's-rights advocates were subjected to vile abuse in public and private, and gay men and lesbians endured decades of deafening homophobic propaganda before the tide of public opinion turned.

Answer
The price that the Europeans were unwilling to pay was real hurt and inducement of fear in minority groups.

Censorship – Right to Free Speech

Author: Simon Ng

Category: Mass Media


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