ENGLISH 4 Quarter 2 Week 8: In Fairness to All

Subject: English
  |  Educational level: Year IV

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Week 8: In Fairness to All


I. Objectives

A. Listening

  1. Listen to get specific information from the text listened to
  2. Listen to react to issues mentioned in the text
  3. Determine the purpose of the speaker and how he accomplishes the same


B. Speaking

  1. React to assertions made about the who, why and how of social injustice and inequities
  2. Share views/ideas about social injustice and inequalities and their effects on people


C. Reading

  1. Generalize ideas about eliminating social injustice and inequalities and apply these ideas to real life situations

  2. Determine problem-solution relationships

  3. Show agreement and disagreement on certain views about the issues at hand


D. Vocabulary

Give meanings of words through context clues or through actions/gestures


E. Language Forms in Use

  1. Narrate actions, express observations and interpret abstract information using the present perfect tense

  2. State opinion, clarify and emphasize points of observations by using helpful expressions and phrases


F. Literature

  1. Emphasize the importance of rallying against social injustice and inequity as played up in speeches and stories

  2. Show appreciation and understanding of the author's method of characterization, purpose, style, mood, and tone to clarify the theme


G. Writing

  1. Write a running script of an inspirational speech about a present day challenge to attain social justice and equity

  2. Make a campaign brochure, slogan, logo and poster on the theme “Justice For All/Stop Injustices”


I. Subject Matter

A. Texts

  1. “On the Death of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” by Robert Kennedy, Scott, Foresman, Literature and Integrated Studies, pp. 530-539

  2. “I Have A Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr.,” New Horizons in English IV, pp. 24-29

  3. “God Sees The Truth, But Waits” by Leo Tolstoy, Moving Ahead in English IV, pp. 266-273


B. Grammar Points

  1. Present Perfect Tense

  2. Expressions used for stating/clarifying and emphasizing ideas, and point of view


III. Procedure

A. Previewing

Look closely at the picture and answer the questions below:

1. What's going on?

2. Why, do you think, are they doing it?

3. Do you believe that something good will happen next?



B. Listening

Activity 1. Hope for Equality Squares. Keep Hope Alive!

Work with a partner and try moving the positions of the words in the squares to come up with a meaningful statement. Then discuss the importance of its message to our lives.















Activity 2. All Things Being Equal ...

From the box, pick out words to be written on the plates of this balance.


Activity 3. It is Possible...

Go over the words in the balance/box and make a list of words that can possibly be mentioned in the speech “On The Death Of Martin Luther King, Jr.”


Activity 4. Pair Work

Listen to a taped excerpt of the speech delivered by Robert F. Kennedy on the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. and check your prediction in Activity 3. Check each others' work.


Activity 5

Listen to the taped speech delivered by Robert F. Kennedy and answer the questions below.


Robert F. Kennedy






I have bad news for you, for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that Martin Luther King was shot and killed tonight.


Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings and he died because of that effort.


In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black—considering the evidence there evidently is that there were white people who were responsible—you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization—black people amongst black, white people amongst white, filled with hatred toward one another.


Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love.




For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times.


My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: "In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."


What we need in the United States is not division; what we need n the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness, but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice towards those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black.


So I shall ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love—a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.


We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past. We will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder.


But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings who abide in our land.


Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and to make gentle the life of this world.


Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.


  1. How did Martin Luther King, Jr. die?

  2. How did Martin Luther King, Jr. fight injustice?

  3. What reactions to King's death does Kennedy fear people will have?

  4. What reactions does Kennedy encourage people to have?

  5. Does Kennedy believe people in the United States want to have justice for all Americans? Explain.

  6. List down the examples of injustices and inequalities mentioned in the speech?




Activity 6. Class Poll. Making Connections

Listen for the third time, and read R. Kennedy's speech. Plot out your feelings about the examples of social injustices and inequalities mentioned in the speech.






Activity 7. Small Group Work Activities

Form groups of ten, and do the following tasks:


Group 1

Read and react to Kennedy's statements, “The vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black in this country want to live together ... and want justice for all human beings”. Do you agree with Kennedy's claim? Explain.


Group 2

Make a list of the kinds of social interactions that Kennedy hoped to prevent and promote through his speech. State your predictions as to their actualizations. Do they remind you of what we have been experiencing in our country? Explain.


Group 3. Wisdom After Pain

Explain the meaning of Aeschyllus' statement: “In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”

Do you agree with him? Explain. Use events in your life, the experiences of your friend/relative or neighbors, and the short stories you have read to support your contention.



Group 4. Current Issues Awareness

Make a list of political and social issues that beset us today. Rank them in their order of importance/seriousness. What do you think could help resolve divisiveness in our country? Make suggestions on how to attain justice and equality for all.


Group 5

The purpose of the speech was to persuade the crowd not to react to terrible events with hatred and violence.

Go over the speech of R. Kennedy and discuss how it accomplishes the purpose. Use a chart like the one below and organize your ideas.


Central Issue


Will the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. separate people into two opposing sides?













Activity 8. Group Presentation


C. Reading

Activity 1. Back-to-front writing.

Make a sensible and meaningful statement out of these words written in back-to-front style. Read and arrange them in normal order. Then, talk about their significance in our lives.






Activity 2. Word Ladders

Create a word ladder for JUSTICE, EQUALITY and FREEDOM. Write the words vertically as shown below. Then write horizontally words related to each concept. Each word should have a letter found in the term.


One example for each term is given.




Activity 3. Which one?

Complete the entries in your journal by writing the meaning of each new word on the list. Choose your answers from the word pool in the box.


New Words


  1. inextricable

  2. discord

  3. languish

  4. ghetto

  5. crippled

  6. oasis

  7. wallow

  8. beacon

  9. fatal

  10. invigorating

  11. sweltering





a. inseparable

b. disagreement

c. destructive

d. light

e. disabled

f. refreshing

g. suffer

h. oppressed by heat

I. Jewish quarter of a city

j. to live in filth or mud

k. fertile spot in the middle of the desert


While Reading

Activity 1

1. Can dreams become a reality?

2. What do men all over the world dream of today?

3. Has the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. been realized?



Read, "I Have A Dream" by Martin Luther King, Jr. to find the answers to the preceding questions. Quote parts which support your answers.


I Have a Dream

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), American clergyman and black civil rights leader, was born in Atlanta and educated at Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary, and Boston University (Ph.D., 1955). A lifelong advocate of nonviolent resistance to segregation, he led a boycott of blacks in Montogomery, Alabama (1955-1956) against the city's segregated bus system and organized a massive march on Washington in 1963, during which he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, on the balcony of a motel in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had journeyed in support of the city's striking sanitation workers.


In August 1963, more than two hundred thousand blacks and whites gathered peacefully in Washington, D.C., to focus attention on black demands for civil rights. The marchers gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King delivered this impassioned speech.


Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon of light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.


But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.


One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro still languishes in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.


In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men, as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring



this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, which has come back marked "insufficient funds."


But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check—a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.


We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice of reality for all of God's children.


It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. 1963 is not an end but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.


There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.


But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.


Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.


The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.


And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking



the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.


We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels in the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.


We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For whites only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.


I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulation. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.


Go back to Mississippi; go back to Alabama; go back to South Caroline; go back to Georgia; go back to Louisiana; go back to the slums and ghettos of our Northern cities knowing that somehow this situation can, and will be changed; let us not wallow in the valley of despair.


I say to you today, my friends, that even though we must face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out that true meaning of its creed—we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.


I have a dream that one day, on the red hills of Georgia, the son of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.


I have a dream that one day, even the state Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.


I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!


I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day, right there in Alabama, little



black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today!


I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, that rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.


This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with.


With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.


With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning: “my country, 'tis of thee; sweet land of liberty; of thee I sing; land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims pride; from every mountain side, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.


So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire!


Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York!


Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!


Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!


Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!


But not only that.


Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!


Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!


Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.


And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics—will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"



Activity 2. Comprehension Check

  1. State the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr.

  2. Who were the architects of the republic referred to by King?

  3. What was the significance of Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his speech at the Lincoln Memorial?

  4. If the American nation was built on the principle of freedom and equality, why are the blacks still dreaming of freedom and equality?

  5. Give an assessment of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech. Compare it to that of Robert F. Kennedy's. What do they have in common? In what aspects do they differ? Write your entries in the diagram below.








Activity 3. Small Group Work

Work in groups of seven (7) and do the following:


Group 1

Make a list of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream for the USA and for the world. Tell whether each has been realized or hasn't been realized yet. Support your










Group 2

Make a list of lines/statements which are repeated. Infer the purpose of King in repeating these lines. Clarify also its effect on your feeling.


Group 3

Many citizens have fought for their civil rights. Mention persons who fought for civil rights. What rights did they fight for? Tell the outcome of their fight.


Group 4. Make It Real

Choose one aspect of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream about equality or social justice which is true in our country/community at present. Then, come up with ways which might help in the march to stop social injustice, and to promote justice and equality for all. Find out if there are persons, groups of persons, or organizations that can help. Do a short list of service names and contacts available in the county/community.


Group 5

Brainstorm and discuss other present-day problems of the people around the world in connection with injustice and inequality (make a list f those which are not mentioned/covered in R. Kennedy's and Luther King's speeches). Arrange them from the most serious to the least serious. Explain the causes and effects of each problem.


Group 6. Ambush interview

Do an ambush interview of a political figure/leader in the community/country about laws, programs and projects promoting social justice; One member poses as the interviewer and two to three members pose as interviewees. Other members prepare questions and answers on the running script focuses on “the why, the how" of their projects and programs.


Group 7

Simulate Congress in session. What laws will you propose, prioritize and rally for so that injustice and inequality among men will be minimized? Talk about the immediate, short term and long term effects of each law.

D. Oral Interaction

Language Focus

Activity 1 (Dyad)

Consider the questions below and clarify how each is answered in “I Have a Dream” of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Work with a partner)

  1. Have they come to their nation's capital to cash a check for over one hundred years?

  2. Has America defaulted a promissory note in alienable rights of life, liberty and promised happiness ever since?

  3. How has America marked the check?

  4. What has happened to new militancy?

  5. What has happened to America as far as the rights of its citizenry is concerned?



Fill in the table with appropriate entries, as you look closely on the structure of questions and answers in Activity 1






























Activity 2. The Doves Win.

(The class is divided into two groups, and each group has three representatives to answer the questions. Questions are written on the slips of papers pasted on the body of the dove).


Go over the entries in the table of Activity 1. and take turns in answering the questions hidden on the body of the doves. Each correct answer gets 3 points and an incorrect answer gets no point. The group with the most number of points wins.







  1. What is common to the verbs in the third column of (Activity 1)?

  2. How are the actions expressed?

  3. What forms of verbs are used to express the actions?

  4. What other expressions/words are used to clarify the time of action?

  5. When do we use the following time signals/time markers:

since .../ever since .../for ... phrase



  1. What tense of verb is used when we express/indicate action which started at an indefinite time in the past and continues at the moment of speaking?


Activity 3

Support the correct form of the verb to complete each sentence below:

  1. I ___ (have a dream of a world of justice and equality every since I was a child.

  2. Devotees of civil rights ____ never ____ (turn) back from their pledges.

  3. We ____ (come) lately to fight for our civil rights.

  4. We ____ (face) difficulties.

  5. _____ you ever _____ (judge) people by their color?


Activity 4

Answer the following questions. Remember to use the present perfect tense (has/have + past participle of the verb)

  1. What other forms of social injustice apart from discrimination and segregation have been pointed out in “I Have A Dream”?

    a. ______________________________________________________

    b. ______________________________________________________

    c. ______________________________________________________


  2. Where have all the devotees of civil rights come from?




  3. Why have the black dreamed of freedom ever since?







Activity 5

In your opinion, which of the forms of social injustice mentioned have been lessened if not totally eliminated? Explain. Use the present perfect tense whenever possible.


Start this way.


In my opinion _________________________________________________




Here are some helpful expressions/phrases to be used when —


A. stating an opinion

  1. In my opinion ________________________

  2. I think ______________________________

  3. In my experience ______________________

  4. If you ask me _________________________

  5. Personally, I think _____________________

  6. As far as I'm concerned _________________


B. clarifying/emphasizing points of observations

1. I did not say __________________________________________________

2. This is ______________________________________________________

3. I'm sure that__________________________________________________

4. I would like to emphasize ________________________________________

5. Well, it's like this _______________________________________________

6. Let me remind you______________________________________________

7. The truth is____________________________________________________

8. Let me repeat what I said ________________________________________

9. That's what I have been saying ____________________________________

10. What I was .../what I meant was __________________________________


Activity 6

Form groups of eight and brainstorm on other forms of social injustice emphasized in “I Have A Dream” and “On the Death of Martin Luther King, Jr.” and have been observed worldwide (one example per group). Have they been solved already? Why? Choose and use expressions from the lists from Activity 5. Report back to class.


Activity 7

Imagine that you are the panelists in Korina Sanchez and Cito Beltran's program, “Issue,” and you are asked to share opinion on “how government leaders/politicians support or rally against social injustice and equality.” Write down your ideas and remember to use —

1. the present perfect tense;

2. helpful expressions to clarify, emphasize points of observation or express opinions.



E. Literature

Activity 1

With a partner, share your understanding, opinion, views, or point of observation on—

  1. “Truth is considered and ... life goes on in a straight line which is the basic cause of human confusion.”

  2. “In search of truth let the fire of hope and love burning!”


Activity 2. Capturing the Flavor of ...


Form a triad and clarify the meaning of the underlined words. Look up each word in the dictionary, and present its meaning nonverbally. (Use gestures to capture the flavor of its meaning.)

1. innocent man perish

2. look downcast

3. speak of misfortune

4. unjustly condemned

5. wretched man

6. long for vengeance

7. miserable man

8. you blab

9. flog the life out of

10. betray him not


  1. What do you do when you are denied of truth and robbed of your freedom and rights?

  2. Which kind of social injustice was experienced by Ivan Dimitrich Aksyonof?


Activity 3

Read the story, “God Sees The Truth, But Waits” by Leo Tolstoy.


God Sees the Truth, But Waits

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)


Leo Tolstoy is a Russian novelist and philosopher, considered one of the world's greatest writers. His masterpieces include “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina”







In the town of Vladimir lived a young merchant named Ivan Dmitritch Aksyonof. He had two shops and a house of his own. Aksyonof was a handsome, fair-haired, curly-headed fellow, full of fun, and very fond of singing. When quite a young man he had been given to drink, and was riotous when he had had too much, but after he married he gave up drinking, except now and then.

One summer, Aksyonof was going to the Nizhnny Fair, and as he bade good-bye to his family, his wife said to him, "Ivan Dmitritch, do not start today; I have had a bad dream about you." Aksyonof laughed and said, "You are afraid that when I get to the fair I shall go on a spree." His wife replied: "I do not know what I am afraid of. All I know is that I had a bad dream. I dreamt you returned from the town, and when you took off your cap, I saw that your hair was quite grey." Aksyonof laughed. "That's a lucky sign," said he. "See if I don't sell out all my goods and bring you some presents from the fair. " So he said goodbye to his family and drove away.

When he had travelled halfway, he met a merchant whom he knew, and they put up at the same inn for the night. They had some tea together and then went to bed in adjoining rooms. It was not Aksyonof's habit to sleep late, and, wishing to travel while it was still cool he aroused his driver before dawn and told him to put in the horses.

Then he made his way across to the landlord of the inn (who lived in a cottage at the back), paid his bill, and continued his journey.

When he had gone about twenty-five miles, he stopped for the horses to be fed. Aksyonof rested awhile in the passage of the inn, then he stepped out into the porch and, ordering a samovar to be heated, got out his guitar and began to play. Suddenly, a troyka drove up with tinkling bells, and an official alighted, followed by two soldiers. He came to Aksyonof and began to question him, asking him who he was and whence he came. Aksyonof answered him fully and said, “Won't you have some tea with me?" But the official went on cross-questioning him and asking him "Where did you spend last night? Were you alone or with a fellow-merchant? Did you see the other merchant this morning? Why did you leave the inn before dawn?"

Aksyonof wondered why he was asked all these questions, but he described all that had happened and then added, "Why do you cross- question me as if I were a thief or a robber? I am travelling on business of my own, and there is no need to question me."

Then the official, calling the soldiers, said, "I am the police officer of this district, and I question you because the merchant with whom you spent last has been found with his throat cut. We search your things



They entered the house. The soldiers and the police officer unstrapped Aksyonof's luggage and searched it. Suddenly the officer drew a knife out of a bag, crying, "Whose knife is this?" Aksyonof looked, and seeing a bloodstained knife taken from his bag, he was frightened.


"How is it there is blood on this knife?"


Aksyonof tried to answer but could hardly utter a word a word and only stammered; "I don't know—not mine."


Then the police officer said, "This morning the merchant was found in bed with his throat cut. You are the only person who could have done it. The house was locked from inside, and no else was there. Here is this bloodstained knife in your bag, and your face and manner betray you! Tell me how you killed him and how much you stole."


Aksyonof swore he had not done it; that he had not seen the merchant after they had tea together; that he had no money except eighth thousand rubles of his own, and that the knife was not his. But his voice was broken, his face pale, and he trembled with fear as though he were guilty.


The police officer ordered the soldiers to bind Aksyonof and to put him in the cart. As they tied his feet together and flung him into the cart, Aksyonof crossed himself and wept. His money and goods were taken from him, and he was sent to the nearest town and imprisoned there. Inquiries as to his character were made in Vladimir. The merchants and other inhabitants of that town said that in former days he used to drink and waste his time but that he was a good man. Then the trial came on. He was charged with murdering a merchant from Ryazan and robbing him of twenty thousand rubles.


His wife was in despair and did not know what to believe. Her children were all quite small; one was a baby at her breast. Taking them all with her, she went to the town where her husband was in goal. At first she was not allowed to see him but, after begging, she obtained permission from the officials and was taken to him. When she saw her husband in prison-dress and in chains, shut up with thieves and criminals, she fell down and did not come to her senses for a long time. Then she drew her children to her and sat down near him. She told him of things at home and asked about what happened to him. He told her all, and she asked, "What can we do now?"


"We must petition the Tsar not to let an innocent man perish.”


His wife told him that she had sent a petition to the Tsar, but that it had not been accepted. Aksyonof did not reply but only looked downcast. Then his wife said, "It was not for nothing I dreamt your hair had turned grey. You remember? You should not have started that



day." And passing her fingers through his hair, she said: "Vanya, dearest, tell your wife the truth. Was it not you who did it?"


"So you, too, suspect me!" said Aksyonof, and hiding his face in his hands, he began to weep. Then a soldier came to say that the wife and children must go away; and Aksyonof said good-bye to his family for the last time. When they were gone, Aksyonof recalled what had been said, and when he remembered that his wife also had suspected him, he said to himself, "It seems that only God can know the truth. It is to Him alone we must appeal and from Him alone expect mercy."


And Aksyonof wrote no more petitions, gave up all hope, and only prayed to God.


Aksyonof was condemned to be flogged and sent to the mines. So he was flogged with a knout, and when the wounds made by the knout were healed he was driven to Siberia with other convicts.


For twenty-six years Aksyonof lived as a convict in Siberia. His hair turned as snow and his beard grew long, thin and grey. All his mirth went; he stooped; he walked slowly, spoke little, and never laughed, but he often prayed.


In prison Aksyonof learnt to make boots and earned a little money with which he bought The Lives of the Saints. He read this book when there was light enough in the prison; and on Sundays in the prison-church he read the lessons and sang in the choir; for his voice was still good.


The prison authorities liked Aksyonof for his meekness, and his fellow-prisoners respected him: they called him "Grandfather," and “Saint." When they wanted to petition the prison authorities about anything, they always made Aksyonof their spokesman, and when there were quarrels among the prisoners they came to him to put things right, and to judge the matter.


No news reached Aksyonof from his home, and he did not even know if his wife and children were still alive.


One day a fresh gang of convicts came to the prison. In the evening the old prisoners collected around the new ones and asked them what towns or villages they came from, and what they were sentenced for. Among the rest Aksyonof sat down near the newcomers, and listened with downcast air to what was said.


One of the new convicts, a tall, strong man of sixty, with a closely cropped grey beard, was telling the others what he had been arrested for.


"Well, friends," he said, "I only took a horse that was tied to a sledge, and I was arrested and accused of stealing. I said I had only taken it to get home quicker, and had then let it go; besides, the driver was a personal friend of mine. So I said, 'It's all right.' 'No,' said they 'you stole it.' But how or where I stole it they could not say. I once



really have been sent here for nothing at all...Eh, but it's lies I'm telling you; I've been to Siberia before, but I did not stay long."


"Where are you from?" asked some one.


"From Vladimir. My family are of that town. My name is Makar, and they call me Semyonitch." Aksyonof raised his head and said: “Tell me, Semyonitch, do you know anything of the merchants Aksyonof, of Vladimir? Are they still alive?"


"Know them? Of course I do. The Aksyonofs are rich, though their father is in Siberia: a sinner like ourselves, it seems! As for you, Gran'dad, how did you come here?"


Aksyonof did not like to speak of his misfortune. He only sighed and said, "For my sins I have been in prison these twenty-six years.”


"What sins?" asked Makar Semyonitch.


But Aksyonof only said, "Well, well — I must have deserved it!” He would have said no more, but his companions told the newcomer how Aksyonof came to be in Siberia: how someone had killed a merchant and had put a knife among Aksyonofs things, and Aksyonof had been unjustly condemned.


When Makar Semyonitch heard this, he looked at Aksyonof, slapped his own knee, and exclamed, "Well, this is wonderful! Really wonderful! But how old you've grown, Gran'dad!"


The others asked him why he was so surprised and where he had seen Aksyonof before; but Makar Semyonitch did not reply. He only said: "It's wonderful that we should meet here, lads!" These words made Aksyonof wonder whether this man knew who had killed the merchant; so he said, "Perhaps, Semyonitch, you have heard of that affair or maybe you've seen me before?"


"How could I help hearing? The world's full of rumors. But it's long ago, and I've forgotten what I heard."


"Perhaps you heard who killed the merchant?" asked Aksyonof.


Makar Semyonitch laughed and replied, "It must have been him in whose bag the knife was found! If some one else hid the knife there. He's not a thief till he's caught, as the saying is. How could any one put a knife into your bag while it was under your head? It would surely have woke you up?" When Aksyonof heard these words, he felt sure this was the man who had killed the merchant. He rose and went away. All that night Aksyonof lay awake.


He felt terribly unhappy, and all sorts of images rose in his mind. There was the image of his wife as she was when he parted from her to go to the fair. He saw her as if she were present; her face and her eyes rose before him; he heard her speak and laugh. Then he saw his children, quite little, as they were at that time: one with a little cloak on, another at his mother's breast. And then he remembered himself as he



use to be—young and merry. He remembered how he sat playing the guitar in the porch of the inn where he was arrested, and how free from care he had been. He saw, in his mind, the place where he was flogged, the executioner, and the people standing around; the chains, the convicts, all the twenty-six years of his prison life, and his premature old age. The thought of it all made him so wretched that he was ready to kill himself.


“And it's all that villain's doing!” thought Aksyonof. And his anger was so great against Makar Semyonitch that he longed for vengeance, even if he himself should perish for it. He kept repeating prayers all night but could get no peace. During the day he did not go near Makar Semyonitch, nor even look at him.


A fortnight passed in this way. Aksyonof could not sleep at nights and was so miserable that he did not know what to do.


One night as he was walking about the prison he noticed some earth that came rolling out from under one of the shelves on which the prisoners slept. He stopped to see what it was. Suddenly Makar Semyonitch crept out from under the shelf, and looked up at Aksyonof with frightened face. Aksyonof tried to pass without looking at him, but Makar seized his hand and told him that he had dug a hole under the wall, getting rid of the earth by putting it into his high-boots, and emptying it out everyday on the road when the prisoners were driven to their work.


“Just you keep quiet, old man, and you shall get out, too. If you blab, they'll flog the life out of me, but I will kill you first." Aksyonof trembled with anger as he looked at his enemy. He drew his hand away, saying, "I have no wish to escape, and you have no need to kill me; you killed me long ago! As to telling of you—I may do so or not, as God shall direct."


Next day, when the convicts were led out to work, the convoy soldiers noticed that one or other of the prisoners emptied some earth out of his boots. The prison was searched, and the tunnel was found. The Governor came and questioned all the prisoners to find out who had dug the hole. They all denied any knowledge of it. Those who knew, would not betray Makar Semyonitch, knowing he would be flogged almost to death. At last the Governor turned to Aksyonof, whom he knew to be a just man, and said:


You are a truthful old man; tell me, before God, who dug the hole?”


Makar Semyonitch stood as if he were quite unconcerned, looking at the Governor and not so much as glancing at Aksyonof. Aksyonof's lips and hands trembled, and for a long time he could not utter a word. He thought, "Why should I screen him who ruined my life? Let him pay for what I have suffered. But if I tell, they will probably



flog the life out of him and maybe I suspect him wrongly. And after all, what good would it be to me?"


"Well, old man," repeated the Governor, "tell us the truth: who has been digging under the wall?"


Aksyonof glanced at Makar Semyonitch, and said, "I cannot say, your honor. It is not God's will that I should tell! Do what you like with me; I am in your hands."


However much the Governor tried, Aksyonof would say no more, and so the matter had to be left.


That night, when Aksyonof was lying on his bed and just beginning to doze, someone came quietly and sat down on his bed. He peered through the darkness and recognized Makar.


"What more do you want of me?" asked Aksyonof. "Why have you come here?"


Makar Semyonitch was silent. So Aksyonof sat up and said, "What do you want? Go away, or I will call the guard!"


Makar Semyonitch bent close over Aksyonof, and whispered, "Ivan Dmitritch, forgive me!"


"What for?" asked Aksyonof.


"It was I who killed the merchant and hid the knife among your things. I meant to kill you, too, but I heard a noise outside; so I hid the knife in your bag and escaped out of the window."


Aksyonof was silent and did not know what to say. Makar Semyonitch slid off the bed-shelf and knelt upon the ground. “Ivan Dmitritch," said he, "forgive me!" For the love of God, forgive me! I will confess that it was I who killed the merchant, and you will be released and can go to your home."


"It is easy for you to talk," said Aksyonof, "but I have suffered for you these twenty-six years. Where could I go to now? My wife is dead, and my children have forgotten me. I have nowhere to go.'


Makar Semyonitch did not rise, but beat his head on the floor. "Ivan Dmitritch, forgive me!" he cried. "When they flogged me with the knout, it was not so hard to bear as it is to see you now, yet you had pity on me, and did not tell. For Christ's sake forgive me, wretch that I am!” And he began to sob.


When Aksyonof heard him sobbing, he, too, began to weep.


“God will forgive you!' said he. “Maybe I am a hundred times worse than you.” And at these words his heart grew light and the longing for home left him. He no longer had any desire to leave the prison but only hoped for his last hour to come.


In spite of what Aksyonof had said, Makar Semyonitch confessed his guilt. But when the order for his release came, Aksyonof was already dead.



Answer these questions:

  1. Justice is a value that man holds dear, and for which may thirst. What kind of justice does the story dramatize? How did Aksyonof accept this kind of justice?

  2. Why was Aksyonof imprisoned? On the basis of the evidences presented in the story, could such a conviction happen in our country at present? Defend your answer.

  3. How did Aksyonof discover the truth?

  4. What specific statement of Makar made Aksyonof sure that the former was the murderer?


Activity 4

Group 1

Work in groups of ten (10) and complete the characters' grid with information called for.


Group 2

List down the questions Aksyonof asked himself when the governor told him to reveal who had dug the hole.


Group 3

Why did Aksyonof decide not to answer the governor? If you were Aksyonof would you have done the same? Why?

a. How would you reply to the governor?

b. Would you have said what he said to Makar? Why or why not?


Group 4. Conflict As a Literary Theme

Describe the exterior conflict or the problem met by Aksyonof and explain how he solved it. Did this conflict change his perspective in life? Did it cause a struggle within himself? (interior conflict) Explain.


Group 5. Title Talk

Explain the meaning of the story's title and highlight the probable reasons why God allows evil to remain unpunished for so long.



Group 6

Compare and contrast Aksyonof, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy as to

a. the kind of social injustice they experienced/fought for

b. how they faced reality

c. how they fought social injustice

d. why they used "non-violent" ways to solve conflict


Group 7. Extending a Helping Hand

If you were given a chance to be a modern day Martin Luther King, Jr. or Robert Kennedy or Ivan Aksyonof, what civil rights/social problems would you give importance to? Why? Explain your course of action to solve the problems.


Group 8. Problem-Solution Match Up

Make a list of the social problems in your neighborhood. Feel that you are concerned youths who are tasked to solve these problems. Opposite each problem indicate what you propose to do. Discuss how you will go about it.


F. Writing

Pre-writing. Give Justice and Equality a Chance

Activity 1

Form groups of five (5) and mull on these two questions:

1. Can justice and equality for all men be achieved?

2. How can social injustice be avoided?


Read the following statements made by Fr. Corsie Legaspi during one of his sermons and connect each to the questions in Activity 1. Explain how each statement helps to clarify the essence of justice and equality for all.


Group 1

"Salvation is a gift that is not forced, but it is a divine mercy showered to those who are worthy of truth."


Group 2

"Make yourself worthy of promises and gifts you receive from the fountain head – our God – the Divine gift giver."



Group 3

“Mercy without justice is not enough but justice with mercy abounds."


Group 4

“It is not enough to have the best intention, but it is fitting to do the right thing at the best time."


Group 5

“It is not enough to do good but it is just to do right."


Activity 2. Justice For All/Stop Injustice Campaign

Brainstorm on the purpose and target of your campaign e.g. to make people in the community aware of injustice thru campaigns, slogans, logos, posters or brochures.


Activity 3. Form groups of seven (7) and perform the following tasks:


Group 1. Create A Slogan

Generate ideas for a slogan by recalling a radio/T.V., movie, or print ad about stopping injustices or inequalities. Then, choose a catchy slogan. Create your own slogan highlighting the purpose of your campaign.


Group 2

Brainstorm on an appropriate logo that illustrates the general theme of the campaign. Relate the logo to the slogan made by Group 1. Use concepts like:


Group 3. Campaign Poster

1.Decide on a design layout where you will put your

a. campaign slogan

b. campaign logo

c. illustration

d. information where people can find copies of the brochure

2.Remember to make your poster colorful, interesting, catchy, and forceful.


Group 4

Write an introduction of your brochure which is the heart of the campaign. Remember that the introduction describes the purpose of the campaign. It must explain the "why" of the campaign.


Group 5

Refresh your memories on events that led to social injustice such as discrimination, denial of civil rights, etc. Briefly describe the issues.


Group 6. Steps To Undertake

Remember the solutions to stop injustices mentioned in the earlier sets of activities. List them down and share them to the class.


Group 7. Resources at Hand

Scout for possible resources that can be tapped to promote the campaign. Make a list of organizations that may extend help against social injustice.


Revising and Editing

Each group presents the draft to the whole class for comments and suggestions on the content, style, grammar and spelling. Make necessary changes and corrections.

F. Closure

Write diary entries by answering these questions:

1.What five important things did you learn about practicing equality and social justice?
2.What aspects about being fair to all would you like to have learned more? Why?
3.What points do you need to remember when using the present perfect tense? Why?
4.Which expressions help you to clarify opinions, views and observations?

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