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The following quotes illustrate the topic's ambiguity.  Use these to establish the scope of your topic--to begin to specify the subtopics that verbalize various differing opinions on the same issue--to begin to develop a to guide your reading.

"Hope is a waking dream."    Aristotle

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper."    Francis Bacon

"When hope is taken away from a people, moral degeneration follows swiftly thereafter."    Pearl S. Buck

"To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death."    Pearl S. Buck

"Hope costs nothing."    Colette

         "Hope" is the thing with feathers--
         That perches on the soul--
         And sings the tune without the words--
         And never stops--at all--
            -- Emily Dickinson

"A woman's hopes are woven of sunbeams; a shadow annihilates them."    George Eliot

"He that lives upon hope will die fasting."    Benjamin Franklin

"Hope is generally a wrong guide, though it is very good company by the way."    Lord Halifax

"Everything that is done in the world is done by hope."    Martin Luther

"Hope is the struggle of the soul, breaking loose from what is perishable, and attesting her eternity."    Herman Melville

"Hope springs eternal in the human breast;  Man never is, but always (wants) to be blest."    Alexander Pope

"Our hopes, often though they deceive us, lead us pleasantly along the path of life."    Francois de La Rochefoucauld

"The miserable have no other medicine
         But only hope.
            -- William Shakespeare

Abbey, Edward.  Cactus Country.  New York:  Time-Life Books, 1973.
Carver, Raymond.  "A Small, Good Thing."   Prize Stories 1983.  Ed. William
Abrahams.  New York:  Double Day Dell Publishing Group, 1983.                  Pages 1-25.
Dillard, Annie.  Teaching a Stone to Talk:  Expeditions and Encounters.
New York:  Harper and Row, 1982.
DuBois, W. E. B.  The Souls of Black Folk.  New York, NY:  Dodd
 Mead Company, Inc., 1961.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo.  "The Transcendentaltist." Essays and Lectures. Ed.Joel Porte. New York, NY:  Literary Classics of the United States                 of  America, Inc., 1983. Pages 191-209.
Faulkner, William.  "I Decline to Accept the Decline of Man."  The Book of Virtues.  Ed.  William J. Bennett.  New York"  Simon and Schuster,                 1993.  Pages.
Kennedy, Robert.  "A Tiny Ripple of Hope."  Twentieth Century Speeches.
Ed. Brian McArthur.  New York:  NY:  Penguin Book Company, 1992.
Pages 366-373.
McPhearson, James M.  Marching Towards Freedom.
Puller, Lewis B.  Fortunate Son.  New York:  Grove Weidenfeld, 1991.
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden and Civil Disobedience.  New York:
New American Library, 1980.
Twain, Mark.  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Updike, John.  "The City."  Prize Stories 1983.  Ed. William
Abrahams.  New York:  Double Day Dell Publishing Group, 1983.                  Pages 141-156.
Wills, Garry.  Certain Trumpets:  The Call of Leaders.  New York:  Simon and
Schuster, 1994.