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One essay topic you might consider would investigate one of Mun's chief motifs and themes. The critics, who noted the distressing qualities of her dark story, praised Mun's ability to paint hope and aesthetic beauty with a single turn of a phrase or word out of the most bitter and dismal situation and circumstances.
You might explore this in your essay and address one or more of these questions (or similar ones that these might inspire:
- Does Mun's retreat into beauty represent a realistic picture of the general experience of people sharing a similar experience or is her gift for beauty and hope a prize held only by herself and her characters?
- Can Mun's example of creating beauty and hope from a word, a phrase or a thought be applicable in the general universal reader's life or is this a fantasy capability that is available only on the pages of Mun's novel?
- What other life experiences can you compare Mun's novel setting and characterizations to that allow a parallel to develop or to become apparent with real-life people, events and situations?
- You might consider how Miles form Nowhere is allegorical. Are beauty and hope allegorical concepts that teach moral lessons, and is the character Knowledge an allegorical figure?
I liked Knowledge. She'd stood up for me ... Knowledge told [a girl] to give back my sneakers because that was the right thing to do. ... I saw Knowledge at the end of the hall.
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