Suggest potential essay-type questions that could be answered on Super Sad True Love Story and provide examples that could be expanded on in the answers to such questions.  5 essay types...

Suggest potential essay-type questions that could be answered on Super Sad True Love Story and provide examples that could be expanded on in the answers to such questions. 

5 essay types questions and use 3 examples to answer each question

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The digital world continues to encroach on personal relationships, making it more difficult to form sincere, lasting friendships. In what ways does Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart reflect this modern phenomenon?

  • “I have my own dying empire to contend with, and I do not wish for any other.” There is a predictable thread of loneliness and an isolation in the thought that a phone or device is the first thing a person reaches out for.
  • "I thought about that terrible calumny of the new generation: that books smell.” 

Meaningful communication is threatened and real love is jeopardized. Explain why Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story is a "super sad" love story. 

  • “I feel safe with him because he is so not my ideal and I feel like I can be myself because I'm not in love with him.”
  • “Remember this... develop a sense of nostalgia for something, or you'll never figure out what's important.”

The twenty-first century is electronically-driven and traditional relationships are hardly recognizable. Out-of-control debt and riots that result from economic issues are already a reality. Can you relate to the situations that develop in Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart?

  • There is a familiarity to the issues raised in this novel. “Reading is difficult. People just aren't meant to read anymore. We're in a post-literate age. You know, a visual age." The reader knows or can predict the outcome of some of the decisions as they are instantly recognizable and quite possible in real time. 

Explain your understanding of the dystopia that is evident in Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart.

  • Rather than an apocalyptic event and a need to recreate a reality afterwards, Shteyngart allows this situation to creep up on the unsuspecting characters of this novel. 
  • A dystopia has various extremes but reflects hopelessness and an inability to change the situation. "...on a day meaninglessly close to the present one, meaninglessly like the present one, I would disappear from the earth."

Why is Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart a good title for this novel? Consider Shteyngart's apparent satire in choosing this title and whether he prepares the reader for what follows.  

  • It is typical of mankind to ignore the effects of development and to remove himself from any accountability for the future. This novel mocks man's attempt to create a sustainable future. The older generation is getting younger which is wholly ironic as we strive to live longer, maybe even considering Lenny's attempts at immortality to be realistic. People do live longer and perhaps fail to realize that the youth also get smarter and new technology is the domain of "Global Teens" - directly inferring the age group of the most productive members of society. 
  • Readers should be able to relate to the modern concept of a bucket list and how essential it seems to be to be involved in more adventurous pursuits.   "Otherwise,how would you know that you have lived your summertime best?"

The global setting for Gary Shteyngart's novel and the economic meltdown that occurs reflects a situation that could be more real than science-fiction.  

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