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First of all, I applaud you for tackling such a difficult book in the 11th grade. Geek Lovehas been simultaneously hailed and critically shredded for the shock value of its main characters and the premise of its story line. My first piece of advice is to avoid taking a moral stance for or against the controversies presented by the Binewski family, and everything they stand for.
While you could focus on the shock and horror of the intentional creation of such children, Arty's cult following, or the agenda of Mary Lick, I think that would prove to be a very difficult essay to write. Instead I encourage you to focus on another thing I think Dunn does particularly well, which is the crafting of unique characters. This would be a more digestible angle from which to create an essay. Several broad themes could be explored through an analysis or comparison of the main characters. To get you started in topic brainstorming, I offer the following ideas:
- Theme of manipulationas presented by Arty versus the twins. Questions to consider: How does Arty create and maintain his power over others? What does this accomplish for him? Contrastly, how do the twins create and maintain power? What does this accomplish for them? In the end, who is ultimately most powerful?
- Theme of jealousy as presented through competition of each character. Questions to consider: What role does jealousy play in the success of the Binewski Fabulon? How does jealousy control and shape each character?
- The theme of love as presented through various characters. Questions to consider: How does each character show love? In what ways does the book (or different characters) present conditional versus unconditional love? What is each characters motivation for love, and do they ultimate receive what they are looking for?
My best advice is to keep your essay topic as simple and broad as possible, and to focus on the differences in the characters between one another, rather than looking at the Binewski family (the "Geeks") as compared to "norms."
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