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A good argumentative essay topic dealing with almost any work of literature is why and/or why not the work is effective as a piece of writing. So much attention is paid to the "content" of literature that very little is paid to the "form." Although the two are ideally inseparable, it is the form of any work -- the phrasing, the design, the skill of the writing -- that makes the work worth reading as a work of literature (that is, as a piece of writing in which we ideally admire the writing itself). You might want to focus on a part of the work that you found especially powerful, moving, memorable, etc., and ask yourself how, precisely, the author achieved this kind of impact. Think of close reading as slow motion replay applied to literature! Good luck with your project!
Questions I always think of are: In such a society, do you think rebellion is appropriate? Are the misfits rebels without a cause or heroes? Why is it that more people don't rebel? Of course the theme of the novel tells the author's perspective, but these are still questions worth exploring or such dystopia books wouldn't come out as often as they do. One of my favorites is We by Soviet author Yevgeny Zamyatin.
What questions did you have as you were reading? I have found that the best papers are about subjects/topics the student gets to choose or feels most passionately about...what arguments did you see? What can you defend? What interests you most? Do you think the society is realistic? Who is the true hero of the series? Katniss is the protagonist (one of them), but is she a true hero? Choose a topic that you care about, and then you will have half the battle won.
I think #2 gives you a number of good ideas that you could use for an argumentative essay. You might want to consider in addition to these excellent ideas the way that entertainment is presented and what that says about the society in this novel, and if there is a message for us. Certainly the concept of hosting a TV show where children are forced to kill each other until one child remains standing is barbaric, yet perhaps this novel is pointing towards the way in which we already enjoy reality shows and suggesting that this is their logical conclusion. What do you think?
You might want to consider what message the author is sending. This is definitely a dystopia or allegory. What is the author saying about our world? Why write this particular book, at this particular time? The book has disturbing content, such as children fighting and dying for food. What does this tell you about our culture? Why did the author choose to include it?
An argumentative essay is designed to allow the author make a claim and defend/justify the claim. Focus of the paper can be on an opinion, an interpretation, or the cause/effect of a situation within the story.
Some topics that would work for an argumentative essay regarding The Hunger Games could be:
1. Katniss changes in many different ways over the action of the novel.
2. Katniss and Peeta's relationship during the Hunger Games changed the way that Katniss regarded the Capitol.
3. The Hunger Games is a novel which makes one consider the idea of "big brother" in our nation today.
4. The Hunger Games is an excellent example of how a country can insure that only the strongest survive.
5. There are many aspects of pop culture in the novel The Hunger Games.
I hope one of these works for you. Good luck with your essay!
A few topics that you could choose include:
-how the revolution that occurred is a good thing that helped and needed to be done,or how it was a bad thing that shouldn't have happened.
-how that Capitol and its control was useful to the society, or how it was detrimental.
-how Katniss and the rest of the characters changed for the better, or perhaps worse, physically and psychologically.
I wanna add my topic:
Why is the Dystopian Genre so Popular?
My short essay on this:
Dystopian literature is so popular in today’s world because it is easy to relate to. The word dystopia comes from adding the Latin prefix dys- , which means bad, and -topia, which means place so, the word dystopia means “bad place”. The idea of a dystopian society is very appealing to the modern audience, and one of the biggest ideas behind dystopian literature is to help people to better understand the characteristics of the society being portrayed. Some authors who write dystopian literature are even writing their feeling on what they think our world could turn out to look like if we didn’t control our technology.
The fear of technology is a big part of dystopian literature because it is so easy to relate to, in today’s world technology has grown and continues to evolve everyday and i think that today’s society’s number one fear is that technology will take over and change the world as we know it. For example, the movie I Robot, based in the year 2035, where people are dependent on robots which are specifically programmed to help humans and follow the three laws of robotics. But when the main character, Detective Del Spooner starts investigating the homicide of Dr. Alfred Lanning, he suspects that the death might not be a suicide, but the result of one of the robots. All robots are programmed by three laws, but Spooner starts to wonder if a robot can in fact feel emotions, and possibly murder. But if the detective’s suspicions are true, he is going to have a hard time convincing everyone. (I, Robot. Dir. Alex Proyas. Perf. Will Smith. 20th Century Fox, 2004. DVD.)
The dystopian genre is a big hit in today’s world, especially because most of the stories written are in an adolescent's perspective making the reader think of interesting topics that seem real but are just fictional stories. For example,in the movie The Hunger Games which is set in a future North America known as "Panem", the Capitol selects a boy and a girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen from each of the twelve districts to compete in the annual "Hunger Games", a televised fight-to-the-death. The film is centered around a 16 year old girl named Katniss Everdeen from District 12, who volunteers for her 12 year old sister, Prim, when Prim's name is chosen. Katniss's fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta Mellark and herself are then rushed to the Capitol, where she undergoes intense training before being thrust into the arena to fight to become the victor of the seventy-fourth annual Hunger Games (Hunger Games. Dir. Gary Ross. Perf. Jennifer Lawrence. Lionsgate, 2012. DVD.). because the characters in the film are so easy to relate to The Hunger Games is one of the most popular movies in today’s world and has really good ratings.
The book and the movie Fahrenheit 451 both portray a dystopian society with the main character, Guy Montag, starting out as a firefighter who lives in a world where books are banned and the firefighters are the ones that star the fires and burn any books they find. Montag who likes his job and is okay with his society until he meets a young woman named Clarisse who asks him “Are you happy?” (Bradbury, Ray. "Page 10." Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967. N. pag. Print.). After Clarisse asks him this, Montag cannot stop thinking about her and what she said and starts to question himself and the society he lives in. Montag starts to realize that his world isn't what it seems to be and starts hoarding books and eventually runs away and lives with the book people. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is a very popular dystopian novel and i believe it is because it is realistic and easy to understand why the books would have been banned in the first place, even in today’s world books are banned for certain reasons.
The dystopian genre is and always will be a popular topic, no matter what the book or film is about people will always be ready to use their imaginations and dive into the dystopian worlds that the writers and directors of today happen to come up with.
Since it is an argumentative essay you can use how the characters have changed throughout the course of the series or even the course of the first book. How the characters in the books had a change of mind of the Capitol and how relationships changed. You can even put a point across of survival of the fittest.
Some good questions could include how the multitude of characters changed throughout the story.
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