Question: Write a speech about what the text 'The Maze Runner' has taught you about dystopian texts A dystopian text is that which revolves around an imagined and futuristic world full of oppression, human misery and control. Unfortunately, some of these features of a dystopia are present in modern society. I gain an increased amount of understanding and learn more about dystopian texts through viewing them more often. I am here before you to discuss The Maze Runner's ability to deepens my understanding of the features of dystopian texts through its exploration of such, forming the basis for a dystopic society. I have learnt that features that are central to a dystopia include themes of 'persistence and bravery' in relation to the protagonist, 'environmental control' and the setting which are clearly established within The Maze Runner as they form a generic idea of the features of dystopian texts. Let us begin with the theme of persistence and bravery. The Maze Runner is a film through which I have learnt the various features of dystopian texts, broadening my understanding of a dystopia. The film explores themes or elements which are central to dystopic texts. Therefore, it is effective in forming my understanding of features of dystopian texts in general. For instance, throughout The Maze Runner, the theme of 'persistence and bravery' is constantly portrayed in relation to the protagonist Thomas. The theme depicts a rebellious, determined and strong Thomas to the audience which is central to that of a dystopian protagonist.  In saying this, the theme is key to a dystopia as a protagonist within such a society would need to rise up against oppression and the  surrounding environment of hardship and savagery, indicating determination and bravery. More specifically, Thomas demonstrates his bravery and will within the film by sprinting into the closing maze to save the lives of two other Gladers. Shortly after Thomas does so, Minho remarks "You just got yourself killed". Minho's statement demonstrates Thomas' bravery as he suggests Thomas guaranteed himself death by running in, depicting the protagonists strong will and determination to a large extent through his actions. Within this scene, Thomas is seen amongst the other Gladers in the midst of dark lighting and a long shot of a griever chasing him, depicting his bravery and consistency. Hence, the film establishes a bond between the protagonist and 'persistence and bravery' which is key to a dystopia in the sense of my understanding of these features. Finally, The Maze Runner portrays to its audience the theme of 'persistence and bravery' in regards to its protagonist Thomas which is central to a dystopia, broadening my understanding of a dystopic text through the exploration of such a feature. The Maze Runner is a dystopian text which has strengthened my understanding of a dystopic society through the use of a generic setting typical to that of many dystopian texts. The film encapsulates a setting of the Glade as being that of which is central to a dystopia, broadening my perception of a dystopia and its features.  Such a setting is key to a dystopia as it needs to conform to other features including control and restriction of freedom. For instance, the Glades square-like base surrounded by thick large barriers of alternating maze holding deadly grievers indicates a setting typical to a dystopia where restriction and control are common which is evident through the maze. More specifically, within a scene, Chuck remarks that the Gladers “are not supposed to leave (the maze)” in which Gally aggressively shoves Thomas away from the maze. Here, the setting of the Glade and its unknown surroundings are deemed to be dangerous, forcing the tributes upon restrictions and establishing a form of control. Moreover, the setting conforms to control through the grievers and closing/alternating maze which is also associated with restriction, making it a setting that is common to many dystopias. Finally, The Maze Runner has taught/informed me of a more broader perception of a dystopic society through the use of a setting which is typical to that of many dystopian texts, providing for a feature to associate dystopian texts with. The Maze Runner has deepened my understanding of dystopian texts through the exploration of control and its significance to a dystopia. The film strongly promotes corporate and technological control which is a feature that is central to a dystopia, broadening my perception. Control is important to a dystopia as it restricts citizens and prevents individuality so that the society may worship an allocated ideology. The text explores technological control through the use of grievers, the alternating maze and box that are linked back to the bureau of WICKD. More specifically, the film depicts control within a scene in which WCKD begin the opening of another section where the audience views large pillars manoeuvring between Minho and Thomas who are forced to sprint to another section, indicating WICKD's power over the Gladers through technological control as they are seen as inferior at a high angle. Moreover, the feature of control within the film broadens ones understanding of dystopian texts as it is associated with the restriction of citizens and the way they function. Finally, The Maze Runner explores the feature of control which is significant to a dystopia, broadening ones perception of a dystopia as one can associate such control with elements of restriction of freedom when viewing similar dystopic texts. In summation, dystopic societies are characterised by misery, futuristic settings and oppression. The film study of The Maze Runner has strengthened my perception of dystopian texts through exploring relevant features including 'persistence and bravery', control and setting which can be associated with when viewing similar texts, forming the basis for what a dystopia is. PLEASE READ THIS AND GIVE FEEDBACK THANK YOU, IT IS IN THE FORM OF AN INFORMATIVE SPEECH, MUCH APPRECIATED

Expert Answers

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The first thing that I want to point out is something that was confusing for me, and will likely confuse your audience as well.  The opening statement and opening paragraph specifically mentions dystopian "texts."  No problem there.  I know exactly what you are talking about.  "1984," "Brave New World," "Hunger Games," "The Maze Runner," etc.  

My confusion arose immediately when I read the first line of the second paragraph.  "The Maze Runner is a film. . . "  The opening paragraph makes it clear that your speech is going to discuss texts.  Why do you switch to film discussion?  If you want to focus on texts AND films, get rid of the word "text" and switch it for "story."  That will allow you to focus on the book and film interchangeably.  

2nd critique:  The first paragraph ends by stating that you will begin discussing the "theme of persistence and bravery."  Cool.  I like that thematic concept.  I was thrown off though when that theme wasn't discussed until the 4th sentence of the second paragraph.  I would eliminate the first three sentences.  They mainly repeat what the first paragraph established.  That also allows the final sentence of the first paragraph to function as a great transition statement to the second paragraph's main idea. 

3rd: Good job signalling your audience that you are closing.  "In summary" is a good verbal signal. Conclusions are hard too.  You want to summarize without repeating.  I have a warning about your final sentence though.  You wrote "when viewing similar texts."  My concern is that at no point does the speech discuss similar texts.  It focuses on only "The Maze Runner" story.  Either discuss similar texts in the speech, or don't mention similar texts in the conclusion.  

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