I am an IB student and needs help choosing a topic for my Literature A EE. I have decided on the <Sand Child> by Ben Jelloun, a book that isn't too popular and hasn't been overdone, but is...

I am an IB student and needs help choosing a topic for my Literature A EE.

I have decided on the <Sand Child> by Ben Jelloun, a book that isn't too popular and hasn't been overdone, but is interesting and meaningful.wever, I'm having difficulties in choosing a good research topic. I'm interested in all the novel's main themes of gender inequalities, gender complexities, unique narrative styles, etc.

However, I'm having difficulties in choosing and forming a good research topic. Could you recommend a few for me?

Thanks in advance!

Asked on by angeljoy97

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Your choice is a good one, and there are many research possibilities to explore. I have tried to incorporate the IB focus into my suggestions to the degree possible.

Some research into the inheritance laws regarding females in eastern and western cultures could yield some interesting results.  We tend to think that those of some of these eastern cultures as the only ones disfavoring female inheritance, but that is not the case.  In fact, many western cultures historically have not been all that different. You will find that you are comparing, rather than contrasting, as you discover how female inheritance laws were traditionally.

Another area for research might be the handling of those who conceal their gender in literature and film. There are instances of this from Shakespeare to Mrs. Doubtfire.  What are the implications of this in literature?  Why has the author/director chosen to offer this concealment as a plot element? What are the responses of those around the person who is concealing?  What does this tell us about gender perceptions? On a similar note, there are instances of women concealing their gender in real life, to take a job or to fight in a war that you might do research on, considering how the societies in which these women lived forced them to do this in order to be fulfilled.

Gender complexity, which you have already referenced, is beginning to have its own body of literature, as we finally understand that it indeed far more complex than one's body parts. Do eastern and western cultural differences play into this at all? Are the elements for what a society considers feminine or masculine different or the same?

And of course, the most obvious path for research would be an inquiry into the religious aspect of your book. What are the similarities and differences in the major world religions' treatment of females?  What roles are they permitted to play in the religion? What restrictions do they have?  What freedoms are they permitted? What are the equalities and inequalities for females? You are living in a good time to do this sort of research, since there is increasing attention on the eastern world, which is good, since so many of us live in our own religious bubbles.

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