Vancouver Lights Topics for Further Study
by Earle Birney

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Topics for Further Study

(Poetry for Students)

Existentialism, a philosophy which holds that humanity is essentially alone in the universe and that individuals choose their own destinies, was a popular idea in the mid-twentieth century. After researching existentialist thinking, write an essay exploring how "Vancouver Lights" can be seen as an example of this philosophy. Use lines or phrases from the poem to support your claims.

Find a place of high altitude which affords a view of your city or town and go there on a moonless night. Write a short descriptive essay on your observations, paying particular attention to how the city lights change how you see what surrounds them.

After researching the history and causes of World War II, write a speculative essay proposing how you think the war could have been avoided.