Thursday, March 25, 2010

Defining Dystopia

In today's senior English class, we had guidance come do a presentation on life after high school. The guidance office has plenty of resources for whatever you plan to do, from college to military to going straight into the workforce! After this presentation, we prepared some more to start reading The Hunger Games. We began by focusing on two essential questions: "What is wrong with our world?" and "What is right in our world?" We brainstormed and recorded words on the board--this is what we came up with:

No Peace/ War
Government/ Too many laws/ Controlling Government
No understanding
Prejudice/ Discrimination against Gays and Different Religions and Race and Physical and Gender and Age
Lack of Food
Economic Discrimination

Freedoms - fighting for what you believe in, freedom of speech, religion, right to bear arms, freedom of the press, freedom of expression

Laws (some)

Apparently we were rather pessimistic today!

To make things even more cheerful, we then examined the word dystopia. It's prefix, dys means to be abnormal or impaired (think dysfunctional). The root word, topia means society. Therefore, we came to the conclusion that dystopia meant an impaired society. We will be focusing quite a bit on the idea of dystopia as we read The Hunger Games. Today, we discussed the fact that there are seven attributes a society must possess in order to be considered a dystopia. As we read, we focused on one of them--poverty. After reading to page 10, each student found a quote that proved that the characters of the novel were living in poverty. As we read further, we will look for more indicators and evidence that the society depicted qualifies as a dystopian society. And perhaps we will realize that the world we live in is not quite a dystopia...

-Ms. Audy

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