You will write a coherent essay (intro, topic sentences, transitions, focused body paragraphs, specific examples and analysis, conclusion…) of at least four (4) full pages.

Identify a specific thematic or textual element (event, image, character trait, decision, value, concern, problem, metaphor, job, gender role, hierarchy, power structure, fear, problem, solution, community………) in Parable and Soylent Green

Discuss, analyze, compare, contrast, describe, and otherwise explore this element in the two texts to produce a coherent argument. 

Go beyond description or cataloging of similarities.  Analyze.  Argue a point or insight. 

Consider the following questions, but do not try to answer all of them:

How does this specific element work, how does it shape the narratives, how does it shape people’s survival or choices or emotions or hopes for the future?  Why is it an important element of the texts?  How does this specific element support or illustrate or convey the overall “point” of the texts?  How does science fiction engage with this theme?  Why?   If science fiction is trying to be a warning or prediction or social commentary, how does this specific element fit into an understanding of our future?  Basically, what does this element seem to “mean” in these texts? 

You can include short references to other science fiction examples, including Vatos, The Road, and The Book of Eli, but you should not include “real world” research.

Your final should not overlap in topics, arguments, or material with your Parable essay.

You might consider elements like:

  • Work, wages, working conditions, unpaid labor
  • Women’s rights, safety, sexual autonomy
  • Masculinity, power, authority
  • Wealth, power, abuse of power, luxury
  • Corporate power, abuse of power
  • Agriculture, relationships to the land
  • Hunger, food, lack of resources
  • Metaphors, symbols
  • The collapse of social norms, taboos
  • The role of the environment in social stability/instability
  • The role of religion, faith, or optimism in times of crisis
  • Justice, the law, policing, punishment, fairness, rights
  • Community, mutual support, sharing, trust, family
  • Historical references, American history, the idea of America as a democracy
  • Dignity, safety, respect for the elderly, rights, social norms

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