In a Perfect World? Analyzing Dystopias and Modern Society
My students need class sets of the classic dystopias, "Brave New World" and "We," to read in literature circles.
Adolescents today are obsessed with dystopian literature! Intriguing science fiction books such as "The Hunger Games" and "The Giver" have become standard reading for young adults, causing them to ponder life in societies gone wrong, where freedoms and choice do not exist.
These books will be read by highly gifted 7th and 8th graders in my English Language Arts classroom.
Our middle school is located in a suburban town in central North Carolina. Our student body includes a diverse group of students from a variety of backgrounds.
These two novels -- "Brave New World" and "We" -- are exceptional examples of classic dystopian world literature. Both books explore complex and cautionary tales about humanity's future. These books will be part of a unit exploring utopias and dystopias, in which students will define and analyze characteristics of dystopian literature. They will also be challenged to consider their own idea of a perfect world, as well as consider how utopian ideals can create oppressive realities. My students choose to read one of these books in literature circles, comparing it with other young adult dystopias.
These novels will motivate students in reading high-interest, high-level works of science fiction.
It will also engage student creativity in writing their own versions of speculative fiction. Most importantly, these books will cause students to critically analyze their hopes and fears for a future world. Students will consider themselves as inheritors of this world with the power to make change.
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