Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fiction Fun in Writing Class

This semester I am using Kazuo Ishiguro’s speculative memoir Never Let Me Go (2005).
About the novel:

“The novel describes the life of Kathy H., a young woman of 31, focusing at first on her childhood at an unusual boarding school and eventually her adult life. The story takes place in a dystopian Britain, in which human beings are cloned to provide donor organs for transplants. Kathy and her classmates have been created to be donors, though the adult Kathy is temporarily working as a "carer," someone who supports and comforts donors as they are made to give up their organs and, eventually, submit to death. As in Ishiguro’s other works, the truth of the matter is made clear only gradually, via veiled but suggestive language and situations.” (wikkipedia)

I selected this novel because it:
• has an accessible first person narrative
• has only three main characters
• has a focused plotline
• deals with cutting edge issues in a familiar setting

Sample essay prompts:

How do you define family? What are the characteristics and responsibilities of family members? How does your definition relate to your community and/or cultural identity?

Is there a difference between bullying and teasing? If so, what are those differences? Explore aspects of each, such as: Is one or the other or both acceptable? Who has the responsibility to stop excessive bullying or teasing—the individual or members of society? Do you know someone who was bullied or teased and suffered as a result? What were the consequences?

What is creativity? Is everyone creative? Who benefits more from creativity, the individual or the culture in which that individual lives? Explore different types of creativity; consider different types of creativity and how society responds to them.

Consider what, if anything, a person’s prized possessions reveal about that person. Do the possessions tell you what that person values or do the possessions tell you more about the life that person has lived? Consider how which possessions are considered to be prized possessions change over time.

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