Polls for Our Souls discussion

81 views
Discussion > What novel should I write my exam about

Comments Showing 1-27 of 27 (27 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Klara (new)

Klara Thea (klarathea) | 8 comments Hi
In order to get my bachelors degree in english I have to write a 25 pages assignment on whatever I would like as long as its relevant. However, I am lost on what to write about. I really enjoy working with coming of age stories and YA novels. I have enjoyed working with Hemmingway, metaphors, Moonlight (the movie), Catcher in the Rye, The Body by Stephen King and the movie adaptation. Loads more, but this is just to give you an idea of what I usually work with. But even something more modern like Anna and the French Kiss would do.

Do you have an idea of a subject? Even the craziest one would do by this point


message 2: by Rumell (last edited Apr 01, 2019 07:02AM) (new)

Rumell Khan (rkrespectedmember) | 1012 comments I would write a novel on sheep.


message 3: by Elyse (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) Something important like representation in YA novels whether it be minorities, mental illness, or LGBTQIA.


ElsaMakotoRenge (mantaicysnowflake) | 31 comments Something you love and won’t get bored researching!:) Maybe themes in a favorite book or series? Comparing some of your favorite characters and seeing similarities and differences?


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

The importance of wording in the text. Using words that stimulate the readers senses and make them feel they are there almost in the story.


message 6: by Dilanya (new)

Dilanya I'd totally go for YA cuz it's kinda easy to write abt tht & ppl intent to read YA-related-assignments (I think)


message 7: by Emily (new)

Emily W (RealReaderEmily)  | 1 comments You could compare books to their movie counter parts and discuss the way they are made, how things are decided, what they kept and didn't how it effected the movie. If you want to add a dash of representation you could do Five Feet Apart (chronic disease) and The Hate You Give (PoC). Both released in the last year


message 8: by James Q. (new)

James Q. Golden (jqg89) Stranger in a Strange land. Your assignment is pretty much pre-written in the book, right before the story starts. The introduction explains the cultural and political impact the novel had on the world and the huge spiritual and--at the same time--misunderstood wave it evoked.

If I were in your shoes, I'd love to write an assignment about it, as it was one of the main factors that initiated the whole 70s movement.

Its main points have also a lot of similarities with Tibetan Buddhism, which I find fascinating, as the relate to the concept of reality as the dream we all share, or Yume, as the Japanese Zen monks mention, or Nahual's dream as a lot of native American cultures ascribed to.

These and many more. Google the controversy and I think you'll find a lot of material on the subject.

Thou art God.


message 9: by Jordan (new)

Jordan (snicketypicket) You should definitely do If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin. It deals largely with racial injustice in the black community. Although the setting is the 1960s, I believe, it's very relevant today. But, you could take the classic route and do something like To Kill a Mockingbird or 1984, which both connect to events in real life. I think any of these books would make a great topic for a paper.


message 10: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 36 comments 25 pages is pretty long. I would suggest using 2-3 books that deal with the same subject (mental illness? immigration? etc.) and then comparing/contrasting their treatment of that subject.

A couple ideas:

The Fifth Season and Children of Blood and Bone are both written by black authors, and both use discrimination against magic users as a metaphor for discrimination in today's society. Is this an effective metaphor? Why or why not? How does the experience of discrimination affect the main characters of both novels? (One potential talking point: In Children of Blood and Bone, magic users have been deprived of their magic powers before the start of the book. In The Fifth Season, magic users have full command of their powers - but are arguably no less disenfranchised. Is this realistic? Sympathetic? What conclusions do the authors want us to draw about real-world power dynamics, and are those conclusions sensible?)

Challenger Deep and The Wicker King both deal with mental illness through the lens of a fantasy world that becomes indistinguishable from reality. Compare and contrast the main characters' experiences with unreality, and their path to overcoming unreality. (One potential talking point: In Challenger Deep, the main character's parents are deeply supportive. In The Wicker King, parents are absentee or otherwise useless. How does this impact their experiences?)


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Does it have to be a novel? What is core of the assignment? Something that has moved you or a book that has changed society in general?


message 12: by Caroline (new)

Caroline  (caro7) I'm not going to say anything specific. I'll say only choose a topic you feel passionate about. The assignment will feel like a breeze, not a chore, and you'll get 25 pages written in no time.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Caroline wrote: "I'm not going to say anything specific. I'll say only choose a topic you feel passionate about. The assignment will feel like a breeze, not a chore, and you'll get 25 pages written in no time."

Excellent advice.


message 14: by Leticia (new)

Leticia (leticiatoraci) I would compare different female characters and how they contribute to the story, for example, how the idea of a heroine is shown in different YA genres Ya/contemporary YA/fantasy or YA/science fiction.


message 15: by Melliott (new)

Melliott (goodreadscommelliott) | 427 comments How about The Dog Stars by Peter Heller?


message 16: by Rida (new)

Rida Imran  (ridaimran) | 40 comments How about The Hate U Give. It's pretty relevant, the main character is female black person and how she's a role model for young readers. You can also talk about the importance of adaptations in reaching more people. I think there would so much to talk about.

Or A Very Large Expanse of Sea, I haven't exactly read this yet. But it has POC muslim main character, and I've heard great things.

Or Wonder, there's so much to talk about. It has a great adaptation too


message 17: by Rumell (new)

Rumell Khan (rkrespectedmember) | 1012 comments Write about Astrology. I am doing that.


message 18: by Lissa (new)

Lissa | 49 comments An interesting book to write an Essay about would probably also be Torn Away by Jennifer Brown. For someone who is used to reading a lot of Action packed Fantasy novels it was a bit dull to read but it deals with a teenage Girl basically losing everything after a tronado destroys her home and her mother and Little sister die, so she's shipped off to distant relatives that she doesn't even know. I think it would be pretty interesting to write about books dealing with catastrophe in YA literature since that is such a hard Topic to turn into something readable for Young People.


message 19: by Dilanya (new)

Dilanya Make sure you choose a book that mean a lot to you 'cause if you can relate your personal experiences with the book you can definitely create a masterpiece.


message 20: by Nanou Nawel (new)

Nanou Nawel | 7 comments I think you should select a book that moved your soul from the first pages. That's how I selected my book for my Master dissertation, and I'm not disappointed at all. Let's your soul guide you !


message 21: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 36 comments Leticia wrote: "I would compare different female characters and how they contribute to the story, for example, how the idea of a heroine is shown in different YA..."

I like this idea! Some brainstorming off this general premise:

- In recent years, there's been a push for more "strong female characters" in YA fiction. Many books star a duo of "kickass girl and sensitive boy." (see, e.g., Lada and Radu in And I Darken; Kate and August in This Savage Song; Cyra and Akos in Carve the Mark) To what extent is this an effective subversion of gender roles? Compare these books with older children's novels where the boys are the fighters and the girls are the sensitive ones (e.g., The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe). To what extent do the modern books provide a straight-up reversal of those traditional gender roles, as opposed to a more nuanced portrayal? Are there ways in which traditional gender roles still creep back into these supposedly more progressive works?

- This blog post (not my blog) presents an interesting thesis about YA heroines: they aren't allowed to be overly feminine (because that's perceived as "weak"), but they also aren't allowed to be overly masculine (because that's not socially acceptable), so they occupy this weird gender-neutral-ish ground. Do you agree or disagree? With examples/counter-examples, of course. (For instance, Lada from And I Darken is a very overtly masculine heroine, but I feel like that's rare. I feel like even "tough" YA heroines generally have cracks/weaknesses in a way that isn't mirrored in their male counterparts. What do you think?)

- Because of the push for "strong female characters," modern YA features a lot of female fighters. (I mentioned various examples above, but see also: Inej/Nina from Six of Crows, Katniss from The Hunger Games, Yael from Wolf by Wolf) But are there other archetypes that remain male-dominated? For instance, I think trickster/schemer/mastermind is very heavily male (do you agree?). To the extent these differences exist, what do they say about our society's perception of men and women?


message 22: by Chris (new)

Chris Gager (chrisinmaine) | 62 comments Madame Bovary = most important book in the history of literature.


message 23: by anya (new)

anya | 21 comments Going with the gender stereotypes, you could think about how the internal and/or external struggles that the hero/heroine faces differs when they are dealing with male vs female villains/antagonists- for example in Divergent, Tris’ fight against Jeanine was very psychological, as opposed to her fights against Eric or David which were external and included a bunch of shooting at each other


message 24: by Caroline (new)

Caroline  (caro7) Tziggy wrote: "Caroline wrote: "I'm not going to say anything specific. I'll say only choose a topic you feel passionate about. The assignment will feel like a breeze, not a chore, and you'll get 25 pages written..."

Thanks, Tziggy. : ]


message 25: by Karin (new)

Karin Klara wrote: "Hi
In order to get my bachelors degree in english I have to write a 25 pages assignment on whatever I would like as long as its relevant. However, I am lost on what to write about. I really enjoy w..."


As others have said, I think the question really is, what DO you feel passionate about?

While there are many important issues, the professor might even enjoy a change of pace

Choose a novel you LOVE already. Is there one that you have read a number of times so that it's like an old friend? OR do you have a hobby or passion? It's easy to choose a trendy novel or a classic, but what if your favourite one is neither?

OR, how about a kick ass female protagonist or one of these other "modern" ideas that predates this modern trend? OR compare a kick ass female from history with a contemporary novel one.

What people often fail to realize is that women were kicking a** and taking names a long time ago, just in ways that might not be obvious to contemporary eyes and perhaps not always physically.

Most people don't realize that the Victorian prudish era came on the heels of a much more open era. One example is that that see through clothing is NOT new--when it was in style before every woman who could afford to had wet nurses for her babies so she'd still look good in the translucent blouses, etc, etc, etc.

At any rate, professors see a lot of the same old same old from young students, so if your passion isn't one of these current, trendy ideas (lots of great ones, btw!) then yours might be happy to read something different.

But, probably not something along the lines of 25 pages on different airplane models, which is one of the topics my son, a college freshman in music performance, is interested in..


message 26: by Karin (new)

Karin PS, I realize that with edits my post got a bit choppy and isn't well edited as ideas came and went, but just a few thoughts I left in at the end!


message 27: by Rumell (new)

Rumell Khan (rkrespectedmember) | 1012 comments I have written a story based on Birthstones, Star Signs and Zodiacs.


back to top