Writing Prompt: The short stories, “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut and “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin, and the film Gattaca (1997) present seemingly perfect worlds that hide injustice under the surface. Societies sacrifice the joy of the individual for the benefit of all. What can we as readers learn from these stories about our own world? In at least a five-paragraph essay, describe a central theme (lesson, moral) in at least one of the stories. Include textual evidence to support your ideas. What lessons can we apply to our world today?
- Well-organized multiple-paragraph essay.
- A clear thesis statement (main argument).
- Textual evidence with analysis (quotes must be cited with page numbers in MLA Format).
- Creativity and sentence variety.
- Checked for spelling/grammar/mechanics.
Texts and Online Resources:
- “Harrison Bergeron” (Kurt Vonnegut)
- “The ones who walk away from Omelas” (Ursula K. Le Guin)
- “The Child In the Basement” (David Brooks, The New York Times)
- “Fear” (Gary Soto)
- Gattaca (IMDB, 1997)
- “Four Freedoms Speech” (Roosevelt)
- Inaugural Address (Kennedy)
- “Speech at the United Nations” (Malala Yousafzai)
- “The Censors” (Luisa Valenzuela)
- “Misrule of Law” (Aung San Suu Kyi)
- “Credo: What I Believe” (Neil Gaiman)
- “How to recognize a dystopia” (TED-Ed, Youtube)
- “2081” (YouTube)
- “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omegas, a film adaptation” (YouTube)
Handouts and Resources:
- Dystopian Worlds Essay Criteria
- Dystopian Worlds Tree Map
- Dystopian Worlds Presentation Handout
- MLA Typing Guidelines