Nice! Thanks, guys, for those additional suggestions and movie tie-ins. I definitely wanted to find more good film versions, so I'll check all those out.
Lori, one of the things that I like about this GC class is the fact that she talks about how the utopian impulse (and even the dystopian impulse) is ultimately an expression of hope, and of human optimism on some level. I don't know that I buy that 100%, but I do appreciate it - it's actually why I decided to use the lectures. I had been wanting to read some of these books with dd, but was worried about everything feeling too dark and heavy and depressing. The lectures definitely seem to put a different spin on the whole genre, which I'm finding interesting. I'm listening to A Clockwork Orange right now, a book I haven't read since Freshman Comp in college (and hated at the time). I still don't like the violence, but I'm actually appreciating the theme, the relation between choice and goodness, free will and morality, and ultimately I think the story, dark as it is, ends on an optimistic note (at least the full, 21-chapter version of the book does, not the original American publication or the Kubrik movie).
You know us, we'll follow rabbit trails in there, too, and will definitely throw in some Shakespeare just because we love it! I always make a plan, but it's more like a bobsled run than a railroad track - there's lots of swerving and veering.
I put Hunger Games on the list kind of against my will - I think it's terribly written, and while I think the first book is pretty good, I think it goes downhill from there and I positively hated Book 3. I just feel like the series is such a phenomena at this point that we probably shouldn't skip it. I'll let her read the other two books in the series on her own time if she wants to. She's such a voracious reader I know that won't be a time problem.
That's the thing about these books - although the themes can be very heavy, many of them will be quick reads, comparatively - they are relatively short, written with more modern vocab and writing style, so will be challenging thematically but less challenging in terms of just, well, reading them. So I think we can handle more than if it was all Dickens, Bronte, etc.! It's actually why I wanted to have a few challenging short pieces in there, like Politics and the English Language and The Soul of Man Under Socialism - I want a few meaty pieces that she'll have to read several times and really dig into in order to process.
Yep, I have your Fahrenheit study guide on hand! We didn't end up doing that book in 8th, so we'll do it next year.
There is a whole lecture on Le Guin and The Dispossessed is covered too. I've not read that yet, and may be tempted to add it in. I think Shannon will love LHoD because I think she'll be fascinated by the gender fluid characters. I'm also including The Yellow Wallpaper, which isn't actually Utopian or dystopian, but it's such a great story! We'll probably throw in a few things that don't strictly fit the genre.
There are two lectures on Octavia Butler, but I've not included any of those on my tentative list - I'm going to have to re-read them before I decide which to include. I remember finding them super depressing when I read them in the past.
That will definitely be something to keep an eye on - if things start to get too heavy. I've left off The Road, for example. We may have to take an Oscar Wilde break in there at some point!
thanks again for all the suggestions, it will be fun to have so many kids doing this study next year! I hope people keep sharing their ideas and good finds.
Edited by Chrysalis Academy, 19 May 2017 - 03:35 PM.