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Theme Analysis and Media

Unit 4- Theme Analysis and Media Assignment


The final evaluation for this unit will build upon our discussion of Margaret Atwood’s novel as a work of speculative fiction. In this assignment, you will be asked to analyze a chosen theme by tracking it in the novel and finding examples in contemporary society.


  1. Tracking: As you read Oryx and Crake, take notes about Atwood’s presentation of your selected theme.


  1. Research: Find a minimum of two current news articles/ academic articles that treat your selected theme and connect to ideas presented by Atwood in her novel. Note- your articles should not explicitly be about the novel. For example, an article with the title “Environmental Degradation in Margaret Atwood’s novel Oryx and Crake” would not qualify; however, an article with the title, “Environmental Degradation in today’s world” would. The selection of appropriate and relevant articles will be critical to your success on this assignment. Do not simply select the first two articles that you find. Instead, take time to read a variety of sources and select the ones you can work with the best.


  1. Reflect: Write a 4-5 page, MLA formatted, doubled spaced paper in which you present a thoughtful exploration of the theme as it is conveyed in the novel and your secondary sources. The written portion of the assignment should synthesize Atwood’s treatment of the topic with the information you have discovered in your sources as well as your analysis/ opinion of the topic.


Your paper MUST include a clear thesis statement that conveys an opinion about why Atwood presents your selected theme the way she does.


Sample– “In the novel 1984, George Orwell explores how the establishment of a totalitarian government can erode the right to privacy, instill fear in its citizens, and undermine the value of knowledge and critical thinking.”

Theme– establishment of totalitarian government

Supporting Arguments-(1) right to privacy, (2) fear, (3) devaluation of knowledge


  1. Present: Deliver a 5 minute presentation using technology, in which you summarize the results of your research and thinking. Your presentation should contain appropriate citations and a Works Cited slide. Include a minimum of two discussion questions at the end of your presentation.


General Notes:

  • More sources will not necessarily ensure a better mark, as I will be examining the depth of your treatment, not just the breadth.
  • You should use a formal, academic writing style.
  • Remember that you are writing this assignment about a piece of literature for an English class. Therefore, sound literary analysis is expected. Make sure you are balancing comments about society with analysis of the novel.


Submission requirements(read carefully- I will not be repeating)


Hard copy of Theme Response (use a duo tang, if necessary)

  1. Final Theme Response
  2. Works Cited Page
  3. Theme Response Rubric
  4. Secondary Source Articles (printed off)



  1. Final Response and Works Cited page
  2. Any notes used during presentation



  1. Tech presentation (via Schoologydropbox, which I will set up)
  2. Any notes used while speaking- hard copy after presentation)


Theme Choices:


Environmental degradation and climate change

Population Growth and Resources

Genetic Engineering

Society’s Obsession with Youth and Beauty

Loneliness and the Value of Human Interaction

Corporate control and greed

Human Trafficking and Commodification

Ethics and Science

The purpose of education/ value of the arts

Objectification and Exploitation of Women

Power of Media/ Access to and Reliability of Information

Division of Economic Classes

Fear and Security

Society’s desensitization towards violence



Animal Rights

Checks and balances to power


Last Updated on February 22, 2018

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