DISCUSSION: “THE FAULT IN OUR STARS”, by
Original Response; Consider several possibilities for discussion, one being how the portrayal of adolescence and the adolescents themselves differ in this novel compared to those of The Outsiders?
Answer 3 Questions
1. According to our Literature for Today’s Young Adults young adult books are basically optimistic with characters making worthy accomplishments. However, Augustus dies from his cancer returning. Do you think having him survive would change the impact on the story or do you think the novel still ended with optimism?
2. Is the story realistic? Would adolescent readers be able to relate to the characters in this story?
3. Regarding the issue of text complexity in terms of the language within the novel. Do you think the medical jargon and Gus and Hazel’s sophisticated vocabulary will be challenging for adolescents?
COMMENT ONE -I would characterize Gailbraith’s vision decades after he wrote the book as a vision that still holds some truth. His declaration described the spending habits, inflation, the wealthy, the poor, and poverty that keeps us in a cycle that is out of control.
COMMENT TWO -Galbraith’s, The Affluent Society, is extremely relevant in today’s society. Things have obviously have changed and things could certainly be added. The book has an immense amount of economic vocabulary that provide for good discussions. The book also mentions some of the founders and first true economic thinkers. This alone makes for a good educational read.
In the 1950s when this book was first published America was at the beginning of becoming a consumer society. Galbraith speaks to the fact that much of our economy is based on the fact that consumers are told what they should want and need to survive, the “creation of want.” Are many of these things really necessary for survival or do they just make life easier? The fact that we actually do not need most of the things that that we think we do to survive (washers, dryers, TVs, A.C.) proves to me that we do live in an affluent society.
COMMENT THREE-I would characterize Gailbraith’s vision of American affluence as being synonymous to our 2015 and 2016 election process and slogan, Make America Great Again. This slogan sets forth Gailbraith’s vision of American affluence firmly on the social and political agenda under the guise of maintaining its power – whereby the rich grows richer and the poor becomes poorer. According to Gailbraith, “Abridgement of the rigors of competition might even be unjust and immoral” (p. 35). A clear belief that the divide is a subtle one in which the Affluent Society meets in a competitive nature against its undervalued citizens in order to maintain economic security is just not right. American History will suffer from this incredulous line of economics for balancing power.
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