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Dystopian Extended Essay Help Requested

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Hi IBSurvival Users!

 

I have been trying to work on my EE a lot this summer, and I know I want mine to be based on George Orwell's 1984 and Ayn Rand's Anthem. I've created this question:

 

How Do Symbols of Knowledge and Intellectual Freedom in Ayn Rand's Anthem and George Orwell's 1984 Convey Each Dystopia's Control Over its Citizens?

 

The four 'symbols of knowledge and intellectual freedom' I'd be discussing would be language, intellectuals, books, and light. 

 

So, I've got the usual EE question requests - too specific? Too broad? Does it sound manageable? Is it appropriate for an English EE? And does 'convey each dystopia's control over its citizens' make any sense, or should I change that to something else?

 

Also, when I do have a rough draft done, does anyone want to trade essays/ critique mine? :)

 

Thank you!

Thrashmaster 

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Hmm. Sounds a bit too broad for me, but I guess you might be able to narrow it a little more somehow, and the RQ is a awkwardly phrased, so I'd consider revising it. 

 

Also, the two books are both interpreted as critiques of communism (although Orwell was a well-known socialist), and are quite similar, so I'd suggest replacing one of them (if you chosse to do this, I'd recommend you get rid of AF, It's a little bit overdone).  

 

There are several works you could use, We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin ( the first great dystopic novel, similar to Anthem, but it takes place in a highly developed society, which gives a nice contrast), Brave New World (Although still anti commie, it takes a different perspective, but it's also overdone, you could argue loss of culture vs. loss of tech. if you compare it wiith anthem) The Iron Heel by Jack London (which is pro socialist and has a very interesting format that you could deconstruct), and if you want to go far out, you might try American Psycho (even though it's not technically a dystopia, it portrays the evils of capitalism and would make a great contrast with anthem given the extreme egoism of the protagonist, but careful, if you dislike or are affected by violence, do not get close to this book.). 

 

All those are pretty great books (particularly the Iron Heel) which I've read, maybe you could try thinking of some more that would be suitable?

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To re-phrase your title a little:

 

How do Ayn Rand and George Orwell use symbols of knowledge and intellectual freedom to demonstrate each Dystopia's control over its citizens in Anthem and 1984?

 

Or 

 

A comparison of Ayn Rand and George Orwell's use of symbols for knowledge and intellectual freedom in Anthem and 1984

 

Depending on what you were thinking of writing, I'd probably go with the second title. It gives you a bit more freedom, sounds a bit less clunky and makes it clear that you're comparing. You don't need to put your "thesis" into your title unless it's needed in order to put some limits on the extent of your essay. Otherwise, it sounds like a good title for the EE. In terms of breadth, that's something you've got to measure in the sense that you know how much you've thought of to write for each of those sub-headings, and you're designing the argument, so you're the person best placed to know whether your material will fit into 4,000 words. On the face of it, the title sounds about right to me. Although, is 'language' a symbol in a literary sense? In my mind a symbol is more like a recurring object or theme. I've never read Anthem but in 1984 I wouldn't say language was used as a symbol so much as a theme. I dunno, just something to think about.

 

I'd be happy to crit what you've written if you wanted.

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To re-phrase your title a little:

 

How do Ayn Rand and George Orwell use symbols of knowledge and intellectual freedom to demonstrate each Dystopia's control over its citizens in Anthem and 1984?

 

Or 

 

A comparison of Ayn Rand and George Orwell's use of symbols for knowledge and intellectual freedom in Anthem and 1984

 

Depending on what you were thinking of writing, I'd probably go with the second title. It gives you a bit more freedom, sounds a bit less clunky and makes it clear that you're comparing. You don't need to put your "thesis" into your title unless it's needed in order to put some limits on the extent of your essay. Otherwise, it sounds like a good title for the EE. In terms of breadth, that's something you've got to measure in the sense that you know how much you've thought of to write for each of those sub-headings, and you're designing the argument, so you're the person best placed to know whether your material will fit into 4,000 words. On the face of it, the title sounds about right to me. Although, is 'language' a symbol in a literary sense? In my mind a symbol is more like a recurring object or theme. I've never read Anthem but in 1984 I wouldn't say language was used as a symbol so much as a theme. I dunno, just something to think about.

 

I'd be happy to crit what you've written if you wanted.

Okay, so to be clear, the title of the EE does not need to be a question itself. I guess I was confusing it with the history IA some :)

 

Yes, in that case, I do think I like that second title. Thank you!

 

As for language, I see your point as it being a theme in 1984. I definitely would consider it a symbol in Anthem, and I intend on discussing Newspeak in 1984 as a symbol for suppression of free thought. In this sense, it has symbolism. I guess that might be a stretch, as far it actually being a 'symbol,' so I'll consider changing that. I think you've helped a lot, thank you!

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