Section 8: Short Fiction, Satire, and The Future
In this section you will be required to complete the following tasks:
1. Carefully read the stories and assignments outlined in The Readings folder. One of the readings in this section is provided as a pdf and two more are links to online sources.
- Ray Bradbury’s biography and story, “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains”, p. 87
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s biography and story, “Harrison Bergeron”, p. 837
- Ursula LeGuin’s biography and story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, p. 572
- George Saunders story, “My Flamboyant Grandson” provided as a pdf in this folder.
- Section 10 Definitions pdf
- The article on Utopian and Dystopian literature provided as a link in this section folder.
2. Complete the quiz on Bradbury and Vonnegut’s biographies and stories.
as usual, nothing less than an 85
3. Complete the writing assignment posted in the Section 8 Discussion Board.
In this section we are looking at various short story writers’ creative impressions of the future. These futuristic “dystopias” are often used by writers to create a satire of our current culture and society. To create these satires, authors often use the literary device of the hyperbole: they take some element of our current society and exaggerate it to absurd and often humorous lengths. In doing so, they are often trying to draw our attention to certain elements in our present day society and force us to reflect on them and to perhaps consider what these characteristics might become if they are allowed to go on over time, unchecked.
In this section’s discussion board assignment, I would like you to carefully select 3 of the stories from this section’s readings. Once you have selected your stories, I would like you to identify how the author uses hyperbole to exaggerate some aspect of our current society in the creation of their futuristic dystopia. (A hint: technology, consumerism, exploitation, and equality are some of the common targets.) How are the authors creating satire in their stories and what follies or vices of our current society do they seem to be warning us against?
Remember to submit your assignment to the Pre Post Drop box to be checked for plagiarism prior to turning it in to the Discussion Board.
4. You will have 1 day after the due date of the discussion board assignments to respond to at least two of your peers’ original posts. Please be thoughtful and thorough in your responses as you will be graded on these assignments.