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Ben B.
English teacher: essay help, reading comprehension guide, AP prep
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Writing
TutorMe
Question:

What is effective communication, and why is it important?

Ben B.
Answer:

Effective communication fuels progress. From fifteen-page essays to text messages, every communication attempt can be done either effectively or ineffectively. Emotions and ideas are complicated, and effective communication allows us to put words to our nuanced feelings and our multilayered ideas. As Orwell's 1984 notes, a lack of effective communication equals a lack of thought. We read literature to experience the nuanced ideas of others, and we write to express ideas of our own. All of this is possible because of effective communication.

Shakespeare
TutorMe
Question:

Freud once stated that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth must be interpreted as two parts of one whole, meaning that a reader cannot truly understand one without considering the other. Do you agree?

Ben B.
Answer:

Though Freud's analysis of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth has value, it is not the only beneficial way to interpret these two characters. I agree that the characters seem to react to each other in profound ways: when Lady Macbeth orchestrates violence, Macbeth feels guilt, and vice versa. But this reading of these characters minimizes the humanity of each. Lady Macbeth is a strong woman who manipulates her husband, and Macbeth is a misguided opportunist who is, according to some interpretations, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. In short, both characters are nuanced, and Freud's interpretation ignores the emotional complexity of moments like Lady Macbeth's "unsex me" moment and Macbeth's "tomorrow" speech.

Literature
TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between young adult dystopian novels and "classic" dystopian novels like 1984 and Brave New World?

Ben B.
Answer:

Arguably, both types of dystopian novels are cautionary tales—don't let your society become the society in this book—but "classic" dystopian novels focus on the sociocultural elements of the story. The protagonists in novels like 1984, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 are bodies through which the readers experience the realities of harsh, nuanced, and often political ideologies. Young adult dystopian novels like Divergent and The Hunger Games focus instead on the characters' reactions to injustice. Given that many of the worlds created by young adult dystopian novels look and feel like exaggerated versions of high school, these stories tend to be more hopeful than "classic" dystopian novels. They highlight the value of perseverance and show the reader that oppressive systems can be beaten. "Classic" dystopian novels lack this hope because they want to paint these possible futures as truly dismal, thus offering an incentive for modern society to avoid becoming a dystopian society.

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