Themed Essay Topics

Choose one of the themes below and write a 800-1,000 word essay on one of the topics listed. For these topics you are expected to use examples from texts studied at school, but may also draw upon other ideas to support your view, including: current affairs, historical events, personal experience/observations, or other literature you have read, viewed or heard.

Conflict Topics

1. “…it is simply wrong to always order [kids] to stop that fighting. There are times when one child is simply defending his rights and damned well should be fighting.” – Erma Louise Bombeck. Outline how conflict can be used to achieve the right outcome.
2. People resort to hostility when faced with conflict because they do not understand those unlike themselves. Discuss.
3. There is no room in one’s life for conflict. Do you agree/disagree? Why/why not?
4. Encountering conflict can bring out the best and worst in us. Discuss.

Deception/Lies Topics

1. In today’s society, deception has become an integral part of interpersonal relations. Discuss.
2. First impressions are most important. Do you agree/disagree? Why/why not?
3. Deception is not always a negative concept. Justify that there is a place for deception in the world.

Trust/Betrayal Topics

1. “The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool.” – Stephen King. With examples, explore human nature and how a person’s willingness to ‘think the best of others’ can lead them into trouble.
2. George MacDonald is attributed to the popular quote: “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved”. Do you agree/disagree with G. MacDonald? Why/Why not?
3. Jean Renoir once pondered, “Is it possible to succeed without any act of betrayal?” But Aldrich Ames made it clear, “The betrayal of trust carries a heavy taboo”. So, who is right?

Love/Hate Topics

1. We are constantly presented with classical ‘Love-Hate’ relationships in literature and texts, especially the films we watch. They give the impression that such a relationship is ideal, but in the real world they never last. Explain how such texts are misleading their audience.
2. The Beatles once sang, ‘All you need is love’. Were they right? Is it still true today?
3. Henry Emerson Fosdick was quoted on his view of hate: ‘Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat’. Using examples, write what you think Fosdick meant by this and state whether or not you agree with him.
4. Prove that love really does ‘conquer all’.
5. Prove that ‘love at first sight’ is a myth.

Wealth/Greed Topics

1. Money cannot buy you happiness. Discuss.
2. Explain what ‘wealth’ is.
3. “Money is in some respects life’s fire: it is a very excellent servant, but a terrible master.” – P.T. Barnum. Discuss what Barnum meant by this observation.
4. “Money is the root of all evil, and yet it is such a useful root that we cannot get on without it anymore than we can without potatoes.” Explore how money is essential for a decent life.

Gender Role Topics

1. Examine whether biological or social and cultural factors are more important in shaping gender roles.
2. “Girls can be athletic. Guys can have feelings. Girls can be smart. Guys can be creative. And vice versa. Gender is specific only to your reproductive organs (and sometimes not even to those), not your interest, likes, dislikes, goals, and ambitions.” Using examples, justify Connor’s viewpoint of gender equality. - Connor Franta, A Work in Progress
3. Although there has been some progress, contemporary society still has a long way to go to achieve gender equality.

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