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14 Interesting Essay Topics about Modern English Literature

When you are given an open assignment in which you get to develop topics to an essay about modern English Literature, it can be hard to think of unique ideas. So, we’ve made the process easier by giving you these 14 interesting topics for you to consider:

  1. Choosing a novel that you have studied in its entirety, discuss a character’s transformation and decide whether the change is symbolic or reality.
  2. Select two novels that discuss current politics and compare and contrast the ways in which they address the issues that are most important to the characters.
  3. Discuss the impact that modern literature’s focus on the fantasy and mystical have influenced or affected the way stories develop in terms of characters’ journeys.
  4. Provide a critical analysis of Atticus Finch in both “To Kill a Mockingbird” and in “Go Set a Watchman” where Harper Lee discusses racial issues in the South.
  5. Virginia Woolf’s novel “To the Lighthouse” is often called a modern quest narrative because it uses this plot device as a means to describe the challenging journey towards a specific goal.
  6. Discuss a symbol that appears in a novel of your choice in which it represents something that creates a wide range of associations that are well beyond the symbol itself.
  7. Modern playwrights and novelists frequently introduce characters and elements that have supernatural associations. Choose a character or element that fits this and discuss.
  8. Choose a novel, play, or modern epic in which a major character experiences some sort of challenge that places him or far away from home and how the character changes.
  9. In many modern works in English literature, minor characters are referred to as the foil, in which they possess traits that are contradictory to those of the main character.
  10. What major themes have been the most apparent in the novels and stories that have been published in the last half century?
  11. Choose a modern novel of children’s literature and describe the distinct elements that separate it from stories of the past.
  12. Discuss the disillusions genre of writing that has found its greatest success in The Fight Club and Trainspotting novels of the early 1990s.
  13. Do you believe the violence that is presented in stories such as the Hunger Games and the Divergent series’ represent current concerns of today’s young adults?
  14. Discuss a novel of your choosing from the perspective of women’s critical theory. What are the major issues and how have they changed over time?

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