The Diamond Age, or, Young Lady's Illustrated Primer Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

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Essay Topic 1

Discuss the author's use of wordplay in "The Diamond Age" to further his points and entertain the reader. Examples to consider include: Hackworth, who hacks; phyle, a filing system for citizens; and the Flea Circus, for counterfeiting with mites.

Essay Topic 2

In "The Diamond Age", Confucianism is portrayed as a philosophy involving decentralization and democracy, while Neo-Victorianism is portrayed as a philosophy involving centralized control and a hierarchy of status. Compare and contrast these two philosophies.

Essay Topic 3

Track the gradually developing mother/daughter relationship between Miranda and Nell as it grows throughout the novel by way of the Primer, culminating in Nell's rescue of Miranda using skills she learned from the Primer.

Essay Topic 4

Consider the fabric Harv found by the sea and brought home to examine with Nell. How is the woven fabric a metaphor for the Confucian lifestyle? How is the low-quality plastic...

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