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Little Words, Big Ideas
Every day there are new advances in science: the world is round! We've landed on the moon! Dark matter! (We're still not sure what that's about.) These discoveries changed the world. Okay, so, the...
Pretty much every human culture on the planet has some form of religion. Many you've heard of Christianity? Islam? Hinduism? Judaism? Some you haven't. And some don't exist anymore. (Poor Aphrodite...
Foreignness and the Other
The Others isn't just an awesome haunted-house movie. It's also a word people use to describe anything foreign, weird, or just different from cultural norms. Beowulf has Grendel (eating people: out...
Coming of Age
You'd probably need two hands and two feet and a tail to count all the books you've read in which the young protagonist comes of age by the end of the book: The Outsiders. To Kill a Mockingbird. Th...
Language and Communication
We would love to just draw a picture explaining this whole theme, but that would kind of defeat the whole purpose of literature. It's about words. And words, well, not everyone understands them. Ta...
Men and Masculinity
Imagine the video to the song "Macho Man." What do you see? Bulging biceps? A construction worker on a Soloflex? A guy in a feathered headdress on a treadmill? Okay, maybe that's not the best examp...
Women & Femininity
History has taught us that a woman's place is to cook, clean, give birth, and raise kids. Her story, on the other hand, has taught us that a woman's place is wherever she wants to be. Daphne finds...
Life, Consciousness, and Existence
If Terry Pratchett lived in ancient Greece, he'd keep company with Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, spouting off all sorts of philosophical witticisms and bon mots. His characters all wax philosophi...
Any book that stars a god of death is going to have mortality as a theme. Nation is no different. All of Terry Pratchett's books have Death in them. Usually he's a giant skeleton wearing a black ro...
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