Study Guide

Matched Art & Culture

By Ally Condie

Art & Culture

Art is more than just paint on a canvas or words on paper—it is self-expression, and has the power to make us feel and to let us know that we're not alone in this world. At its core, art is about possibility—so it only makes sense that in Matched, art is intensely controlled. One of the ways the Society regulates its citizens is by strictly limiting which pieces of art and culture they can access—we're talking a short list of one hundred pieces from each category. By doing this, they maintain control over the possibilities citizens are aware of… or at least they think they do.

Questions About Art & Culture

  1. Cassia's Society places strict restrictions on culture to subdue its citizens. Are there examples of art having such a powerful impact on the world that support the idea that this is necessary?
  2. The main art form this book focuses on is poetry. How does poetry compare to other art forms in its ability to impart change? Are there ways in which other art forms make a difference to the Society in Matched?
  3. What role do art and culture play in Cassia and Ky's relationship? Would things have happened differently without art and culture?

Chew on This

Freedom of expression is one of our most fundamental rights. Without it, we'd pretty much be as ignorant and powerless as the members of Cassia's Society.

The one hundred songs/poems/paintings are an essential part of how the Society retains its power: it is impossible to fully control a group of people without controlling their ability to express themselves.

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