Write a 800 word analytical essay answering, with an argument, the following question: in what sense does The Mars Room provide a strange take on morality, causality and society?

2) Form:

You can answer this in any order and in any way, but the essay itself must have 3 body paragraphs, corresponding to the 3 above-mentioned subtopics (or your variation on those 3). Arrange your subtopics in whatever order you wish, but do so for effect.

The essay must have an introduction (with a hook and argument) and a conclusion (which mirrors the introduction, conclusively).

As mentioned above, it should follow (or attempt to follow) MLA formatting guidelines. There are 10 points (or guidelines) that we’ll go over next class.

3) Content:

By “strange take” I refer to a differing or peculiar position as taken (or demonstrated by the author – something I’ll talk about in today’s lecture – distributed to at 6!). We have to understand that what Kushner is doing here is interesting not just because the characters are interesting, but because she seems to be looking at philosophical questions in a strange and unique way (and setting).

By morality I refer (and you may refer) broadly to the system of responsibility, judgment and punishment enacted by a given society (or group or individual). If, for example, you just want to talk about justice, that’s just fine, but you need to make sure to take into account for the fact that the justice system as depicted in this novel is a colossal (and absurd) failure, and that replacement systems of justice (within the penitential/criminal system) ironically and rationally take hold (among those said to be without moral scruple). That’s one idea! Just address the “weird” morality in the novel in some (interesting) way.

By causality I refer to the chain of events that leads a present (and perhaps future) moment, in the sense that all things have a cause (and effect). This, again, may be taken broadly, but you will need to speculate on the way in which the novel rationalizes actions by applying backstory (or background). I’ll speak a little more about this today.

Finally, by society I refer to the “outside” that has put these women “inside” (or, conversely, you may want to discuss the “inside” as a mirror society of the outside). We’ll once again talk about this today, and rest assured that this subtopic is also broad, and I expect you will speak about “society” in diverse ways.


in what sense does The Mars Room provide a strange take on morality, causality and society?