76 pages 2 hours read

Nick Hornby

About a Boy

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1998

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Use this activity to engage all types of learners, while requiring that they refer to and incorporate details from the text over the course of the activity.

“People’s Complex Relationship with Conformity”

In this activity, students will explore the nature of conformity in a creative format.

About a Boy examines the relationship between Conformity and Masculinity and societal expectations to live, act, and think in a way that is acceptable to others. In this creative assignment, you will express your views on the positive and negative aspects of conforming to societal norms.

  • Begin by brainstorming your own interpretation of what conformity is by considering the novel’s two protagonists and their relationships to conformity.
  • Reflect on your own experiences with conformity and how it has either benefited or harmed you.
  • You have many choices for the medium you use: For example, you may write a poem, short story, or essay; create an illustration or digital art piece; write and produce a dramatic skit, etc.
  • Your project must reflect your personal interpretation of conformity and must be presentable to the class.

Teaching Suggestion: This activity helps students relate to the novel’s protagonists and how each one battles with societal expectations surrounding their ages, genders, and personalities. By the novel’s conclusion, both Will and Marcus have begun to resolve their conflicts within themselves.

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By Nick Hornby