Mon: Ch 1, Introduction pgs 1-20 Watch the Two-Minutes Hate and Movie Trailer Data Wall: How do the governments in 1984 and Animal Farm compare with today's American government? Is Big Brother watching? Discuss differences and tendencies toward similarities. Record instances on a data wall.
Focus Q 10: Who are The Proles? What do we know about them? What similarities and differences appear in our own world? Answer by filling in your Chart Assignment.
Tues: Ch 8 A Walk Amongst the Proles, pgs 81-86, 93-98, bottom 99-104 Alt. Focus Q 11: Is Winston's expectations of the Proles reasonable? Focus Q 11: Why does Winston try to talk to the old man in the bar? Why was his conversation successful or unsuccessful? St. Clement's Dane
Wed : Part 2, Ch 1 Julia, 105-110, 111-117
Focus Q 12: What is the conflict with Julia? How do you predict this relationship will work out?
Week 8: Essay Options The Book as a Warning: In the afterward, the commentator describes 1984 as "a warning." Indeed, throughout the text, Orwell plants both subtle and overt warnings to the reader. In what ways does this work or fail to work? What do you think are some of the larger issues at hand here? Compare and contrast characters in Winston's world: Parsons, Syme, O'Brien. How does Winston view each one? How do they differ from Winston? What opinion do you think each one has of Winston? The Proles: Early on in the novel, we learn of Winston's belief in the proles as a liberating force. What accounts for Winston's almost blind faith in the proles? What are some of the characteristics of the proles that, in Winston's eyes, make them the ultimate means for overthrowing Big Brother? Contradictions in 1984: The world within which Winston lives is filled with contradictions. For example a, major tenet of the Party's philosophy is that War is Peace. Similarly, the Ministry of Love serves as what we would consider a department of war. What role do these contradictions serve on a grand scale? Discuss other contradictions inherent in the Party's philosophy. What role does contradiction serve within the framework of Doublethink? How does Doublethink satisfy the needs of The Party? Winston's relationship with O'Brien: Describe the role that O'Brien plays in Winston's life. Why do you think that initially, Winston is drawn to O'Brien? Why does he implicitly trust him, despite the enormous dangers involved? Class: Orwell creates a very specific social structure in his novel 1984. Oceania's political structure is divided into three segments: the Inner Party, the ultimate ruling class, consisting of less than 2 percent of the population; the Outer Party, the educated workers, numbering around 18 to 19 percent of the population; and the Proles, or the proletariat, the working class. Do you believe that our nation has a similar social caste system? If so, how is it divided? Sex, Women, & Relationships: Discuss the role of sex and intimacy in 1984. What specific function does the Party's directive on sexual interaction serve? What is the role of women in the text? Is love relevant? Are relationships meaningful Accuracy as a Prediction: In the final analysis, how accurate was Orwell in his vision of the future? In what ways does our contemporary society compare to his idea of society in 1984? Are there examples in which he was correct? What is most opposite? Do you see a potential for aspects of Orwell's "vision" to come true?
Does it matter if the Party is all-powerful? On pages 147-148, Winston reflects on the omnipresence of The Party: "He thought of the telescreen with its never-sleeping ear. They could spy upon you night and day, but if you kept your head you could still outwit them….Facts at any rate, could not be kept hidden. They could be tracked down by inquiry; they could be squeezed out of you by torture. But if the goal was not to stay alive, but to stay human, what difference did it ultimately make?" What, in essence, is Winston saying about the lone individual in relation to The State? Does this contention remain true throughout the novel? Discuss Winston as a heroic figure. What qualities does he posses that could define him as one? In what areas does he fail as a hero? Difference from previous Totalitarians: During Winston's interrogation, O'Brien explains that whereas preceding totalitarian regimes had failed, The Party was truly successful in its consolidation of power (page 226). How, according to O'Brien, does The Party as an oligarchy differ from Nazism or Russian Communism? How does he define the role of the martyr, both in terms of The Party and the other totalitarian systems? Julia: From her first appearance as "the dark-haired girl," through to the end of the novel, Julia is a key figure in 1984. Trace the path of Julia in relation to Winston's life; in what ways does she influence him? Did you trust her, initially? Overall, do you feel she had a positive or negative impact upon him? Dreams in the Novel: Discuss the significance and nature of Winston's dreams. Deconstruct the dream wherein O'Brien claims that they "shall meet in a place where there is no darkness" (page 22), and the dream in which Winston's mother and sister disappear (page 26). What are the underpinnings of these dreams? What deeper meanings do they hold? Why do you think the author devotes as much time as he does to Winston's dreams? Literary Analysis: How did Orwell use moral dilemmas to develop Winston and Napoleon as characters whose actions and motives impact the understanding of Orwell's message? Expository Essay: "People are too well informed to adhere to a set of rules or to simply follow a leader over a distant hill. They want to be inspired by a greater purpose." Ann Fudge and Sir Francis Bacon observed that "knowledge is power" and John Maxwell adds that knowledge empowers. Write an expository essay describing how these two statements contribute to the necessary attributes of a responsible electorate. Comparative Essay: Draw parallels between events in Animal Farm and 1984 on one side and today's government on the other. Provide examples of government policies that erode the rights of the electorate to draw parallels between the world and the two books. Personal/Persuasive Essay: Discuss your responsibilities as part of the electorate to maintain a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. Identify the two or three most important actions that could/should have been taken to balance the power in 1984 or to avoid the outcome in Animal Farm. Reflective Essay: Consider how language was used in 1984 and Animal