1984- 08-09

In the first quarter of 08-09, we will be reading the novel 1984 by George Orwell.

Students will be focusing on the novel as a dystopian vision of the world to come. Is the novel more accurate than even Orwell imagined? What parallels exist today to the novel? We will also be looking at the vocabulary of 1984 as it relates to today. "Newspeak" and "doublethink" were Orwell's terms for words or phrases that are intended to confuse or disguise real meanings. For example, we use the term "downsizing" instead of "layoffs". Today we use the term "doublespeak." In plain language, it means "to say one thing but mean its opposite." An example in modern politics would be calling a new initiative to allow greating logging in our wilderness, the "Healthy Forests" initiative. Yeah, sure it'll be healthy.


Daily Prompts and Exit Slips:

Daily Prompts are written at the beginning of class each day. Each daily prompt forms the basis for discussion that day. Daily prompts ask students for a personal response. Exit slips are completed at the end of class and ask a question that assesses the student's ability to interpret and analyse some element or idea from the text.


DP- How would you feel if everywhere you went a camera documented your every move? What places are you recorded, that you know of?

Exit- Simply based on your reading of pages 1-3, how does Winston feel about being watched all the time? What does the author want you to think?


DP-Look again at the three slogans of the Party on page 4. Just based on those words, what three ideas/concepts does Oceania prize above all others? What do these three ideas tell you about Wintson's society? What does the government want them to be?

Exit- If, as the narrator says on page 6, "there were no longer any laws" then what is Winston do afraid of at the end of chapter 1?


DP- Why is it so important that the people you must trust and the people in charge tell the truth?

Exit- Why do you think he wants proof of a lie the government made? If Winston can find proof of a lie, what good will that do?


DP- What's so bad about lying? How does Winston create lies?

Exit- What do you think Facecrime is and why is Winston so afraid of it?


DP- The Party has banned love. What's the power of love? What's so dangerous about love (to the government)?

1- Exit- What power does the party really have? Hint: "Freedom is the power to say that 2 + 2 = 4."


DP- Why is remembering the past so important?

2-Exit- Why do you think Winston is so fascinated by the part, especially the antique shop?


DP-What makes people attracted to one another?

3-Exit- Why do you think Winston thinks, "It was a political act," when referring to having sex with Julia?


DP-Does everyone want/need privacy? Explain

4- Exit- What does Winston hate or fear the most? How does this connect to the recurring nightmare he describes?


DP-Betrayal- what is it and what's so bad about it?

5- Exit- What is the signifcance and meaning of Winston's Dream on page 160-163?


DP- Sacrifice- what would you be willing to sacrifice, for a good cause (such as ending war or curing disease)?

Exit- "The best books, he perceived, are those that tell you what you know already" (200) How is THE BOOK just like this?


DP- How persuasive do you tiknk fear can be? How far do you think people can be pushed by fear?

6-Exit-What do you think O'Brien means by, "They got me a long time ago"?


DP-What do you think the purpose of torture is?

7- Exit- If you were Winston, what one question would YOU have asked O'Brien (that Winston did not ask) and WHY?


DP- "How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?"
Winston thought, "By making him suffer," he said.
What makes this true?

8-Exit- What do you thinkn is in Room 101? If you already know... what would be in Room 101 for you?


DP- What would you do when faced with your worst fear?

9-Exit- In the final chapter, there are seven or so crucial changes in Winston. Name ONE change and explain it.