Friday, March 24, 2017

Reading Period 22: March 24-30: 1984

Long Read: 

1984 by George Orwell, Part 2 chapters 1-7.

Creative assignments: 

Write two poems, both in Newspeak. The first one should be a longer one about the need or lack of need for poetry in Newspeak. The second one should be the shortest possible poem you could write in Newspeak. You can write more than two if you like.


In the book, instead of personal correspondence, characters use a checklist of possible things they might want to say, and just mark the appropriate boxes. Create a checklist for personal correspondence, in which you attempt to include, for convenience, anything you could possibly want to say to another person, with a handy checkbox beside it. If you want, you can turn this into a Google Form, so that other people can direct their correspondence to you via the form.

Writing Assignment:

In 1984, food and drink are important motifs and symbols. Write a literary essay of 500 words in which you explain Orwell's use of food and drink as motifs to illustrate his plot and deepen the reader's understanding of his ideas. You could write about gin, beer, coffee, wine, chocolate, and stew. What is Victory Gin? What is the significance of the coffee that Julia brings to the hidden room? To whom does flavor belong? Why is it so important that all of them get their alcohol?


Settings are an important part of 1984 as Orwell uses the characters' surroundings to build meanings and illustrate relationships. Write a literary essay of 500 words in which you explain Orwell's use of settings to show Winston and Julia's state of mind and situation. One way to do it would be to compare Winston's apartment with the room over the junk shop. How are they similar and different? How are behaviors and relationships formed or dictated by the settings in these two locations? You could also compare the buildings that belong to the Party with the areas that are mostly inhabited by proles.


1. What was written in Julia's message to Winston?
2. As Winston and Julia are watching the prisoners, how do they manage to touch?
3. How many times before has Julia met up with a man in the outdoor hiding place?
4. What did Winston think of doing to Katharine when they were out on a hike and she was looking at flowers?
5. What is the name of the machine that composes songs?
6. What animal is Winston particularly afraid of?
7. What is Julia's opinion about the war?
8. What does O'Brien write down for Winston in front of the telescreen?
9. What was the last thing Winston did before his mother disappeared?
10. What does Julia believe is the one thing the party can't do?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Reading Period 21: March 17-23: 1984

Due Dates: 
Quiz: Monday, Mar 20
Assignments: Wednesday, Mar 22

Long Read: 

1984 by George Orwell, Part 1 (chapters 1-8)

Creative Assignments:

Write a diary entry that starts out as a normal, calm chronicle of the day's events and then devolves into a hysterical rant, something like Winston's first diary entry in chapter 1. Your hysterical rant won't have anything to do with Big Brother, though. What deep, repressed screaming fit is locked inside you, beneath all that politeness? What will come out when you start letting your subconscious flow onto the page for 250 words?


Pretend you are Big Brother and you are organizing a daily schedule for everyone. Consider what they should eat and drink, when they should get up and go to bed, and what they should do for exercise, when they should work, etc. The citizens  you're responsible for will only do what you tell them to do, and no more. What's good for them, in what balance? After you've organized a daily schedule, write 250 words about it. Why did you make these choices? Would you follow the schedule yourself? Do you think people would benefit by being forced to do things that are good for them?

Writing Assignments:

Write an essay on one of the following quotes:

"The revolution will be complete when the language is perfect." 


"Until they become conscious, they can never rebel; and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious." 

In the first essay, explain how the party in Oceania is changing the language to control the minds of the party members. Give examples of newspeak and how the language functions, what its goals are. Then write about how you see language, how you perceive abbreviations and what, if any, effect you see on the language getting smaller (or bigger?) from texting and social media. 

In the second essay, you'll talk about the proletariat, as the "they" referred to in the quote. As defined in 1984, the proletariat is kept happy and stupid on entertainment and beer, and does the work of the country, leaving the party members to be administrators and organizers. What does it mean that they cannot rebel without becoming conscious? What does it mean that they cannot become conscious without rebellion? Do you see anything familiar or disturbing about this portrayal of 85% of humanity?


1. When Winston opens the door on Mrs. Parsons, what has he left in plain view?
2. Who calls Winston a traitor and a thought criminal in chapter 2?
3. Winston thinks of an image that represents his memory of his mother. What is the image?
4. What is doublethink?
5. What is Winston's job?
6. What is an unperson?
7. Translate the following into newspeak: good, bad, great, terrible. 
8. Why does Winston think that Symes is doomed to be vaporized?
9. Who are the proles and why does Winston believe they are the only hope?
10. What does Winston buy at the junk shop?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Reading Period 20: March 3 - 9: Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Due Dates:
Quiz: Monday, March 6
Assignments: Wednesday, March 8

Long Read: Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Phase 6 and 7

Short Read: 

In your textbook, 670-671.
Read Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. Yes, you must read ALL of it. It is that amazing.
Listen to this BBC podcast, "In Our Time," featuring a discussion of Christina Rossetti.
Flip through this gallery of Dante Rossetti's artwork at the Tate Gallery.

Creative Assignments:

Tell the plot of Tess of the D'Urbervilles via Angel Clare's or Alec D'Urberville's Facebook status updates. Can include random postings of anguish or delight that these characters might share, but also relationship status changes, life events including new jobs or change of address, etc. Must include at least 10 different posts. If you want to do both characters, to show more of the plot, that's awesome. If you want to create a fake FB account, that is also awesome.


Goblin Market!
Watch this clip from the BBC show "The Love School," in which Dante Gabriel Rossetti reads a poem he's written to Lizzie Siddal. Write a poem, using the same rhyme scheme as Rossetti's poem "Silent Noon," on page 670, in which you describe something or someone you find beautiful.

Writing Assignments:

Read this article at the Metropolitan Museum of Art web site. Who were the Pre-Raphaelites? What did they want, and what did they NOT want? Who did they respect, and who did they disdain? What were the characteristics of their work? Write 250 words about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, of which Dante Gabriel Rossetti was a founding member, and reference at least one of Rossetti's paintings as an example. 


Write a 500 word literary essay on symbolism in Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Hardy uses symbolism in several different ways in the book -- color symbolism, symbolism for foreshadowing, and symbols to illustrate the characters. Focus particularly on one of these choices, and write a well-constructed essay about Hardy's symbols as they appear in the novel, how they're used, and what they mean. If you are prepping for the AP Literature and Composition exam, you must choose this option. 


To complete this quiz, you may need to also do some research online. Take a look at Dante Rossetti's Wikipedia page and Christina Rossetti's Wikipedia page.

1. Dante Rossetti was not only a poet, he was also a ___________.
2. In what ways did Dante Rossetti's two art forms intersect and overlap?
3. What "brotherhood" did Dante Rossetti found and what was the significance of the name?
4. How did Dante Rossetti meet his wife and what was her name? Why has she been called the original supermodel?
5. What dramatic act did Dante Rossetti engage in when his wife died, that he later took back?
6. What animal was Rossetti particularly fascinated by?
7. Dante Rossetti was addicted to chloral. What is it and how is it administered?
8. Take a look at Dante Rossetti's illustration for Christina Rossetti's poem, Goblin Market: ( Write down five observations about this illustration.
9. What was the St. Mary Magdalene "house of charity" where Christina Rossetti worked? How did that place possibly inspire her work?
10. What popular Christmas carol did Christina Rossetti write?