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?

OR

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." 

OR

"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?

Quiz:

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?

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