Mr. Kendall's
AP Writing Class:
The 1984 Blog Page


Discussion Topics for Orwell

Possible sub-divisions, with 4 or 5 people in charge of discussion each day

 

I) First Day--Approaching the Novel Through its Characters:

 

            A) Winston--how is he an "everyman", not a heroic rebel?

 

            B) Winston's relationship with Julia

 

            C) Winston's relationship with O'Brien

 

            D) Supporting cast of actual people

 

            E) Supporting cast of likely fictional people (Big Brother, Goldstein, Comrade Ogilvy)

 

II) Second Day--Using the Setting and Language to Create a Dystopia:

 

            A) Important Concepts of the Party

 

            B) the Thought Police and Doublespeak

 

            C) "the Book"

 

            D) characters like Syme explaining the new dictionary and other aspects of mind control

 

            E) Winston in the Ministry of Truth, "revising" history to fit the Party's needs

 

III) Third Day--Twenty-some years later, how did the novel come true, and not come true?:

 

            A) Not meant to be a literal prediction, but a warning.  Orwell, in 1948, looking across the English Channel at Stalin and the Soviet Union, simply transposes the last two digits.  How does he want to frighten us so this won't happen?

 

            B) Contrast to Brave New World, The Giver, Gathering Blue, Fahrenheit 451 and other dystopias

 

            C) Finding and explaining examples of "Orwellian practices" which have come to exist in our society and others

 

 

Areas of Responsibility

 

1) Work with the group enough to sub-divide specific responsibilities

 

2) Guide the discussion for that day with relevant observations and questions

 

2) Interactwith other groups and joining in discussion on other days

 

3) Write a 3-4 paragraph essay on some aspect of your original question, with a day or two to peer edit and revise before submitting final draft next week.

 

 

Sources for visual images
imagesource
2+2=5 at topehttp://www.tdftheatre.co.uk/orwellsmall.jpg
Big Brother image at bottom (Lenin)http://www.robcol.k12.tr/course_work/orwell/1984.jpg
other 7 imagescommercial clip art owned by Rutgers Prep

Return to the A. P. Writing Page