Objectives: Students will understand how Orwell develops Winston’s character in relation to the world he lives in using the dystopian society of 1984.
Homework: Complete your dialectical journals and continue reading the first 50 pages. You will have a short quiz on the reading tomorrow.
Academic Vocabulary: Orwellian, Utopia, Dystopia
Do Now: On a new page titled “1984 dreams”, choose 3 statements, write whether you agree or disagree, and explain your opinion.
- 1. People who are viewed as a threat to the government should be able to be held in prison without being charged.
- 2. The government has a right to know what people are reading on the Internet so they may determine who might be a threat.
- 3. Society would be safer if we had security cameras in public places to catch potential criminals.
- 4. For an idea to exist, we must have words to express it.
- 5. History books always give an accurate portrayal of historical events.
- 6. I would risk my life to protect my freedom and the freedom of others.
- 1. Historical Connection
As you have read, the Party stops at no length to ensure their complete domination of a person’s thoughts and opinions. Read through this series of quotes and
* “The broad mass of the nation … will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.” — Adolf Hitler, in his 1925 book Mein Kampf.
* “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” — Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.
* “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” — Nazi Reich Marshal Hermann Göring during the Nuremberg Trials.
* “Remember our boys on the Malabar front! And the sailors in the Floating Fortresses! Just think what they have to put up with.”
* “The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the government of Oceania itself, ‘just to keep the people frightened’.”
* “The key-word here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts.”
* “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed…”
* “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.”
* “And if all others accepted the lie which the party imposed-if all records told the same tale-then the lie passed into history and became the truth.”
Choose one of the Nazi quotes and analyze it by comparing and contrasting it to one of the quotes from 1984. How do you see the Nazi quotes echoed in what you have read so far of 1984? Write 3-4 sentences with your partner on this topic.
- 2. Analyzing Winston’s Dreams
Winston has a series of dreams within the first fifty pages of the text. They all heavily symbolic and contain motifs seen throughout the rest of the text. Read through the following, and pick out some of the recurring images and archetypes that you see. Be sure to use the archetype handout you downloaded. Chapter 3 Consider the following as you read:
- How does Orwell uses archetypes to convey a message in the dream? What is the message that Winston experiences?
- This is one of the only scenes of creativity we see in the first 50 pages, what does that say about how the Party affects a person’s mind? Consider what the Nazi’s said.
- 3. Dystopia vs. Utopia
Orwell presents us with the now stereotypical depiction of a dystopia, or place/state in which literally everything is unpleasant or bad. However, the opposite of that is what is called a Utopia. A book by the same name, written in 1516, can almost be seen as the precursor to 1984 in that many great ideas about government presented in this book are turned upside-down in 1984. Read through the following short summary of Utopia and answer/discuss the questions that follow:
“The rulers are selected from the order of scholars. Language, social customs, religion, dress, architecture and education are identical in Utopia’s fifty-four cities. There is a large degree of uniformity and very little individual expression. Laws and social customs heavily regulate the private decisions of individuals. A child is re-assigned to another household if the child wishes to learn a trade other than his or her father’s. Households are composed of extended families, but family members can be relocated to other households if the distribution of adults per household becomes uneven within a given city.
The Utopians are a morally developed people though they are not Christians. Some of the Utopians’ beliefs run counter to the moral traditions of the Christian church (e.g. the Utopians encourage euthanasia when the patient is terminally ill). The Utopians believe that pride is the root of great evils. Accordingly, the Utopians have eliminated wealth, the nobility, private property, and currency. Labor and goods are distributed equally. Property is held in common. Everyone works the same hours and even though the rulers are exempt from public labor, they work to set a good example for the others. Work hours are equally distributed and there are no monasteries, convents, alehouses, or academies wherein an individual might withdraw from the rest of society. All Utopians are socially productive. “
- What ironic representations of the land of Utopia can you see in 1984?
- If you were given an island and told to rule it in your vision of a utopia, how would you rule? Describe the type of government, majors laws, how citizens were meant to behave, how citizens were kept in line and abiding by those laws, etc.
- 4. Dialectical Journals
You can take the rest of the class period to work on dialectical journals. Make sure that you have at least 4 by tomorrow.