Nineteen Eighty Four

A Closer Look at the Text

Lesson 1: THE FRAME OF THE NOVEL - 75 minutes

Re-read with the End In Mind

We have been talking a lot about the importance of re-reading with the end in mind when you are doing a literary analysis of a text.


Re-read Chapter 1 with the end of Nineteen Eighty Four in mind. Pick up all the threads of the novel in Chapter 1. List all the ways in which Chapter 1 of Nineteen Eighty Four a map of the novel?

Chapter 1

Read Chapter One. In point form, track the 'escalation' of tension as Orwell sets the scene for the story.


Note: (in groups, on ledger or chart paper)

- descriptions of the physical setting

- the characterization of Winston

- the introduction of the other characters / entities

- the rendering of conflict between Winston and his world

- how all the themes of the novel are started; laid out

- how all connections to the real world are set (through allusion)


Consequently, by the end of Chapter One, the reader knows exactly what he novel is about.

The Appendix

Read the Appendix


Superfluous

Archaic

Heretical

Inimicable

Panegyric


Chapter One and the Appendix book end the novel. Both resonate all the thematic aspects of the novel.


1. Read first, then skim the Appendix. Identify, out loud, each separate theme of the novel as Orwell deals with them in the Appendix. Write them out in point form.


2. What is the narrative point of view of he Appendix? Is it part of the novel? How do you know? How does it change or explain the ending of the novel? What happens to your perception of the novel if you don't read it?


3. Skim over Chapter One again and try to see how Orwell builds, or escalates the tension of the setting. Pull out the specific lines that do this by saying them out loud. Write them to in point form.

B - Real Life Vocabulary Reverberations (Interesting Aside)

" Perhaps ironically, Hitler stole the term "homeland" from the 1920s and 1930s Zionist movement's goal to create a Jewish "homeland" in the Middle East, Hitler wanted to create a "racial" identity for the German people that was tied to German soil.

He wanted to create an identity that went beyond language and culture. He wanted to invent a "German race," and have Germany be that race's "homeland," all so he could sell to the German people their own racial superiority and use that to justify exterminating others."

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/26395-time-for-the-us-to-dump-the-word-homeland

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Interesting Questions for Debate (Chapter One and The Appendix)

1.

Is "thought dependent on words"? What other historical events and features of Orwell's world in Orwell's time, besides the political 'telescoping' of words, would have inspired Orwell to write about language the way he did in Nineteen Eighty Four?



2.

Considering the following inclusion in the Appendix (check its context):


WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT, THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL, THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN INALIENABLE RIGHTS, THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

THAT TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, GOVERNMENTS ARE INSTITUTED AMONG MEN, DERIVING THEIR POWERS FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED. THAT WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THOSE ENDS, IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE NEW GOVERNMENT...


What do you think Orwell's disposition toward America was?


3.

From what perspective is the narrator writing Nineteen Eight Four? How do you know? How does that change your reading of the novel itself in retrospect?


EXTENSIONS: http://www.netcharles.com/orwell/articles/col-newspeak.htm

LESSON 2 - CONNECTING DOTS - 75 minutes

Beyond Totalitarianism

The totalitarian context is the perfect dystopian setting for the story Orwell tells in Nineteen Eighty Four - and a natural one for him to use given his times - just like so many of the novels and films of our time use the environs of the cataclysms of our time to set their stories in. But the best stories don't rely on setting for their power - that's only the beginning. Their power comes in large part from the part they play in the dialogue of human experience. The voices of that dialogue are those of other great thinkers - other writers, philosophers, scientists and artists; and history and myth.

Nietzche

Orwell would've read Nietzsche - as so many well read people too (maybe even you, some day soon).


Nietzche had a profound influence on the intellectuals of the twentieth century. His ideas were pervasive. Anyone who 'read', who was 'learned' read Nietzsche. Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four resonates Nietzche's philosophical tenets.


Listen to this twice. The second time make a list of the parallels to Nineteen Eighty Four.

PHILOSOPHY - Nietzsche

The Fall Of Man

English literature and art revolve around the Judeo Christian worldview. Christianity in particular was central to European consciousness. While Orwell was not religious, he would have known the bible. His use of biblical allusion in Nineteen Eighty Four further communicates his theme.


Orwell uses archetypal story of The Fall of Man as the skeleton on which he hangs the plot. This has a profound thematic resonance in Nineteen Eighty Four.


( Don't know the bible? Think about reading it - or at least watching movies about the stories. If you are going to continue studying, you'll need some knowledge of the traditional texts upon which our civilization is built. Familiarize yourself with the bible, the Koran and the Torah. )

Bible Theater: Genesis - The Fall
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Lillith the first wife of Adam

Who is Trotsky?

Scholars agree Emmanueal Goldstien is most likely modelled on Trotsky.


One of the leaders of the Bolshevik Revolution alongside Lenin and Stalin. Russian Civil War 1918 - 1923. Went on to oppose Stalin, writing a book which became the basis of Karl Marx ideology.

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Falsification

Three men - one missing. Nicolai Yeshsev, Chief of Police, erased. History changed.
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Churches of London

Orwell was 'irreverent' - so not a Christian. There were many churches in London, as of course there were many Christians.


The inclusion of these churches in Nineteen Eighty Four in significant.


Before very tall buildings, the spires of the churches stuck out above everything else and formed the landmarks of London. The tip top of Saint Paul's Cathedral is 300 feet high and was the tallest building in London from the early eighteenth century (1720's) to 1962.


There were bylaws that forbid buildings taller than Saint Paul's so as not to obscure or diminish it.


Orwell renders the four 'Ministries' as landmarks that can be seen from all over the city, drawing an obvious parallel.


This parallel is interesting in that Orwell may have his tongue in his cheek. Others wold also have recognized the similarity between the church towers of London and the characteristics of the Ministries in 1984. It is a poke at the power of the churches - a deliberate parallel being drawn in terms of the power the church held over the common man -believers- in his own society. He satirizes this power in Nineteen Eighty Four.


A direct line of reasoning can be drawn from Nietzsche's "God is Dead" to Orwell's parallel between the churches of London and the Ministries of Nineteen Eighty Four.




The Church of St. Clemen's


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oranges_and_Lemons


http://www.touruk.co.uk/london_churches/stclementsdanes_church1.htm

What other connections can you think of?

Lesson 3 - EMMANUEL GOLDSTEIN'S BOOK - 40 minutes

This Lesson uses 'FOUR CORNERS'


Choose the position about Emmanuel Goldstiens book you are most able to talk and write about. in groups of two or three, complete the particular question guide provided in the 'corner' to establish an thesis with at least one piece of evidence. Explain the connection. Be prepared to share. Write everyone's ideas and responses on the charts provided.

Social Commentary in Shaw's Pygmalion & Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four

APHORISM

noun

1.

a terse saying embodying a general truth, orastute observation, as “Power tends to corrupt,and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton).


Skim over Goldstein's Book and pick out some of the aphorisms. Explain how they relate to the themes of Nineteen Eighty Four.


Bernard Shaw is also known for his aphorisms. His encapsulate the theme of his play. Can you pick aphorisms out of Pygmalion that can be compared to those of Emmanuel Goldstein's book?

Goldstein's Philosophy Satirizes Oceania Directly . . .

2. There are huge ironies at play in the idea that Emmanuel is an 'enemy' of the state. Look again through Emmanuel Goldstein's book. Find passages that seem to describe, directly, life under Big Brother in Oceania.

Orwell as a Prophet

3. Look again at Goldstein's description of Oligarchical Collectivism and think about how it describes the world since 1948. What's interesting about that?

"Shakespeare"

4. When Winston awakes from his dream (p. 33), the word 'Shakespeare' is on his lips. What is the significance of that?

Also an interesting (tangential) line of thought: What comparisons can you make between the thematic concerns of Orwell, particularly as articulated in the Goldstein book, and those of Shakespeare, particularly as they are articulated by Shakespeare's in The Tempest ?

Interesting Questions for Debate: Goldstein's Book

1. Let's make sure we all get it (read it?): Who wrote it? Why?


2. Make a table with two columns. On one side list characteristics of the Collective Oligarchy. On the other side list characteristics of Oceana. Where do they intersect? How do they differ? (If possible find quotations to support your thinking.) What is the meaning of that?

Lesson 4 - SYMBOLS, ARCHETYPES and ALLUSIONS - 30 mintues

Draw a piece of paper.

One of the following symbols, archetypes or allusions are on it.

Without the aid of the internet (without your devices), skim to find incidences of the topic you've drawn. Name its figurative class. Determine its importance in developing character, conflict and theme as well as, as a literary (dramatic) device. Find quotes to support your analysis.

Birds

Nature

Water

Mothers

Time / Clocks

The Paperweight

The Journal

London's Churches

Ms. Parson's Drain Pipe

Julia (and younger women generally)

Children

The Chestnut Tree

Varicose Vein

Gin

Sex

Chocolate

Darkness

Bed(s)

The Book

Mouths and Teeth

Golden Country

Chess

Dust


Any more?

Lessons 5 - THE HELIX OF SEX AND HATE in 1984

Every time Winston comes up agains the party, the language is sexual.


Every time Winston comes up against sex, the language is political.


The sexual and the political are completely intertwined, and the language intensifies as the tension intensifies, and then levels out again as the new balance approaches.


Find examples.


Why is the language of sex and the rebellion against the party so intertwined? What is the significance of this pairing?


Other Questions


What about Julia?


What is her role In Winston's 'undoing'? What is her role in the party? What is her role in the novel as a character / literary device?


How does the story 'end' for her? What is the signficance of this?

LESSON 6 - THE ENDING - DEBATE and the LIT GAME

This 1984 Smore was made by carolyn.hassard@peelsb.com for ENG3U0.
1. What happens to Winston in the end and how do you know?


2. Two teams:

Divvy up into pairs

Make up Right There, Between the Lines and Beyond the Text questions

One team asks the other team the questions for points.