Southwest Licking School District Literature Selection Review Teacher: Paula Ball
School: Watkins Memorial High School
Book Title: 1984
Book Summary and Summary Citation: From Borders: Satire on the possible horrors of a totalitarian regime in England in 1984.The world has suffered many disillusionments before, but few times has its hounded denizens been more uniformly beset than in the years following WW II. Here we had finished a war of liberation, fought on the most massive scale imaginable, and at its conclusion delivered over to Russian or Chinese Communist control hundreds of millions of unconsenting citizens.
Many saw the magnitude of this error, but it was Orwell who pointed out what we might become in combating the menace to our freedom. In his vision of 1984, we have grown as ruthless and manipulative as our enemies, callously uncaring of personal and individual freedoms, all in the name of the freedom and democracy we profess to defend.
Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time. Instructional Rationale/Objectives: Read and comprehend literature at grade level. Cite textual evidence to support what text says and draw inferences Review #1: Novel by George Orwell, published in 1949 as a warning about the menaces of totalitarianism. The novel is set in an imaginary future world that is dominated by three perpetually warring
totalitarian police states. The book's hero, Winston Smith, is a minor party functionary in one of these states. His longing for truth and decency leads him to secretly rebel against the government. Smith has a love affair with a like-minded woman, but they are both arrested by the Thought Police. The ensuing imprisonment, torture, and reeducation of Smith are intended not merely to break him physically or make him submit but to root out his independent mental existence and his spiritual dignity. Orwell's warning of the dangers of totalitarianism made a deep impression on his contemporaries and upon subsequent readers, and the book's title and many of its coinages, such as NEWSPEAK, became bywords for modern political abuses. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature Review #2: From Amazon: Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell's nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff's attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell's prescience of modern life--the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language--and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written. What alternate text(s) could also fulfill the instructional requirements? Title: Animal Farm George Orwell Document any potentially controversial content: Non marital sexual intercourse, false impression that the book is advocating communism, torture, and use of profanity intermixed throughout GRADE LEVEL(S): 9 and 10 Reading level of this title (if applicable): 9/10 Date Submitted to website: August 1, 2011 Suggested Professional Literary Review Sources: School Library Journal Horn Book Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
Library Journal Book Links Publisher's Weekly Booklist Kirkus Review Wilson Library Catalog English Journal (and other resources of the National Council of Teachers of English) The Reading Teacher (International Reading Association) Literature for Today’s Young Adults