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1984 Lesson Plan
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By using this lesson plan for George Orwell's 1984, teachers will help their students analyze the novel's main characters—Winston Smith, Julia, O’Brien, and Big Brother—to better understand the themes of freedom vs. totalitarianism, loyalty vs. betrayal, and patriotism vs. rebellion. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- What is the setting of the novel 1984? Give the country and the city. The novel 1984 is set in and around London, which is the main city of Airstrip One, a province of the country of Oceania.
- Name each of the Ministries explain and its function. Also include the Newspeak name for each ministry. The Ministry of Truth, or Minitrue, is concerned with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, or Minipax, is concerned with war. The Ministry of Love, or Miniluv, maintains law and order. The Ministry of Plenty, or Miniplenty is responsible for economic affairs.
- Describe thoughtcrime and give an example. Thoughtcrime is thinking anything against the Party. Orwell describes it as “the essential crime that contained all others in itself.” Thoughtcrime could not be concealed forever. Eventually the Thought Police would get whoever committed thoughtcrime. Winston committed an act of thoughtcrime when he wrote in his diary.
- Explain the concept of doublethink. Doublethink is the ability to have two opposite or contradictory thoughts at the same time, and accept both of them. People who practice doublethink are able to tell lies and believe them or forget about facts that they don’t need. They deny objective reality while they are aware of that same reality.
- What is Winston thinking at the end of the novel 1984? He realizes that he has won the victory over himself. He now loves Big Brother.
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