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1984 Part III

Today we had a little chat about the third part of 1984. We focused on some of the major changes from the novel to the film. After that, we switched over to a discussion on how torture works and watched this 60 Minutes feature from 2009 about Iranian torture victim Ahmed Batebi.


Propaganda Summative

Hey Gang,

Just a few quick reminders about the Media Summative.

We begin presentation on May 29th. If you lost your copy of the summative, here it is:

Media Summative – Propaganda

If you need examples, sadly WORDPRESS will not simply allow me to post my PowerPoint. It might be filtering it out due to the imagery form my Nazi Propaganda pictures. In lieu of that, I’ve included a few modern examples at the end of this posting. I’ll give you a rubric on Tuesday so you know exactly how they will be evaluated.

Most of you have opted to A) work alone and B) make a poster, both of which are fine.

Here’s what info I have so far…

Presenters and Products


  1. Samantha and Jackie
  2. Rachel and Ann
  3. Aimee and Grace (maybe)


  1. Raphaella and Sydney
  2. Dante and Jonathan
  3. Liv
  4. Lora
  5. Will
  6. Safa
  7. Mariella
  8. Stephanie
  9. Emma N.
  10. Emma L. –
  11. Jillian
  12. Noah G and Kevin
  13. Shannon and Tyler
  14. Lindsay
  15. Emily A
  16. Madddie
  17. Nolan and Connall
  18. Caprice
  19. Noah C.
  20. Rosalia

A few examples of modern propaganda

Anti-Death Penalty

Image result for propaganda death penalty Related image

Pro-Death Penalty

Image result for propaganda pro death penalty


Image result for pro life propaganda

Image result for pro life ad

Pro-Choice Ad


Image result for pro choice ad


Image result for pro choice


1984 Part 1: A discussion

Hey Gang,

Today we did our first look at the novel, specifically focused on understanding PART 1 of the book. To do this, we did the following…

  1. A short quiz to check on content and understanding
  2. A brief discussion about the novel and the function of PART 1 and how it relates to the overall book

We spent discussion time giving clarity to certain ideas/concepts found in the world of 1984.

To help along the discussion, I showed a few videos to help clarity certain concpets.


Doublethink may sound impossible in a way, but it’s very real and has connections our world. It most closely resembles psychological condition know as Cognitive Dissonance.

Here’s a video that explains it better than me:


This is the systematic simplification of the English language. The purpose is to rob people of the words to describe matters nuance and complexity. Simple words lead to simple thoughts and inaction.

George Carlin considered as much when he mused on the evolution of the combat condition shell-shock.


This is a daily occurrence in which people gather around Teleescreens to jeer and boo at images of Emmanuel Goldstein  (founder of the Brotherhood and enemy of the people) and heap praise upon Big Brother. The book goes to great pains to explain the 2 minute hate, as will we next class when we discuss how propaganda works. The 2 Minute Hate is the purest form of propaganda, a direct appeal to people basest fears and feelings, in which fact is pushed aside for feeling.

These kind of events are nothing new…



The very notion of thinking anything contrary to the political philosophy of the ruling party is considered a ‘thought crime’ and is ultimately punishable by death. Winston considers as much even before he writes in his journal, considering that the mere thought of writing his anti-party feelings down is a thought crime. One of the most effective weapons the Party has against thought crime (besides the Thought Police) is to indoctrinate children while they are young and malleable through organization like the Junior Spies.

This is nothing new. Indoctrinating the young to embrace the collective norms of a society is a long standing tradition all around the world for better and for worse.

Behold the Hitler Youth and the Boy-scouts of America

Image result for hitler youth Image result for boy scouts 1950



In countries where free speech is valued and protected, the press remains absolutely vital because it holds leaders accountable for their actions. An honest and open press is vital to keeping a democracy alive. However, many counties still have laws in place that translate to modern day thought crime.

Image result for north korea title

NORTH KOREA – All domestic radio, television, and newspapers are controlled by the government. Radio and television receivers are locked to government-specified frequencies. Content is supplied almost entirely by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). It serves up a daily diet of fawning coverage of “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il and his official engagements. The country’s grinding poverty or famines are never mentioned. Only small numbers of foreign journalists are allowed limited access each year, and they must be accompanied by “minders” wherever they go.

Image result for Burma

BURMA – The junta owns all daily newspapers and radio, along with the country’s three television channels. Media dare not hint at, let alone report on, anti-government sentiments. Burma’s few privately owned publications must submit content to the Press Scrutiny Board for approval before publishing; censorship delays mean that none publishes on a daily basis. In 2005, the junta took control of Bagan Cybertech, Burma’s main Internet service and satellite-feed provider. Citizens have been arrested for listening to the BBC or Radio Free Asia in public. Entry visa requests by foreign journalists are usually turned down except when the government wants to showcase a political event.

Image result for turkmenistan

TURKMENISTAN – President Niyazov has isolated the country from the rest of the world and created a cult of personality declaring himself “Turkmenbashi,” father of the Turkmen. The state owns all domestic media and Niyazov’s administration controls them by appointing editors and censoring content. Niyazov personally approves the front-page content of the major dailies, which always include a prominent picture of him. In 2005, the state closed all libraries except for one that houses the president’s books, and banned the importation of foreign publications. The state media heap fulsome praise on Niyazov as they ignore important stories on AIDS, prostitution, unemployment, poverty, crime, and drugs. A handful of local and foreign correspondents work for foreign–primarily Russian–news agencies, but their freedom to report is minimal.



1984 Intro – Dystopias

Hey Guys,

So you’ve all got copies of the novel 1984. 


The novel comes in 3 parts so we’ll divide the reading down those same lines. Here are the completion dates.

Part 1: May 2nd

Part 2: May 16th

Part 3: May 25th 

Much like Frankenstein, I’ll do some kind of quiz on those dates to check-up that you’ve done the reading. Nothing difficult. If you’ve done the reading (and stayed awake) you’ll do fine.

During this time, I won’t be assigning any homework other than the media summative assignment. Other than that, you’re only read homework is to read and understand.

As per your request, I’ll provide a couple of in-class reading periods. Let me rephrase, I’ll start with one and see if you earn another. If I have to deal with multiple “I forgot my book” excuses or catch people secretly texting (I always notice), there won’t be a second. It’s next period. Come prepared.


After that, we had a little chat about the book including topics as…

…why I’m teaching it this year

…what do people know already

…a little history of the novel

…your history with science fiction

We finished by watching a very short video and read an article about 1984 climbing to the top of the amazon best seller list earlier this year.


To conclude, we went through a PowerPoint presentation about Dystopian fiction. In case you missed it, here it is again.





Final Short Story Assignment: Find your own story

Hey Gang,

Today is our last day of short story study. Judging by the quizzes I’ve already marked, you guys know your way around short story analysis. That should make this assignment pretty easy.

Here’s what I want you to do:

  1. Find a short story online and read it.

This should be pretty easy. I’ve provided a series of links below that will take you short story websites. Don’t just read the first story you find. Try to search for titles, authors and subjects that interest you.

2. Answer the following questions about your short story. You can type these answers or write them by hand.

  • Provide a brief plot summary of your story
  • Who is the central character of your story and why?
  • What does this story have to offer? Is it a character piece? An interesting plot? A study in mood?
  • What age reader would you recommend this story for?
  • Did you enjoy reading this story? Why or why not?

3. Hand in the answers with the title of the short story and the author’s name on the top of your paper. This is so I can find your story later when I’m marking these questions.



Classic Short Stories:

100 Great Short Stories:

Best Short Stories 2017:







Second Short Film and Quiz Reminder

Hey Gang,

So we managed two things in class today. Just wanted to recap them and remind you about next class.

  1. We watched a second short film. This one is entitle NEW BOY by Danny Boyle. It won the Oscar for best short film and is a personal favourite of mine. After we watched it, we talked about it a bit. Here it is, in case you want to watch it again.

2. After that, we did a fun short story writing activity where we wrote 6 word short stories. They were fun. I’m sure I enjoyed them.


Next class you’re going to have a little quiz based on the stories we’ve read. I don’t think it should be particularly hard. It will consist of two types of questions:

  1. Content Questions – This is to show me you’ve read and understood the stories. If there’s anything you don’t understand, reread ’em, look for information online and/or come an ask me. “I didn’t get it” is not a reasonable excuse.
  2. Analysis Questions – We’ve spent the last few classes talking about certain simple questions we can pose to a short story (or any story for that matter), which include but are not limited to.

Character: Who is the central character and why? Do the events of the story change the central character? Do you like the characters or can you relate to them?

Story: What kind of story is the author attempting to tell us? Does the story have a moral/message? Is there a central theme? How is that theme/message communicated? Is it obvious or subtle? Is the story worth telling? Does it offer anything unique?

These are the kinds of questions I’ve been asking you about the stories we’ve looked at so you should have no trouble answering them, assuming you were not completely checked out in class.


Stop the Girl

The Cask of Amontillado



Night on Earth – Los Angeles

New Boy