Theo Lawrence: When Dystopia Becomes Reality: Mystic City and Hurricane Sandy There is no denying it: Hurricane Sandy is one of the biggest disasters that we as Americans have ever had to face. This past week, I've watched as friends, family, and fellow residents of the Tri-State area lost their lights, their homes, and even their lives. It has been a tragedy for everyone involved. From my apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side (where I luckily did not lose power), I anxiously watched news coverage that showed streets, cars, and homes underwater--all lost to the surges of Sandy. Mystic City takes place in an alternate version of Manhattan, where magic is real and--thanks to global warming having gone unchecked--the streets are flooded. Many people have asked how I came up with this vision of a future Manhattan. One of the great things about teen literature is that the genre provides young readers with opportunities to see themselves on the pages. Where do dystopian and fantasy novels fit in?
1984 - Download Free eBook The thing that he was about to do was to open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a forced-labour camp. Winston fitted a nib into the penholder and sucked it to get the grease off. April 4th, 1984. He sat back. For whom, it suddenly occurred to him to wonder, was he writing this diary? For some time he sat gazing stupidly at the paper.
Susan Kim: Future Anxiety and Young Adult Fiction I was doing some research (i.e. "avoiding work/killing time online") when I found an interesting piece on Quora, now a content partner with Slate. It posits the hypothetical question, "what would happen if oxygen were to disappear for five seconds?" The respondent, a self-described science junkie named Andrew Cote, describes a series of truly eye-popping events that would occur. Citing principles of basic geology, chemistry, and air pressure, he predicts that among various other unpleasantries, everyone's inner ear would explode, the oceans would evaporate, and the earth itself would collapse into a drifting mass of cosmic crud. For those of us who have written speculative fiction, hypothesizing about the future is what we do, with the added challenge of turning it into a dramatic narrative. Yet anyone can dabble in futuristic scenarios and not just those who know beans about science. Let me confess right now that neither my writing partner nor I are scientists.
6 News Stories to Connect to Orwell’s 1984 Big brother really is watching you. Today we accept a certain amount of oversight by government and business as a part of daily life. Students know about all the surveillance cameras that follow them as they move about in the world. They realize the U.S. government tracks details on their income and health. They know that online vendors know what they buy and everything they looked at before they decide. They have all heard stories of someone who gets a ticket because of an act caught by a traffic light and toll booth camera. Still, they can bring a skepticism to class when they read George Orwell’s 1984. Several recent news stories may make the answer to that question less certain. Someone’s watching Granny cook her eggs. Student discussion of the articles can be guided with these questions: What freedoms or privacy rights does the system affect? If students read and discuss several of the articles, additional questions can ask them to compare and synthesize the pieces:
Lesson Plan: Updating Orwell's '1984' Overview | How does George Orwell’s vision of technology and its uses in “1984” compare with today’s reality? How have concerns about privacy and freedom expressed in the novel been manifested in the contemporary world? In this lesson, students compare and contrast the world, people and technologies of “1984” with those of today and create a treatment for a modern film, print or stage adaptation that revolves around current technologies. Materials | Full text of “1984,” computers with Internet access, software for podcasting and projection equipment, copies of the handout “1984” vs. Today (PDF), video cameras and film-editing software (optional) Warm-Up | Give students the following list of words from “1984”: Big BrotherdoublethinkthoughtcrimeNewspeakmemory holeOrwellian Students who have read the novel will recognize their provenance and should define them, as well as give a contemporary example of something that could be described similarly. What does Mr. Related resources: Technology 3.
Newspeak Dictionary Newspeak Dictionary Newspeak and other terminology found in Orwell's novel "1984", with some additional words which only appear in the movie. Airstrip One - Formally called England. This term demonstrates Orwell's distain for American influence Europe. artsem - Artificial Insemination - The government is pushing this method of childbirth as the ONLY method, to aid in the destruction of the family unit. Atomic Wars - The Atomic Wars took place during the 1950's. It was out of the chaos of these wars that Party emerged and seized control. Big Brother - Also refered to as simply "B.B.". And just like the gods of most religions, Big Brother is most likely fictional. "The story really began in the middle sixties, the period of the great purges in which the original leaders of the Revolution were wiped out once and for all. But this really doesn't answer the question of whether Big Brother is a 'real' individual or not. "Nobody has ever seen Big Brother. The Brotherhood - see the resistance