1984 meets DivergentPairing Project, Part OneTodd BowmarAlex EhlertAlly NelsenLauren Rosenau

1984
Orwell, George. 1984. New York City: Signet Classics, 1949.
George Orwell's 1984


Possible Connections1984 is a difficult text in which multiple topics are satirized by George Orwell. As an author, he creates a world in which information is controlled, freedom of thought is suppressed and mass media is subjugating the masses. Of his many themes, Orwell's commentary on freedoms sound the loudest throughout. For young readers, this theme of freedom vs oppression is one that will easily translate to their lives.
  1. The way a novel starts, the messages presented, creates the overall tone for the rest of its presentation. Orwell's 1984, starts with a message from the state on the Ministry of Truth "WAR IS PEACE - FREEDOM IS SLAVERY - IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH." With these words, Orwell creates a scene in which messages are constantly counterintuitive to what the reader knows. By placing this slogan on the government building designated for "truth," Orwell sets the reader up to question the validity of those in power. This theme of questioning the absoluteness of authority may present itself in the pairing of 1984 with Divergent.
  2. After reading 1984 and Divergent I believe that these two books on dystopian societies completely grasp the idea of conformity and the right to freedom. While reading both books my mind wandered to what the villains had in common. Both organizations bend on domination... well domination of at least their corners of the world. I feel that while these villains are the most basic of bad guys, ranking up there with Maleficent and Cruella Deville, they represent an idea. They represent any government, entity, person or people that would stifle someone else's freedom for their own gain.
  3. The idea of having a right to freedom is displayed in both 1984 and Divergent. In Orwell’s text, Winston is aware of the oppression of the general mass of citizens. He sees how the people are drawn in by Big Brother and the propaganda used. Also, Winston knows through personal experience that achieving a level of freedom in this society is possible. However, it is not probable that others will see this opportunity. In contrast to Orwell, Roth’s novel allows the characters to be aware of their right to freedom. They have the freedom to choose the faction that they want to belong to. Sadly, that’s all I have for Divergent at this point because I haven’t finished reading it.
  4. Divergent would greatly help adolescents understand 1984, mostly because it's an easier read. Divergent also gives a more familiar point of view to the student, seeing as it addresses issues every teenager goes through, such as lack of identity, self worth, loneliness, boys/girls. 1984 is somewhat harder for students to relate to, it's written from an adult's point of view in an extremely "weird" time. The whole idea of 1984's world is somewhat hard for us to wrap our heads around, but both worlds are dangerously possible, I've never felt more like questioning the government in my life. But I digress, while these books are to encourage critical thinking and non-conformity, the also both address things that every child, teenager, and adult faces and fears, loneliness. Tris's Character in Divergent completely compliments Orwell's Winston who feels alone in a world of fear and pain.
  5. 1984 has already been paired with the book Ender's game, which is also about a dystopian society in a way, but more importantly about a child who felt utterly alone. I kind of feel that if Ender, Tris, and Winston (pre-crazy/broken Winston) all met at a coffee shop, no words would be said. They'd just sit, nursing their coffee, in silence, reveling in the fact that the person next to them understands the level of loneliness they feel or have felt, there's something to be said about meeting someone who understands you.



Research Focus: Pairing Classics with Young Adult Works
http://etd.fcla.edu/CF/CFH0003819/Velazquez_Deanna_L_201105_BS.pdf (pdf)
This link is to a thesis written by a Deana Lynn Velazquez while this author has little credibility, I truly enjoyed her thesis. Many of the studies she referenced (some of which I took the time to verify) were very enlightening. I was surprised to discover just how little the curriculum of the modern classroom has changed since the early sixties, yet how many teachers truly believe that young adult works are actually the way to go.

Sanderson, Christine. “Birth/Death/Rebirth: Pairing Young Adult and Classic Novels To Teach
Situational Archetypes.” The Alan Review. PDF. September 20, 2014. <http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/v29n1/pdf/sanderson.pdf>
This article is great because it is from the perspective of Christine Sanderson; at the time, a librarian, secondary educator and Advanced Placement Examiner. She gives practical examples of the use of young adult and classic pairings. Christine argues that archetypes active in the classics become more reachable for younger reader when they are first identified and related to in young adult works.


Rubin, Daniel Ian. "Mindcrime and Doublethink: Using Music to Teach Dystopian Literature." English Journal 101.2 (2011): 74-9. ProQuest. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.
Mindcrime and Doublethink: Using Music to Teach Dystopian Literature

This article is great because it is from a teacher who has taught 1984 and has used music to get the students more invested in 1984, a text that is already very hard to read. This teacher used the ablum Operation: Mindcrime by a heavy metal band from Washington. This specific music was chosen because the songs and 1984 both deal with the idea of being being brainwashed by a higher power.


Process
1. By Monday 9/22/2014 the whole group will have read Divergent and 1984.
2. For Part Two, the group will all brainstorm different connections between Divergent and 1984. We'll discuss these connections in class, and all members will add different "connections" between the two texts on WikiSpaces.3. In the "Research: Online Instruction" part of the next step of the project, each member will find one scholarly source (and cite it MLA style) so we can design our mini-unit for part 3. We will focus on the question, "What strategies and methods are effective for online instruction?" After finding the article the group members will also directly link their article to the wiki and write a 100-word annotation so other group members know what the article is about.4. In class, the group will discuss next steps and due dates in the near future. We will also plan for the third part of the project