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Young Adult Literature Reviews
Pages and Files
Science Fiction and Fantasy
Writing Your Review
The Giver and Fahrenheit 451
Pairing Project, Part One
Griffin Gallagher, Nikki Groves, Troy Harvey, Erin Ouellette, Nicholas Zacek
Basics: Bradbury, Ray. Farenheit 451. New York: Ballantine, 1953. Print.
Recently there has been a trend in dystopian literature that has had a profound impact in the world: The Hunger Games Trilogy, Divergent, etc. This genre of literature illustrates how the main protagonist(s) deal with their corrupt government, oppressed societies, and how the rest of their world lives in such a condition. When Fahrenheit 451 was released in 1953, the era of McCarthyism, the Cold War, Red Scare and Communism had been in full motion. The events of history coincided with the premise of the novel because there existed government oppression, censorship, and deception.
It’s an interesting thought, thinking what it would be like for Fahrenheit 451 and Ray Bradbury to have some kind of conversation with, say, The Giver and Lowis Lowry for example. To have both novels and both authors come together to share in conversation would be fascinating. Bradbury had lived through decades of change, and had experienced the dark side of politics that he made evident in Fahrenheit 451 with censorship and conformity. With Lowry, she too had lived through decades of dramatic change, and her focus in The Giver is similar as Jonas, the protagonist, uncovers his society’s past which is held secret to the people.
There would be another fascinating conversation if both novels’ protagonists could exist in the same world together to share experiences and learn from another: Guy Montag, a man in his 30s, vs Jonas, a boy in his mid teens. Because both of these characters have experienced oppression of their surrounding societies (even if early on they did not know), they would have much in common. They would be able to relate to what it’s like not to live entirely free, who the people are they can trust, and how they cope with their changing lives.
There would also be another interesting conversation between these characters dealing with how they’re handling their adversity. Montag is in the situation where he works for the bureau he is realizing is corrupt, while Jonas too is beginning to discover the secrets withheld of his society’s past government body; Both Montag and Jonas seek escape into a better reality.
As for the authors, Bradbury and Lowry would likely share interesting conversations about how the world has changed from the mid 20th Century into the 2000s, technologically, socially and politically. Since The Giver likely has a more appealing story (i.e main character is a teenage boy) for a larger, more youth-based audience, the struggles Jonas faces would help younger readers empathize with the struggles of Montag. When readers can empathize with a character from one book of the same genre, they will be able to do the same for other dystopian literature characters, like Montag. The struggles of these characters will in the end help tie the connection of class literature to young adult literature.
Research Focus: Pairing Classics with Young Adult Works
Kopp, Julie M. Techniques for Improving Student Engagement and Comprehension Through the Pairing of Young Adult Literature With Classic Literature in Advanced Placement or Honors Twelfth Grade Classrooms. Thesis. University of Central Florida, 2013. Print.
discusses the importance of using young adult literature in the classroom and how it has a positive impact on the students. Using examples based on her previous experience in education, she points out the difficulties of reading classic literature that is assigned. She encourages the use of a thematic unit. This allows the instructor to pick literature in different genres and help students identify a specific theme throughout young adult and classic literature. Also, she discusses how young adult can be more relatable to adolescent students because the characters are often very relatable ( i.e. they share similar experiences).
Wilkinson, Rachel. "Teaching Dystopian Literature to a Consumer Class." English Journal 99.3 (2010): 22-26. Web.
compares teaching A Brave New World and Feed to students on a consumer level. She describes how industry is run off supply and demand. She suggests both novels leave questions about how schools play into economics with the demand for education and being able to supply it. Similarly, she says consumers (the students in this case) want instant gratification. This is done in both novels by getting what you want or being made to believe these things are what you want. Wilkinson also brings in the use of technology and language within both of the books to show how much of their worlds rely on these two aspects as well.
Lea, Susan G. "Seeing Beyond Sameness: Using The Giver to Challenge Colorblind Ideology." Children's Literature in Education 37.1 (2006): 51-67. Web. <
discusses how in The Giver, Lowry creates a dystopian world that is supposed to alarm the readers. The lack of choice, emotions, color, etc is intended to startle the reader and help to understand why Jonas would reach out to fill this gap. Lea also notes that the judgment passed on everyone, despite their age, is meant to indicate that there is a “right” judgment that is better than others. This, Lea believes, is essential to understanding how the world of The Giver and our own world can draw parallels. Lea focuses on racial similarities that divide the White/African-American persons in our own society.
By 9/22/14: Every group member will read Fahrenheit 451. We will also take note on possible connections that could arise later or that we know of from previous dystopian novels.
By 10/20/14: Every group member will read The Giver. At this point we will have connections between the two novels to use for the project.
As a group, either via email or in person as our schedules permit, we will discuss these connections and how they might be used for the third part of our project.
Pairing Project, Part Two
Basics: Lowry, Lois. The Giver. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. Print.
Points of Connection:
Both societies lives in a world of rigid structure. However, each treat the vast subjects of individuality and imagination very differently. In Fahrenheit 451, expression and creativity are strictly forbidden with outright threats of force serving as a constant reminder. Meanwhile in The Giver, such matters are seen as necessary yet dangerous, and possession is regulated to one person to minimize the perceived damage but retain all of its necessary wisdoms.
In both novels the protagonist begins their story resigned to their community’s format, although not necessarily knowingly and willingly; they simply are ignorant of any other possibility. However, each of the respective protagonist’s discover of the alternative is contrasting in nature. Guy of Fahrenheit 451 accidentally happens upon the forbidden after being in a position of active enforcement meant to stamp out creativity and originality. He needs to first deal with an overwhelming sensation of curiosity before dealing with his existing prejudice of the subjects.
While Guy is an adult, and must work harder to break down his already existing mental barriers, Jonas of The Giver is a child, and therefore experiences a much different internal journey. Jonas is at a transitional period in his life. As his journey is about to begin, he still has questions about the world around him, so therefore going against the norm when an alternative style of life is presented to him (while not immediate) is much easier.
Upon discovering the forbidden, Guy and Jonas’ societies handle the matter in a much different way. Beatty, Guy’s superior,offers veiled threats and negative reinforcement to make the point clear: Guy is to cease his pursuit of this forbidden knowledge and experience and return to the world they live in. Meanwhile, Jonas is not only allowed to pursue this knowledge, but is actively encouraged to do so. This knowledge is necessary for Jonas to learn perhaps because of the way in which his society addresses their own ignorance, which is converse to that of Guy’s society.
In both societies, there is a pervading and perpetual state of ignorance that holds fast to the people that live in them. The people are to never experience detailed and sometimes negative notions of emotion and feeling, taking great measures to ensure a world that is eternally happy but ultimately unfulfilling. In Guy’s world, these forbidden sensations are actively hidden with evidence to their existence being constantly hunted and destroyed. It is perceived as dangerous and without value, only a plague to the world. In Jonas’ world, this knowledge is not hunted and exterminated. On the contrary, it is deemed so important that only one person is worthy of being bestowed to it. Jonas’ world is acutely aware of its necessity, but while not deeming it worthless, it is still nevertheless deemed inefficient to allow widespread access. Pursuers of this knowledge are deviants in Fahrenheit 451 and bearers of a great and noble burden in The Giver.
Ultimately, both novels end on something of an ambiguous, almost bittersweet ending. In both endings there is a feeling of rebirth as Guy goes to rebuild the scorched ruins of his town with the knowledge he has attained. However, Jonas’ end-fate is left to the reader’s interpretation, and it is unknown if he has survived to see the fruits of his labors. Yet despite their ambiguities, the overarching theme of both is that those burdened with knowledge are also tasked with sharing it. Through their efforts, Guy is set to build a world that, while forsaking bliss, will receive freedom. Jonas has also stripped his home and his people of the bliss they confined themselves to, but in the end they will be able to know the world beyond their feeble understanding as they regain emotion. Guy and Jonas, figuratively and literally respectively, have brought color back into their bleak worlds.
Research: Online Instruction
Milman, Natalie B. "Differentiating Instruction in Online Environments." Distance Learning 6.3 (2009): 87. Academic OneFile. Web. 19 Oct. 2014.
, the author cite others who have done research on education practices. They found that most instructors come down to three different instruction practices. These include differentiated content, process, and product. The author describes ‘content’ as being the resources and sources used, ‘process’ as how students learn, and ‘product’ as the final output. When compared to traditional teaching methods, the author argues that online teaching changes some of these practices. Online, ‘content’ can be differentiated by using different formats, such as PDF and podcasts. ‘Process’ online involves different learning styles, such as writing an essay or working in groups. Finally, ‘product’ becomes allowing the students to create different assignments, such as creating a website or video.
Townsend, Jane S., et al. "An Online Writing Partnership: Transforming Classroom Writing Instruction." English Journal 102.4 (2013): 74-81. ProQuest. Web. 19 Oct. 2014. .
The authors helped to create the
__Online Writing Partnership__
, a collaboration between students and teachers in dual-enrollment high school and college classes. In the article, the authors describe a situation that involved the feedback English students received in classes and the lack of information communicated to them through this feedback. Because of this lack of information, the authors collaborated to incorporate computers and the internet into their classes. On the topic of essay feedback, the authors noted that using email to exchange papers was much quicker and the comment function on Microsoft Word allowed for more precise commenting. They also noted specific ideas that help focus student’s writing when used online.
Crews, Tena B. Neill, Jason. “Preferred Delivery Method for Online Instruction: Secondary Students’ Perceptions.” 12.1 (2014): 1-6. Web. 20 Oct 2014.
In the article, the authors talk about the importance of technology and how it is a continuing process of change. Technology plays an important role in everyday life through work, school, and home environments. The authors state that increased technology is one area of instructional reform aimed to address the instructional requirements and difficulties within the secondary setting. They go on to talk about the advantages of teaching online including case studies with adolescent students that showed the availability of technology support were among student preferences.
Before 10/20/2014: Each group member should now have both Fahrenheit 451 and The Giver thoroughly. Each member should be able to compare and contrast the context of both novels.
On 10/20/2014: Each group member will discuss their knowledge and opinions of both novels in a literature circle where contextual distinctions will be made between our adult work (Fahrenheit 451) and now our young adult work (The Giver).
In our literature circle and outside of class via email/texting/etc., we will discuss how to implement both novels combined into a well developed mini-unit. Our goals for our mini-unit will be to engage our students in fun and intellectual discussions of both novels, and how they reacted to their context; we also aim for our students to challenge themselves to think critically of various underlying themes that have influence in the real world (i.e censorship, oppression).
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