On 1984 by George Orwell:
George Orwell created vivid illustrations of a world dominated by totalitarianism in his book, “1984”. Such illustrations were utterly appropriate, with sustainable credibility, since the book was derived from his early years of Indian Imperial Police work where he experienced multiple notions of totalitarianism. “1984” suggests that, in the long run, totalitarianism will not be scornfully endured by all persons, but accepted with gratitude.
In 1984, one of the outstanding themes is that of the totalitarian party’s instillment of fear in the citizens of Eurasia and even the entire world. Looking into each and every tactic that they use to drill this obedience and fear into the people, one can see that the overarching theme of all is sex. Sex is seen as a weapon to the Party and is thus forbidden. The role of sex, especially feminine sexuality, in 1984 plays a huge part in the compliance with the terrible regulations made by the Party.
Throughout the rich history of the United States, the federal government and states have had a long line of disharmony over which of the two held the more supreme power; for example, the controversial 10th amendment and the Civil War. However, what both have forgotten is another player in this struggle for dominance – the people. In today’s world with seemingly skyrocketing healthcare costs, and possibly with no end in sight, we meet with this power struggle of the three once again, and it leaves us with the issues of government having a place in public health and politicians who are discouraging activities that are within the law. The people should be in control of their own health, keeping up with their own necessities, as they are the only ones who know what is best for their life. Government and politicians shouldn’t be protecting people from themselves.
Joseph Heller’s satirical novel, Catch-22, indirectly addresses corrupt justice systems and the extreme lengths society goes to fulfill the corrupt system’s orders. Heller’s characters begin to drive themselves to insanity because of their blind obedience to a higher power. Heller concentrates on basing his novel in the 1940’s, during World War II, but, in the process, questions Vietnam era controversies. Certain characters throughout the novel also raise questions as to how blindness to morality engulfs society and their outlook on the way things are handled in the world.
Jeannette Walls shares her struggles and her hardships in the novel The Glass Castle, where we follow her through her childhood which was stricken with poverty and neglectful abuse. Throughout the book, we can see how strong Jeannette’s powerful spirit is, and just how far pure motivation and hard work can get one in life. In her story, she finds a way to overcome the obstacles put in place by her alcoholic father and selfish mother to become a successful, satisfied, and independent woman in New York. While America loves the feel-good stories of bettering yourself and rising above your demons, we must ask ourselves if this type of success story has legitimacy to happen in today’s day and age. [the student goes on to analyze research of effects of parenting and poverty on children, and how realistic Walls’ memoir is to the average child in a similar situation]
Last year’s sophomores wrote their research papers either on some aspect of Ancient Rome or on potential colleges and careers, both very tangible topics that are easy to grasp. This topic is more like the prompts I encountered in college: argumentative and chock full of analysis, not summary. I have no guarantee that the finished product will be as good as some of the introductions predict, but I think this process as a college-level skill is really sinking in.
They love using Google Drive for the first time (they created an English folder and shared it with me), and many have said they want to use it for all their school work since it saves automatically and they can work from home. Almost no one hand-writes papers anymore, especially in college, so composing directly on the computer is more authentic than copying sources on 3×5 index cards. Finally, I convinced our librarian to look into adding JSTOR to our electronic databases next year, which is all I – and most people I know – used for research in college, so our students will be familiar with the types of resources they have at their fingertips when they arrive freshman year. Overall, despite the dreariness of long computer lab days for me, I am pleased with the start to this semester.