1984 is an immensely complex and troubling novel. For students to understand it in any depth requires them to read carefully and closely, and to reflect thoughtfully on what they have read. These focused reading assignments are designed with the intent of guiding students through inquiries of specific topics and themes in the novel. They assume that students have read (or are in the process of reading) 1984 “straight through,” either through homework assignments, silent reading, or a combination of both. The six focus assignments will then guide them back to closely reread, reflect, and develop text-supported conclusions. They are easily adapted to individual or group work, and are not sequential (so they need not all be used).
Page references refer to the Signet Classic paperback edition of 1984. The book, chapter, and beginning and ending paragraph numbers are given for those using a different printing of the novel.