Looking for a way to supplement a unit on dystopian literature in the Age of President Trump and Fake News, or simply teach Critical Thinking?
This resource has you covered.
The last chapter of Neal Postman's foundational text "Amusing Ourselves to Death" (1986) ends with the insight, "For in the end, [Huxley] was trying to tell us that what afflicted the people in Brave New World was not that they were laughing instead of thinking, but that they did not know what they were laughing about and why they had stopped thinking."
To prepare for this test, students do not necessarily have to read either dystopian novel but have some basic knowledge of poetic devices and rhetorical strategies. Their prior knowledge derives from the current socio-political American context. They have to look no further than Twitter, the News, or dinner conversation to understand why this essay is meaningful for the times.
The resource includes Postman's essay (paragraphs are numbered) and twenty Multiple Choice questions. It can easily be amended to add Argumentative Strategies/Fallacies.
It is a challenging test and should be used with senior, university-level or gifted students.