APPLICABLE TO AP LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
FULL ANSWER KEY INCLUDED
PARALLELS TO MODERN FICTION AND HISTORY
Orwell's essay, "Politics and the English Language," is an insightful exploration of the signification of language, and how it can become construed to serve a political agenda. Orwell aims to encourage his audiences to think deeply about the particular diction and figurative language used in their writing to avoid the collapse of the English Language.
This essay is a challenging read for secondary students, but serves as a useful lesson for young readers and writers alike. I encourage my students to read slowly and mindfully; especially with the use of this guide, they are always able to conceptualize the political power of language.
Part B of this handout prompts students to write a comparison between this essay and one of two applicable texts - Orwell's "Principles of Newspeak" or Harry Truman's "Statement Announcing the Use of the A-Bomb at Hiroshima." A link to these two texts can be found within the resource; I will also keep live links available here:
George Orwell: "Politics and the English Language"
George Orwell: "The Principles of Newspeak"
Harry S. Truman: "Statement Announcing the Use of the A-Bomb at Hiroshima"
As always, a full answer key has been included with this resource. I have also provided examples for Part B to use as exemplars either before or (ideally) after students have completed this task. One option would be to use one text as an example to model the comparison paragraph, and the other text as the text for students to analyze independently.
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