• Orwell experiences cognitive dissonance in his story, and I want my students to experience it too as they think and write about his essay. So for prompt #1, I tried to put into practice Wallack’s ideas about teaching students “how to read as critics” by approaching “texts with both apprehension and comprehension in mind” (Wallack 34-35). The words I used (understand and doubt) are meant to echo Wallack’s “comprehension” and “apprehension.”
• For prompt #2, I’m trying to nudge my students to move beyond the level of analysis they might find on SparkNotes about Orwellian attitudes against the injustices of totalitarianism and in this case, British imperialism. I might personally answer this question with a contemporary metaphor about peer pressure, however there’s no one right answer, and it will be interesting for me to see what students come up with. I didn’t read Elbow’s chapter “Metaphors for Priming the Pump” until after I wrote prompt #2, but I hope it works in the same spirit of his ideas about using metaphorical thinking to increase creativity and imagination in our writing (Elbow 79).
• Prompt #3 is adapted directly from Wallack’s Category 6 (Making Connections), prompt #2 (Wallack 43). The goal is to “broaden their perspective.” In the past, I might have attempted to make connections like this earlier, but I appreciate her guidance about the value of students first considering the text on its own terms in order to test their initial impressions before hardening them.