1984 Close Reading Passage from Book 1, Chapter 4 ************ DIRECTIONS: Read the excerpt carefully. Feel free to use the blank space for annotations, making your engagement with the text visible. Winston's greatest pleasure in life was in his work. Most of it was a tedious routine, but included in it there were also jobs so difficult and intricate that you could lose yourself in them as in the depths of a mathematical problem — delicate pieces of forgery in which you had nothing to guide you except your knowledge of the principles of Ingsoc and your estimate of what the Party wanted you to say. Winston was good at this kind of thing. On occasion he had even been entrusted with the rectification of 'The Times' leading articles, which were written entirely in Newspeak. He unrolled the message that he had set aside earlier. It ran: times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling In Oldspeak (or standard English) this might be rendered: The reporting of Big Brother's Order for the Day in 'The Times' of December 3rd 1983 is extremely unsatisfactory and makes references to non-existent persons. Rewrite it in full and submit your draft to higher authority before filing. Winston read through the offending article. Big Brother's Order for the Day, it seemed, had been chiefly devoted to praising the work of an organization known as FFCC, which supplied cigarettes and other comforts to the sailors in the Floating Fortresses. A certain Comrade Withers, a prominent member of the Inner Party, had been singled out for special mention and awarded a decoration, the Order of Conspicuous Merit, Second Class. Three months later FFCC had suddenly been dissolved with no reasons given. One could assume that Withers and his associates were now in disgrace, but there had been no report of the matter in the Press or on the telescreen. That was to be expected, since it was unusual for political offenders to be put on trial or even publicly denounced. The great purges involving thousands of people, with public trials of traitors and thought-criminals who made abject confession of their crimes and were afterwards executed, were special show-pieces not occurring oftener than once in a couple of years. More commonly, people who had incurred the displeasure of the Party simply disappeared and were never heard of again. One never had the smallest clue as to what had happened to them. In some cases they might not even be dead. Perhaps thirty people personally known to Winston, not counting his parents, had disappeared at one time or another. 1984 Close Reading Passage from Book 1, Chapter 4 _____ 1. As it is used in the text, tedious is best defined as: A. Mind-numbing. B. Physically burdensome. C. Emotionally devastating. D. Stimulating. DIRECTIONS: Respond to the short answer questions in complete sentence format. Feel free to use the blank space on the right of the document to jot down notes to yourself as you engage in active reading and thinking. _____ 2. Which statement most accurately conveys Winston’s reason for finding satisfaction in his professional life? A. His work was simple, allowing him to establish routine in an otherwise unpredictable world. B. His work sometimes afforded him the independence to make decisions based solely on his own convictions, a privilege most never experience in their lives. C. His work made him feel like a valued member of the Party, for he was entrusted with inferring and articulating the desires of the Party. D. His work required the application of critical thinking, a task that offered him opportunities to pass time in a more pleasant manner. 3. The use of the word rectification is considered a euphemism (a milder, more indirect expression of an unpleasant or harsh idea). Explain why. _____ 4. Which of the following is confirmed by this excerpt? A. Withers’ place within the social stratification: among Second Class citizens. B. Winston’s beliefs as to what happened to Withers and others who met similar fates. C. The reason for Withers’ punishment. D. Comrade Withers had already been vaporized. 5. Analyse the author’s word choice. Why does Orwell use the term show-pieces in reference to the great purges? Explain your reasoning. _____ 6. As it is used in the text, abject is best defined as: A. Hopeless. B. Humble. C. Inconsiderate. D. Casual. 7. The narrator states that “people who had incurred the displeasure of the Party simply disappeared.” What is the significance of the phrase “incurred the displeasure”? In other words, why did the author choose this phrase? _____ 8. Which option best conveys the function of this passage? A. The function is to clarify Winston’s professional responsibilities. B. The function is to provide the backstory of Comrade Withers and how he became a target of the Party. C. The function is to show how efficiently the Party can control the past, present, and future. D. The function is to emphasize the internal conflict Winston faces, thereby increasing tension. 9. The Party’s falsification of the past is intended to meet its current sociopolitical needs. There are many historical parallels to this plot detail. Conduct brief research to identify and explain examples of historical figures who manipulated media in efforts to deceive the public.