Reading a Great Book–Seeing a Strong Play

English 1A/201A&B, Spring 2013, Laney College, Weidenbach
Formal Essay Two:
Reading a Great Book; Seeing a Strong Play:
George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Jon Tracy’s The Farm
Students are asked to write an essay explaining their experiences with reading the novel, as
well as seeing the adaptation-play The Farm, with the essay structured in three parts:
Part One: Before starting to read the novel for class, consider:
What was your frame of mind?
What expectations did you have?
What did you look forward to—or dread?
What were your preconceptions of this literary work?
What, if anything, did you think would be challenging about the reading assignments?
How did you expect to meet those challenges?
Part Two: Having finished reading Orwell’s novel, consider:
Did any of your pre-reading ideas change significantly?
What pleased or interested you?
What displeased or bored you?
What puzzled or challenged you about the reading assignments?
What did you do to meet any challenges the reading presented?
Part Three: After seeing the play, consider these questions:
What did you enjoy about reading, seeing and discussing the novel and the play?
How are the two texts different?
Which did you prefer—or which would you recommend, and to whom?
What questions about the novel or play do you still crave answers to?
What new understanding(s)—either of the book or play themselves, or theatrical storytelling, or
life and how to live it—has your reading and theater-going led you to?
ESSAY DUE: A.S.A.P.—but as late as the first week after Spring Break
Students are advised to do some writing at each reading stage along the way.
The prompt questions for Parts One and Two also can be considered in relation to the play.
Suggested length: 2 pages, typed, 1.5-spaced, using 11- or 12-point font. (For formatting,
please see the Document “Essay Format/Template” in the Documents page of the course