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Comparing a Current Issue in the News to George Orwell's 1984

Finding a news article that relates to the problems in 1984

George Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning against the dictatorships he saw on the rise in the 1940s. However,while the book is Orwell’s fictional imagining of how the world could develop into a dystopia, how does the world today reflect aspects of this totalitarian world?

Your task is to write a 4-6 page essay, in which you compare a current issue in the news to the novel 1984 and to respond to the question, how does 1984 reflect the world today?

1. Find a news article from the last 2 years at least that relates to some of the problems seen in the novel (i.e. police, politicians, or governments abusing their power, surveillance of citizens, war, indoctrination of children, abuse of prisoners, dictatorship, censorship, poverty, etc.).
2. Once you have found an article that interests you, write a 4-6 page essay that compares the key problems that the article examines to the events of 1984.

How to get started:
Start by examining a credible local, national, or international newspaper such as the “Toronto Star”, “National Post,” “CBC News,”“New York Times”, etc. Use the search function on the main page to search for topics you think relate to the novel or use the suggested bulleted points below if you are unfamiliar with current events:
? BLM protests in Canada, the U.S., globally; police and government responses to these
? Rise of poverty and unemployment due to Covid; deepening class divide
? Mistreatment of Indigenous people in Canada (e.g lobster fishery dispute in Nova Scotia, water crisis, residential schools, etc.)
? Governmental controls over citizens (e.g Taliban control in Afghanistan)
? Media or propaganda influences on citizens (e.g media censorship and control in Hong Kong or North Korea)
? Human rights (e.g. banning of abortion around the world, LGBTQ2S+ oppression, disrimination, etc.)

Once you have an article:
I. Underline or highlight the key ideas in it that you find interesting in the article.
II. Use a separate sheet of paper or create a document to chart as many comparisons as you can think of between the news topic and 1984.
III. Choose your 2-3 best comparisons and use those to develop a thesis statement that states ONE overall way both sources negatively impact the citizens involved, and 2-3 subtopics to support this thesis.
IV. Begin to fill in the comparative essay outline. Make sure to use quotes from both the novel and article to support your arguments. Ensure that you have explained the similarities between the two works and stated how they negatively impact citizens in your analysis .
V. Sign up for and complete an essay conference with your teacher, during which you will explain your thesis, the key comparisons you will make (essay outline), and what you know about these two works. The conference will be graded (see the conference rubric below).

VI. Once you have completed the conference, write the essay in proper paragraph format.
Type it in MLA style (use size 12 font and double-space your work, etc.) (see the essay rubric below).
VII. Once done, submit your work to D2L and make sure to also upload a copy of your article.

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