Today my class and I discussed the first of part 2 of 1984. They have really been enjoying the book--and it has been fun to see their excitement about it. It is tricky to keep them from getting too far head--a couple of them couldn't put it down and finished it. And now I've got to make sure that they don't spoil it! We took a break at the beginning of chapter 9 in part 2--right after Winston and Julia visit with O'Brien. That way any teachers out there that are teaching this book know where I am talking about. We talked about three main things today: specifically characterization, paradox, and symbols.
With characterization, we talked a lot about Julia and Winston's relationship. We discussed why they might be okay with it despite the threat of death--and who is actually in love/faking/using the other person. The class is really unanimous in the fact that Julia is using Winston---the debate is still out on whether he is using her. The split was is he using her for sex....or does he just think he is in love with her. With paradox, I have been pointing out and reminding them of this term as we come discuss each time. Last class we talked about how the motto was a significant paradox--the students really liked pick out Julia as the perfect paradox. With symbols, we talked about the paperweight that he seems so set on and what the proles symbolize in the story.
Overall, we are having a great discussion and I really recommend this book for teachers of high school seniors or higher.