Skip to Main Content

Summer Reading 2017

Information to guide you in your 2017 Summer Reading

Why Choose This Book?


by George Orwell (1949)

The year is 1984. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia. Under the ever watchful gaze of Big Brother, Winston Smith rewrites history for the Ministry of Truth in London, capital of Airstrip One. What happens when he starts to question the system...?


War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is Strength.

2 + 2 = 5 ....

What to Know About the Book Before You Read It.

If you are unsure of what book to choose, 1984 is the book that most centrally relates to our theme. 

The ideas of "Newspeak", "Big Brother", the "Thought Police" and "Doublethink" all originate in this heavily influential book.

Manipulation of language, and  technological and human surveillance are major tools of the "Party," the totalitarian regime of Oceania.

  • Truthiness?: Newspeak, Thoughtcrime, Doublethink, the Ministry of Truth
  • Technology!: the ubiquitous telescreens 
  • Totalitarians?: The Party exemplifies totalitarianism

SEE BELOW for more background, relevance, etc.

More About the Book

The Author - George Orwell

Newspeak attempts to eliminate personal thought by restricting the expressiveness of the English language. All nouns are also verbs.

We are being watched...

By governments, corporations, devices,  hackers, each other...

Language is being manipulated...

Political Cartoon about 1984


During the 1984 Super Bowl,  Apple Computers introduced the revolutionary new "Macintosh" computer with this commercial based on the movie version of 1984.

Things to Think About While You Read

[Here can go any book specific questions or "things to think aboutwatch out for while you read this book"]

Theme-based Guided Questions for all Books

Consider these questions as you are reading your book. Having answers to them, with quotations from the book (cite page number) as supporting evidence will be very helpful when it is time to discuss and assess your reading.

1. When was your book written? When does it take place? How does that compare to 2017?

2. Who holds power or authority in your book?  

  • What role does technology play in creating or maintaining that authority?  
  • What role does communication or language play in creating or maintaining that authority?

3. How does technology affect the daily lives of the characters in your book?

  • What role does technology play in communication between characters?
  • Who has access to technology?
  • How does the technology compare to today's technology?

4. What kinds of information or media is communicated in your book? -- News? Advertising? Entertainment? Education? Propaganda? etc?

  • Who creates it, and for what purpose?
  • Who controls it, and for what purpose?
  • Who consumes it, and for what purpose?

Gale - Opposing Viewpoints

Links to topics in  GALE Opposing Viewpoints in Context, including essays, periodicals, and more

Reminder:  Passwords for Library Databases are on Canvas > RamsCentral > Library