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1984

The following collection of thematically related readings is available in 1984 and Related Readings in McDougal Littell's Literature Connections series.

What Can They by Julia Hartwig
(from Spoiling Cannibals' Fun: Polish Poetry of the Last Two Decades of Communist Rule )
Summary: What is the relationship between an interrogator and the person being interrogated? This poem answers that question in many ways.

End Game by J.G. Ballard
(from Chronopolis and Other Stories, © 1963)
Summary: In this short story, a political prisoner is "jailed" with his executioner. This suspenseful tale speaks directly to the issues of guilt, innocence, and punishment under a totalitarian judicial system.

The Spy by Bertolt Brecht
(from Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, © 1957)
Summary: Brecht's cutting edge one-act play cuts right to the bone. It shows how paranoia can overcome people when they are afraid of their government's power.

Excerpt from Politics and the English Language by George Orwell
(from Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays, © 1946)
Summary: In this famous essay, Orwell attempts to prove that politicians are destroying English—but he also offers a few cures that any writer can use.

No One Died in Tiananmen Square by William Lutz
(from Doublespeak, © 1989)
Summary: This selection seems to claim that an historical event never happened. Framed by quotations from 1984, the essay thus makes an important point by denying the truth.

Excerpt from The Invasion of Privacy by Reed Karaim
(from Civilization, © 1996)
Summary: Using modern technology, just about anyone can now peek into the corners of our personal lives. This essay suggests that Big Brother is closer than we think.

The IWM 1000 by Alicia Yanez Cossio
(from Short Stories by Latin American Women: The Magic and the Real, © 1990)
Summary: What would happen if people could own a machine that knows everything? This tale shows how they might find happiness—for awhile.

Thumbprint by Eve Merriam
(from A Sky Full of Poems, © 1964)
Summary: Our individuality, suggests this poem, is as simple and as pure as the print of our thumbs.