I just finished part 1 of 1984. It's a very interesting book that reminds me of Lowry's The Giver. The book, so far, revolves around Winston Smith. He has a small memory of what life was like before this new dictatorship began. The people living in Oceania follow strict rules -- even thinking about things of the past or anything that goes against "The Party" (the government) can cause a person death.It's a scary book, but what makes it even scaier is the fact that this sort of thing has actually happened in our world. Parts of this book has reminded me of Hitler and Nazi Germany. In 1984 children living in Oceania are trained to turn in their parents for breaking any sort of rule. This is very similiar to what happened in Germany during Hitler's dictatorship.
These people are constantly being watched through telescreens in their home. There is no sense of privacy whatsoever. Even thinking bad things about the government is prohibited -- it is considered "thoughtcrime." The government, or "Party," destroys all documents of the past in order to make people believe whatever the government says is true. They are even going as far as creating a new dictionary so that people cannot remember things of the past -- only what the government controls in the present and future.
This book would be excellent to teach in high school. There could be so many supplementary texts to go along with it. It would be fun to see how students react to such a scenario and to inform them on how this can and HAS happened in our world and what they can/should do to prevent it in the future. My mind is going crazy with creative projects/activities/discussions for this book!!!!!!!