Animal Farm

My dear students, I think you have already read the beautiful allegorical-satirical novella or modern fable by George Orwell but in case you haven’t, you can now read it for free here:  ANIMAL FARM

As you can see I have prepared some materials to share with you on as a PDF to download:  the plot of the novel, its main characters, its historical background and main themes. 

 The first easy video deals with the connections between G.Orwell’s Animal Farm and Stalin’s Russia. Have a look & TAKE DOWN SOME NOTES.

Top ten notes about Animal Farm. You should be already familiar with some of it after dealing with 1984. 🙂

To recap the Social and historical background of this novella you can watch the following video:

The next videos are the film adaptations of the novel: first the trailer of the cartoon by John Halas, Joy Batchelor.(1956)  Notice the year of its creation, it’s not a typo! You can watch it all on YouTube. We’ll watch some parts in class from my DVD.

There’s also a new movie version (1999) of the novel with real animals. Have a look!!

If you have any comment write it down here. Thanks

Orwell’s DYSTOPIA 1984

Orwell part 1: Last week, with my presentation, you entered a new world, a totalitarian state as foreseen by George Orwell’s 1984. “Don’t speak, don’t show your emotions! Big Brother is watching you!” The following video is a very effective supplement for studying 1984, with footage taken from the movie by M.Radford.

The next video is a quick and easy 1984 synopsis, analysis, and discussion of major characters and themes in the novel.

The man who wrote this prophetic novel was George Orwell. Watch this video to integrate the biography you have studied in your text-book.

To integrate the extracts you have in your textbook, read here some more chapters from the novel 1984. Then, to check how much you know of the novel try doing the QUIZ on 1984, you’ll discover some new things you didn’t know unless you’ve read the novel.

As, in these days, the term “Orwellian” is rather abused, I found very interesting and knowledgeable the following video by TedEd. After watching it can you now define what the correct meaning of the word Orwellian is?

Here’s the trailer of 1984, the movie from Orwell’s novel. Is this the future we want?

In order to reflect on the meaning and relevance of Dystopic novels, I’ve adapted a previous TedEd lesson  How to recognize a dystopia – Alex Gendler. Go to the given link and do the activities as home assignment TASK ONE.

I now cannot help embedding the stunning, mind-blowing Apple’s commercial that introduced the Apple Macintosh Computer to the world by explicitly referring to Orwell’s novel. It was shown & broadcasted during the Superbowl in 1984. Apple is always one step beyond the others! 😉

TASK TWO

  1.  What do you think is the message of the advertisement?
  2. Is the ad effective also for those who don’t know the novel or does it need a certain amount of…education? LEAVE A COMMENT.

One of the best novels I’ve read in the last years is without any doubts, The Circle by Dave Eggars.(2013)  If you like this genre you must read it, I highly recommend it. (The New York Times’ review). While writing this post I’ve just discovered that they’ve  made a movie from it. I cannot wait to see it at the movie theatre!

Last but not least for those who love the Eurythmics and Annie Lennox as much as I do, theirs is the soundtrack of the movie and the song SEXCRIME. Enjoy!

Lyrics:  Can I take this for granted/With your eyes over me?/In this place/This wintery home/I know there’s always someone in/Sexcrime/Sexcrime

Nineteen eighty four/And so I face the wall/Turn my back against it all/How I wish I’d been unborn/Wish I was unliving here/Sexcrime/Sexcrime

Nineteen eighty four/I’ll pull the bricks down/One by one/Leave a big hole in the wall/Just where you are looking in.

I want to end this post by adding an excerpt from the movie “Detachment  (2011) American drama film about the high school education system directed by Tony Kaye,  the director of American History X. I think this scene is fantastic to remind us of the importance of education & knowledge to avoid the dangers of a totalitarian society and regime, like the one depicted by G.Orwell. It can also help you comment & reflect on the novel we’re reading in class and Apple’s advertisement.

WE ALL NEED THIS, GIRLS, TO DEFEND AND PRESERVE OUR OWN MIND!!”D