The Loss of Individual Rights in 1984

English IV Research Paper

Mrs. Mantineo

Objective:  To adhere to the rules of MLA format while using a variety of sources to write a research paper which focuses on a literary topic.

Requirements:

     – Your paper must be persuasive in nature, but focus on a literary topic.  This paper is worth 3 Essay 

Grades. This paper is worth a significant amount of your 4th MP grade so I suggest you take this paper seriously. 

     – Your topic will focus on 1984. I will be providing you with an official list of topics to choose from. You will not be allowed to create your own topic.

  • The final draft will be 3-5 pages in length. (Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, double spaced). A Works Cited page is required and does not count towards your number of pages.
  • You are required to use approved, academic references: 2 web based articles from credible sources, 1 printed book (This would be the novel 1984), and one primary source document.  You may use more than 4 sources, although you must first meet the minimum requirements for types of sources.  You must use all 4 sources in your final draft.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO LATE PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED.  No exceptions!  If you are absent, you are still responsible for getting me the paper on time.  Your paper must be submitted to turnitin.com by 11:59 PM.
  • If you do not submit your paper to Classroom by 11:59 p.m. you will receive a zero.
  • Extra help is available, please make an appointment.

Essay Topics:

The Loss of Individual Rights in 1984:  Personal privacy and space is never granted throughout 1984. Every person is always subject to observation, even by their own family members and friends. Furthermore, since Big Brother is always watching and the Thought Police are always on the lookout, it is impossible for any kind of individualism to flourish. For this essay you can look at the ways this occurs and how various characters attempt (successfully or not) to subvert it. Then move out to consider how this lack of privacy (and by proxy, individualism) influences individuals and society as a whole in the present day. How does the present US Government subvert the rights of the individual and how does this compare to the novel?

Fear of Technology:  During WWII, technology was primarily developed for military purposes, specifically for the surveillance of the enemy. People are generally resistant to technology that they believe can be used against them. George Orwell’s novel 1984 plays on this inherent fear of technology.  Discuss the role of technology in Oceania. In what areas is technology highly advanced, and in what areas has its progress stalled? Why? How is it used against the people? To control them?  How does this reflect the human fear of technology during the time the novel was written? How does this fear carry over in the modern world? Is it valid? How can technology be used against the common man to violate individual rights? How does this compare to the novel?

Historical Analysis: Consider the time period during which 1984 was written. The historical context is of the utmost importance as the threat of totalitarianism, fascism, and domination based on skilled rhetoric was at the forefront of public fears during Orwell’s time. Written in 1948, 1984 reflects the period as fascist empires were growing and the effects of others were becoming clearer with each passing day, such as was the case with Germany. For this essay, make sure you include some biographical information about Orwell and what he witnessed during his lifetime and make reference to the many fascist regimes that are reflected in the novel. What does each character symbolize? How does the turbulent time of WWII reflect in the novel?