College Board Standards: n
Rhetorical Analysis and Planning
W1.1 Student analyzes components of purpose, goals, audience, and genre. STANDARD 2
W2.1 Student takes inventory of what he or she knows and needs to know. W2.2 Student generates, selects, connects, and organizes information and ideas. STANDARD 3
W3.1 Student generates text to develop points within the preliminary organizational structure. W3.2 Student makes stylistic choices with language to achieve intended effects.
Lesson: The Manipulative Power of Language
Source A: 1984 (The book)
Source B: “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell
Source C: “What Orwell Didn’t Know About the Brain, the Mind, and the Language” by George Lakoff http://semantics.uchicago.edu/kennedy/classes/sum08/myths/lakoff07.pdf
Day 1: Introduction:
Quickwrite on students’ own experience of manipulation (manipulating or manipulated through language)
Students read and discuss in small groups “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell following a series of questions about the elements of language and aspects of language use exemplified by Orwell in the novel.
Day 2: Classwork/Quiz:
Students browse the novel 1984 (they have already read it) for examples related to the author’s assertions in the article “Politics and the English Language” and evaluate examples’ manipulative function.
“Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an enema” (65). Here, the narrator juxtaposes the act of sexual intercourse with the messiness and inconvenience of an anal cleansing. It is the epitome of dirty, nasty. Thus, the simile is fresh, unique, and represents absolute clarity. And, each word in the sentence has meaning “minor,” implying...
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