1984 1984 question


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approprite for school? for high school?
Victoria Victoria (last edited Aug 24, 2011 08:30AM ) Aug 05, 2011 09:02AM
its sortof on the verg.... im not saying the idea of the book im saying half the book is about this guy who is all about sex. i just finnished it for the 10th grade and i was saprised i wanted to read it any way but i had to write about it for school and i was trying hard not to write anything about sex.



Definitely appropriate, and becoming more important every year. As technology advances, the type of society presented becomes more and more feasible. The books message is a good one to be discussed.

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I do not think that high schoolers should be allowed to read 1984.

I am afraid that some of them might look at their schools -- with blaring squawkboxes, authoritarian rules, constant supervision, drug-sniffing dogs, medicated students, bullies, and ceaseless propaganda -- and see that high school is remarkably like the world of 1984.

Then, when they graduate, they will encounter things like: gov't reading our emails and spying on citizens without warrants, secret prisons, America's endless wars, the Patriot Act, the War on Drugs, and zillions of other things the government does. They might be tempted to question these programs and draw parallels between the world of 1984 and the America of today.

Some readers may even be led to question our government. We don't need that kind of stuff. We need more patriots who will do whatever they are told by the government.

So by all means, keep this book away from students. In fact, I think it should be banned for all readers of all ages.


What a ridiculous question.


deleted member Aug 05, 2011 09:33PM   4 votes
I don't think anyone can be considered an educated person unless they've read this book and Animal Farm as well.... so definitely appropriate for school.


"Is it appropriate?" is a question filtered through an adult perspective, that peculiar,busily analytical prism that assumes the majority of young people are gullible,without intellect, and morally fragile. When I was that age, a book either looked intriguing and kind of cool, or it looked like a snooze. I don't recall Orwell doing anything more dangerous than making me think, and books with sexual content struck me as amusing, but not "dirty". The chilling concepts of a totalitarian government or allegiance to blind conformity are not that unfamiliar to most young people, for our education system itself has historically provided an unwitting point of reference in hopes of turning out "productive" and "normal" automatons, without consideration of individual interests and natural proclivity.


Yes, it is appropriate for school and high school I think. I live in Ecuador and sometines I can feel that my life is like Winston's life. When I turn on the TV I can feel the same feeling about telescreen. Perhaps, if teachers suggest to read this book, students will realize that our government is not a good government. In my humble opinion, it is necessary for improve the way that people use to thinking.


1984 is very appropriate for high school. I read it my junior year it was very influential to the way i thought about things. I think that it is one of those books that should be introduced at time where you begin to question they way things are. High-school could not be a better place.


Books that change how you think and grow you as an individual as appropriate for school - I kinda think they may be one of the main reasons we have school. So yes, it is appropriate for school.

sidenote - I just finished Fahrenheit 451 today. That is definitely a good book for school. My final year of high school we had to read 5 books off a list of around 60. That was on our list but I didn't read it then, but reading it as an adult I think its a good one for teens


Yes. This book is an important piece in getting teens to think critically about what kind of society they want to help create, especially since certain aspects of the society in this book are slowly coming true. If taught properly, this book could be a very powerful tool in turning the tide away from what is becoming a paranoid and power-hungry government.


I think school is the most appropriate place for the more controversial books. I never have understood parents wanting to bar books from school libraries or classrooms. Within the classroom, there is discussion and room for both pro's and con's. Symbolism is discussed and related to present and future events. Why anyone would want to limit someone's access to ideas is just beyond me.


This book is fine for high school. I do wish we read it later in school than freshman year, due to my belief that it would be more appreciated and understood the older you are. All in all, however, there is no question as to the fact that this is a school appropriate novel.


I've read this book for the first time when I was 14. And no, not in school, this book was illegal in my country back then, so everybody was reading it in hiding.

I can't see what's innapropriate in this book for high school kids, unless, as someone already said, you don't want them to learn independent thinking.
Of course a teacher has to be prepared to present this book appropriately and give students the background of what that book is all about. It would be a shame if they treated that as just another boring lecture they have to endure in school.


It is a very, very good book and I have read it in high school too but I think it might be a bit too much for some kids. I had nightmares. Maybe that just means that the message got through but as a result I don´t wish to read it again, it was such a strong experience.


I read 1984 back in high school (nearly 40 years ago) and it scared the living daylights out of me. i couldn't put it down. especially the scene where the torturers stick a rat in Winston's face; along with the scene in Darkness Visible where they drag Rubashov off to execute him, it revealed the scope of humanity's cruelty. Teenagers think about sex anyway, so why not let them know that sex can be an agent of purity and sanity? In a sanitized world of appropriate words and images, designed to spare youth from the intensity of real experience, our teenagers need this book more than ever. Why not let them know that heroes who stand up for humanity can be lost and crushed, but never forgotten?


I'd like to know why this question is being asked. Is there something inappropriate in the book? I read it, yes; it is a dismal omen of the future when it was written. I'm dead set against banning any books. In the long run though the schools curriculum is decided on the powers that be of the school board in their state, area, whatever. If a majority of mindless nit-wits sit on those boards and feel a need to force their personal agenda down the kid’s throats that is the way it will be.


It's scary that anybody even needs to ask.

Adriana has, imo, the only good argument against reading it in school - kids have a tendency not to like the stuff they're _made_ to do in school (I can remember all the books I hated in High School, and still don't like them, and there's still a whole list of vegetables I won't eat that they forced me to eat in English schools!) - but that doesn't mean they're inappropriate.

And I don't think because a book gives you nightmares, is a reason to keep it from kids. Sometimes we _should_ have nightmares.


I teach this book to high school freshman every single year. Some love it, some don't (though most disputes are over the ambiguity of the ending). None of them are ever shocked or scared.

Definitely appropriate for school.


deleted member Jun 23, 2013 09:39AM   0 votes
If a student is mature enough, then T consider it appropriate for high school.


Stephen (last edited Feb 24, 2012 10:45AM ) Feb 24, 2012 10:44AM   0 votes
I think it's appropriate. It should be required reading for anyone that doesn't want to become a sheep.

e.g. facebook has a like, but there is no loathe button
e.g. you are wrong -> that's so not right

We're approaching 1984 as we speak!


I read it in high school. It wasn't on the reading list for me but it was in the house so I read it. I think it's appropriate for high schoolers. Can't be afraid of ideas and there's more sex on tv than there was in the book.


This and every other piece of literature ever written is appropriate with the service of a competent teacher.

1984 should be essential reading for all, given the general decline of our own freedoms and the growing panopticonal nature of our society.


This book is more than appropriate for high school. I read it when I was in high school and it instantly became one of my favorite books that I have read. High school is the time when kids are forming the ideas that will turn them into responsible, freethinking adults and though the message of the book is bleak and mortally terrifying, what you can get out of it as a reader is to not let your ideas be marginalized by power or by other people. From this book I began to understand more than ever before the importance individual thought has in our society and our younger readers need to keep that sense alive in their most impressionable years.


deleted member Aug 18, 2011 11:00AM   0 votes
No way, this would teach students to think for themselves! Who would think of such a thing? They should just go home to their 46" plasma's on the wall and have all the thinking done for them.


Moonlight (last edited Jan 01, 2013 08:46AM ) Jan 01, 2013 08:34AM   0 votes
I read this book in 1974 at my conservative Catholic girl's high school as part of my sophomore English reading requirement. Along with The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, Brave New World, Animal Farm, A Farewell to Arms and A Separate Peace. In fact, my entire Sophomore year reading list seemed to have been selected from the banned classics list for the American Libary Association. In 2012, I am not sure what people think they are protecting teenagers from.

In the 35 years since reading these books, I've had reason to think about all of them from time to time. I thought of the Grapes of Wrath when Ronald Reagan told people to 'vote with their feet' and move to where the jobs were. I thought of it again when my ethics professor in 1992 told us that Michiganians who moved to Texas in the 1980's for jobs were referred to as 'blacks' because their license plates at the time were black and white. I hated that book in high school. Glad I read it.

I think of 1984 and Brave New World whenever I deal with politics these days. Doublespeak and doublethink explain alot.


Our society has such strange priorities; the sadistic violence ought to be of far more concern than the sexual content. Though I don't believe either here makes the novel inappropriate for study at the upper levels of high school.

I've had English teachers caution us away from writing or reading 'inappropriate' things for class before in case it impacts our grade. I know there has to be a line somewhere but I don't think it's healthy for students to be taught to self-censor their work in such a way.


I absolutely agree with Tim on this. As technology advances, people need to be more aware of "who is watching". Kids are growing up putting their whole lives online. They need to be aware of what happens when you give up too much control!

Absolutely appropriate. I read it in HS and re-read it later as an adult.


Besides, it's not like we need the original poster to discuss our opinions on the subject. It's a neat subject, and we all have cool opinions. Having more detail helps, but it can be done without.


I feel high school students should be allowed to read 1984. It has important political and social elements that are really profound when analyzed in a school setting :D I learned a lot from studying this book in class.


Perhaps the teacher has to read it first and think about it a bit before presenting it. I also read it in high school--actually in 1984--but I remember that I was a little confused by it. When I later re-read it, I wasn't at all sure what confused me. I think that we read it as a quick add-on and watched the film. Better to really explore it.

Definitely a good HS choice. My daughter read the Iliad in HS and she made 0 connection with it. I think it is because she read it before she read all the books that use that story. So, imo presentation is important.


Definitely appropriate for teenagers and with a competent instructor, they should get a lot of perspective out of this book.


I read it for the first time in high school


maybe better for college students or older people


Austin (last edited Aug 05, 2011 09:02PM ) Aug 05, 2011 08:59PM   0 votes
I think this is extremely appropriate for school aged kids. I do share the belief that it would be more appreciated by an older crowd. This book would hopefully allow young people to see their future and what they are going to be dealing with. I hope that it causes them to be more aware of politics in America, and how the people running America are ruining what America was supposed to be. Freedom is slowly being taken away from us at every corner and not enough people are aware of it. I think this book could help to open the minds of our young people.


Victoria wrote: "its sortof on the verg...."

I agree completely with you


I think it i very neutral issue, but in my country it is definitely appropriate. However, we do not read western literature except Hemingway and Jack London so on since our educational system is based on old socialist system in which our previous generation lived.
When i read 1984, it seems like I backed into my parent's young age and i deeply understand how they were living in socialist society where all decisions was made by the government not by citizen.
Furthermore, I wish all teenagers would read it. In recent Mongolian culture, the korean soup opera is deeply influencing specially for teenager's discipline. So i think that by reading 1984, the teenagers can understand how dramas and other television programs are washing their mind.
High school students, also, can find that their own way to look at politicians. Each and every day they watch political television programs regardless whether they interest or not because the political issue is the most sensational news in our community. Yet, by reading 1984, the students can evaluate the issues just as their own way without other's right or wrong conclusion.
In some country, 1984 might be inappropriate for high school, but if it is recommended in Mongolian high school I will decisively support it instead of some old Russian literature.


deleted member Aug 05, 2011 07:42PM   0 votes
This book was not taught in my High School and I really wish it was. Having read it on my own, I wish that I had had the opportunity to read it alongside a group of peers and an instructor who would have aided me in thinking creatively and critically about the book.


Well, I'm in high school. I read this book as part of my class, and loved it. My reading group was perfectly mature and handled everything just fine, despite being made up mostly of adolescent males. I can see the reason why people would wonder about how appropriate the book is for high school, but I promise you, none of us are scarred. I myself have read quite a few books that are less school-appropriate than this and I am still not traumatized. I say you all have nothing to worry about. We're not six. We can handle it. We're big kids now.


I think almost every book is appropriate for high school students, really.


We read this book at my high school I believe it is appropriate, part of high school is preparing students for college and I believe that this book is a good stepping stone to how students will be challenged in college. It's important to give high school students thought provoking books that will challenge and prepare them academically.


I just finished reading 1984 and was about to make it part of the reading list for my Home Eduacted children next year (they would be in 7th and 8th grade) as they study modern history (1850 to present).
I have since reconsidered because of some of the torture scenes are surprisingly intense (even though they are not as graphic as they could be) and the fact that some of the discussion about sex are a little above them. I think that they could get a lot out of the setting as described in Part 1, and have since decided we will probably wait until Junior year in high school for 1984, but to read Animal Farm next year.
I think 1984 has brilliant and keen insight into culture and while we have not yet sunk to that level, there is a lot to think about in the world of Oceania. I think it takes a more mature perspective on culture and economics to fully appreciate 1984. [one of my personal favorite insights was how music and books were written by machines, not people--I think you have to have outgrown Justin Bieber to realize that he is actually the product of a versificator. Thankfully, my kids never got into his "music."]
There is a lot of cynicism about how the government maintains a perpetual war to keep everyone busy while ensuring no growth in the standard of living. It takes a little more maturity and experience to fully appreciate these insights as they were intended and to fully disucss them productively.
[I will not make this a political commentary, although it would be easy.]


This is absolutely appropriate for high school. I read it in high school and it was the only book I truly enjoyed. The others that were assigned reading paled in comparison.


I think it is incredibly appropriate for school. It is a great book for building those critical thinking skills that so many seem to lack now. It is on my to re-read list. Especially in today's day and age and advances in technology and laws being passed it is a great book to compare and contrast a work of fiction and modern society. It is a book that many lessons could be learned from.


It's worth remembering that when Nineteen Eighty-Four first came out it was promoted as suitable for American schools by... the CIA.

They saw it as a useful propaganda tool in the fight against socialism, which is ironic seeing as Orwell was a life-long socialist. It is still a fine book and deserves to be read, but I can't help thinking that Brave New World might be a more subversive or thought-provoking choice given the world we live in today. Huxley's prophecy has proved much more accurate than Orwell's.


I first read 1984 when I was doing my o' grades at high school and think it is very appropriate for schools.


I read 1984 (and Animal Farm, Brave New World and other greats) in high school. Yes, they are deeply disturbing. Good time to read great literature that makes one think. Personally, I find the Twilight series far more disturbing as a source for young people. '-)


We had copies of this book in the grade school library. Everyone needs to read these books to gain an understanding of how total institutions work and how dictators take over.


This is absolutely appropriate for school.


Yes i read it in 8th grade i'm in 10th right now


I think so. It did mention sex, but the sex parts are ultimately about politics, about how sexual repression is used as a tool of totalitarianism.


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