English 9 Honors Summer Reading Assignment

Posted by Desiree Samberg on Jun 13, 2013 in 2013-14 Honors Summer Assignment

Honors Summer Blog Requirements

A large part of our honors course will be spent interacting with classmates, analyzing texts and practicing skills.  The purpose of the summer blog assignment is to introduce you to the type of analysis honors students engage in when interacting with texts and to establish a relationship with classmates.  Additionally, the blog assignment holds you accountable for reading our supplementary texts, 1984 and Oedipus Rex.

You are required to:

  1. Answer one of the questions presented below for each text, relying on textual examples to support your response and post it on the Blog Spot.

Note:  Blog posts are required to be 500-700 words in length.  Your response should answer the question thoroughly through well developed and supported thoughts.

  1. Respond to two of your classmates’ blog posts, relying on textual examples to support your response.

Note:  Responses are required to be 300-500 words in length, answered thoroughly and supported with details from the text. You may respond to another classmate’s response, as long as your correspondence meets the requirements of this assignment.

The 9th Grade Honors Summer Assignment is due by AUGUST 23, 2013.  Assignments will NOT be accepted after this due date.

Honors Summer Reading Discussion Questions

1984 Discussion Questions

  1. How does Orwell depict the relationship between the three classes in the society of Oceania: the Inner Party, the Outer Party, and the Proles? For what reasons, for example, are the proles allowed relative freedom in this society which is totalitarian in nature? (See especially Part One, Chapter 8.)


  1. Analyze one of the Party slogans: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, or Ignorance is Strength. What does it mean in the life of an individual citizen like Winston Smith? What does it mean to the Inner Party, to someone like O’Brien?


  1. Analyze the significance of Winston’s dream of the “Golden Country.” What does it symbolize to him? And what is the significance of the fact that Winston finds the Golden County in reality with Julia?


  1. The glass paperweight Winston buys from Mr. Charrington is an important symbol in the novel. Why does Winston want it, and what does it represent to him? Why is it inevitable that the Thought Police smash it when Winston and Julia are arrested?


  1. From the evidence of the novel itself, defend one of these two ideas: Orwell intended 1984 as a prophecy; or he intended 1984 as a criticism of contemporary societies.


Oedipus Rex Discussion Questions:


  1. Explain the function of the character Tiresias in the play. In what ways does his presence emphasize Oedipus’ failings? How is the blindness and/or vision of other characters significant within the play?


  1. In what ways is Oedipus heroic? Point to specific instances in the play that demonstrate his heroism. In what ways does he fit the profile of a classic Greek tragic hero?


  1. Identify how fate and free‐will play out in the lives of Oedipus and Laius. How do prophecies enter into the characters’ decisions? What is the ultimate point of the play regarding fate and free‐will?


  1. Explain the morals Sophocles wanted to communicate to his audience. Identify how those morals are suggested in the play.


  1. Explain the symbolism of the crossroads at which Oedipus murders Laius. Examine the interaction of fate and free‐will during this event.

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