Orwell created his novel as a warning to society about the dangers of totalitarianism:
To gain a broader understanding of why and how this novel remains relevant, student need to be able gauge Orwell's contextual motivations and worldview. There are many excellent sites available but what Orwell himself wrote about his authorial purpose is an excellent starting point.
The following quote is a good discussion prompt about how writing can be skillfully used as a powerful political and allegorical tool for raising social awareness.
‘What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ” I am going to produce a work of art.” I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. But I could not do the work of writing a book, or even a long magazine article, if it were not also an aesthetic experience.
Some Resources that can reinforce an understanding of the didactic purpose of the novel's confronting political satire.
I have included a site for downloading an audio version of the novel to help make it more accessible to students. It is also an excellent way to break up the Teaching and Learning strategies or to reinforce focus on language style or recurring symbols or motifs.
Looking at contextual articles that give a snapshot of the author's personal background can also prompt student perceptions of the impetus for Orwell's writing.
The novel's dystopic warning also needs to be evaluated. Outlining the typical conventions of this Science Fiction sub-genre before studying the novel itself, can make students more aware of what stylistic elements to look for.
The following resources should be useful for studying the novel, whether for the current or the NEW H.S.C. course.