Dystopias and Utopias

In this unit, students will read at least one novel expressing a dystopian future, in this case Fahrenheit 451 or 1984. In addition, they will be asked to read a second dystopian novel independently and draw comparisons between the two in a formal essay.

Compare the two visions of the future as expressed by the authors of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. How are how are they similar and/or different? What about each novel has seemed to come true in today's society? What has not proven true? What makes one novel more relevant for today's 10th grader than the other?

Write a persuasive essay that deals with both novels and discusses which novel is more relevant today or what aspects of each novel have survived in today’s society? Both novels must be mentioned in the essay.

Here is an essay assignment:
Some possible resources:
An opinion piece from the April 2007 issue of The Guardian about how to implement a fascist dictatorship in America: http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2064157,00.html It is partisan and politically-biased, but makes reference to ideas and concepts raised in 1984.

Miller's English wiki page has a resource page devoted to issues in online privacy and multi-tasking which relates to topics raised in 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. Click here to access the link.

Resource for Fahrenheit 451: http://www.neabigread.org/books/fahrenheit451/
Other texts considered dystopian novels
Gathering Blue
Brave New World
Hunger Games