Listen&Learn: 1984

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about one of the most famous dystopian novels.

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • dystopian: a genre of fiction about corrupt societies
  • totalitarianism: a government system where one person or group has all of the power
  • criticize: to point out the problems with something
  • regime: a government
  • censorship: the restriction of information and opinions
  • surveillance: close observation of people

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

1984 is a dystopian novel by English writer George Orwell. It is set in a totalitarian state that supposedly developed after World War II. This state, known as Oceania, heavily controls the thoughts, words, and actions of its . The main character of the story is a man named Winston Smith, whose job is to records of history. However, Winston secretly keeps a where he writes down his real opinions about the government. This is considered “thoughtcrime”, and Winston must keep his journal hidden. Orwell published the book in 1949. It was meant to criticize the Nazi and Stalinist regimes. However, the novel is still today as a warning against censorship and government surveillance.

Comprehension questions

See answers below

  1. The fictional state of Oceania is
    a. democratic
    b. totalitarian
    c. anarchist
  2. The main character’s job is to
    a. rewrite records of history
    b. punish people who protest the government
    c. spy on suspicious people
  3. Winston must keep his journal hidden because
    a. it contains important government secrets
    b. his opinions would be considered “thoughtcrime”
    c. it contains plans to overthrow the government

Discussion/essay questions

  1. What do you think the purpose of dystopian fiction is?

Transcript

1984 is a dystopian novel by English writer George Orwell. It is set in a fictional totalitarian state that supposedly developed after World War II. This state, known as Oceania, heavily controls the thoughts, words, and actions of its citizens. The main character of the story is a man named Winston Smith, whose job is to rewrite records of history. However, Winston secretly keeps a journal where he writes down his real opinions about the government. This is considered “thoughtcrime”, and Winston must keep his journal hidden. Orwell published the book in 1949. It was originally meant to criticize the Nazi and Stalinist regimes. However, the novel is still relevant today as a warning against censorship and government surveillance. 

Answers to comprehension questions

1b 2a 3b

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub
© EnglishClub.com

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