Brave New World. Reading Selections for This Module. Module Description. Module Background. Developed by John Edlund

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1 Brave New World Developed by John Edlund MODULE: TEACHER VERSION GRADE 12 Reading Selections for This Module Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World New York: HarperCollins, Print. Works Cited Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. New York: Penguin Books, Print. Module Description This is a twelfth grade module designed for middle to late in the second semester. It could be used in place of the 1984 module, before it, or after it. This module explores Aldous Huxley s dystopian science fiction novel Brave New World. It opens with some quotations from Neil Postman s book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, which argues that while our society seems to have avoided the ominous authoritarian state of Orwell s 1984, we are actually more in danger from succumbing to the hedonistic but mindless pleasures of Brave New World. While the 1984 module incorporates several additional texts, this module sticks to the novel itself, making it slightly less complex and time-consuming. The culminating writing assignment offers a choice of four prompts, each of which explores one of the themes of the novel. Students are asked to use material from their notes and annotations of the novel to support their position on the issue of the prompt. Module Background Brave New World is often taught in high school in the eleventh or twelfth grade. Although Huxley does not use any overtly Marxist terminology or analysis, he imagines a World State with a planned economy in which citizens are bred, born, and conditioned in lab flasks to fill the various job niches in the society. The society is a consumerist, pleasure-seeking one, controlled by a benevolent dictator. This module divides the novel into three main sections: 1. The World State: Chapters 1-6 introduce the setting, the main concepts, and the main characters of the novel. 2. The Indian Reservation: Chapters 7-9 describe the experiences of Bernard and Lenina on the mesa and introduce John, the Savage, and his mother Linda, who is from the World State. 1

2 MODULE: TEACHER VERSION 3. The Savage in Civilization: Chapters describe the experiences of John, the Savage, as he attempts to live in what he calls, quoting Miranda in The Tempest, the Brave New World. As students work through the module, they will end up with a lot of notes, word activities, sentences, and paragraphs about Brave New World that will be useful in writing the paper at the end. The best way to have all of this material available for use will be to keep a Brave New World project notebook. For formative assessment, you can collect this notebook at appropriate times and respond to their entries. Module Objectives Students will be able to Identify the major themes of a complex full-length novel Analyze character traits and motivation Make predictions about events and the actions of characters Analyze the effects on the reader of stylistic choices and modes of exposition Compare the world of the novel to our own world and make judgments about the social critique of the novel Write an essay about one of the issues raised by the novel, supporting their ideas with evidence from the text Revise rhetorically to meet the needs of their audience Edit with a focus on improving readability Note: The activities for students provided in the Student Version for this module are copied here in the Teacher Version for your convenience. The shaded areas include the actual activities the students will see. The use of italics in the shaded areas generally indicates possible student responses and may be interspersed with notes to the teacher that are not shaded. If there are notes to the teacher within the shaded areas, they are indicated by italics and parentheses. 2 BRAVE NEW WORLD CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO

3 Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy Unless otherwise specified, all standards are for grades The strategies in this section of the ERWC are designed to prepare students in advance of reading increasingly complex and sophisticated texts. These brief, introductory activities will prepare students to learn the content of California s Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts (ELA) and Literacy in the sections of the module that follow. Reading Rhetorically Prereading (Chapters 1-6) Getting Ready to Read This activity can be used as an individual notebook activity or a group discussion that results in notebook entries later. Activity 1: Getting Ready to Read In the foreword to his 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, author Neil Postman notes that the year 1984 had come and gone without a fulfillment of George Orwell s dark, dystopian vision and that Americans felt satisfied that the roots of liberal democracy had held. Big Brother was not watching, and Americans retained their autonomy, freedom, and history. The nightmare world of Big Brother was just that: a nightmare. However, he reminds us that alongside Orwell s dark vision there was another slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley s Brave New World. In Huxley s vision, no force would be required to deprive people of their freedom. Instead, as Huxley saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. Postman follows these observations with a series of further oppositions comparing the two visions: What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny failed to take into account man s almost infinite appetite for distractions. In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us. (xix-xx) Postman makes it clear that he thinks Huxley s vision is coming true. Postman, however, blames television for most of the problem. Today, almost thirty years later, the Internet has more influence than television, and Postman s arguments appear a bit dated. Have we avoided Huxley s vision too? Or has the Internet made Huxley s and Postman s vision even more likely? This question will be one of the central issues in this module. MODULE: TEACHER VERSION CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO BRAVE NEW WORLD 3

4 MODULE: TEACHER VERSION Quickwrite: Take one of the oppositions that Postman describes in the paragraph quoted above. In your Brave New World notebook, write down the sentence or sentences that describe this opposition. Then think about connections with our own world. What is your gut feeling about it? Is Orwell s vision or Huxley s vision more accurate? What kind of evidence would you need to convince someone one way or the other? How would you investigate it? (For example, if students were thinking about the issue of banning books, they might think about books that had been banned in the past or were banned from being taught in school in certain places. They might think about why books are banned when it makes sense and when it doesn t. Then they might think about Huxley s fear that banning books would be unnecessary if no one wanted to read books anyway. They might also think about whether it is not books but ideas that are banned and whether it matters if the banned information or ideas are in books, films, videos, audio clips, or cartoons. The central issue here for Huxley, of course, is what happens when the population is so entertained, distracted, and drugged that no one cares about ideas anymore.) RG Rhetorical Grammar for Expository Reading and Writing Because this is an alternate novel for the ERWC, there are no grammar activities that accompany this module. The strategies in this section of the ERWC are designed to prepare students in advance of reading increasingly complex and sophisticated texts. These brief, introductory activities will prepare students to learn the content of the CCSS for ELA/Literacy in the sections of the module that follow. Exploring Key Concepts Science fiction works such as 1984 and Brave New World ask What if? questions and explore possible results. The following questions introduce some of the major themes of the novel. These could be used as group or class discussion topics or as prompts to generate entries in the students Brave New World notebooks. Activity 2: Exploring Key Concepts Both 1984 and Brave New World are works of science fiction. Science fiction asks What if? questions and explores possible results. Consider the following questions: 1. In feudal societies, people were born into different social classes with specific roles: nobles who governed, scholars who studied, warriors who fought, tradesmen who made things, and peasants who farmed. Do we have similar classes in our society? What if the government decided what your role in society would be? 2. What if science and psychological conditioning could be used by the government to create different classes of people with different abilities and interests as needed? For example, what if it was possible to grow a plumber, a computer programmer, a manager, or a physicist? 4 BRAVE NEW WORLD CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO

5 Reading Informational Text 5a. Analyze the use of text features (e.g., graphics, headers, captions) CA 3. What if babies were grown in test tubes and were raised without parents? What would childhood be like? How would adults raised this way be different from adults in our society? 4. What if sex was strictly for recreation and not for reproduction because all babies were produced artificially? Would there still be love? Commitment? 5. What if the government gave everyone drugs to keep them happy so they wouldn t rebel? Would people actually be happy? Would it keep society stable? Would there be negative consequences? Surveying the Text Have students examine the copy of the book in their hands and discuss or make note of the following items in Activity 3. Activity 3: Surveying the Text Examine your copy of the book, and make note or discuss the following: What, if anything, is on the cover? What does the cover art mean? Are there any blurbs from reviewers or critics on the back or the front? Are there pictures? Is there a summary of the novel on the flyleaf (if present)? Is there a short biography of the author or other explanatory materials? Is there a Foreword or an Afterword? Who wrote them? Do you think you should read them? If so, when? How is the book divided? Are there chapters? MODULE: TEACHER VERSION Reading Informational Text 5a. Analyze the use of text features (e.g., graphics, headers, captions) CA Making Predictions and Asking Questions These activities model strategies that fluent academic readers would use for beginning to read a novel or choosing a novel to read. Activity 4: Reading the First Page In the absence of chapter titles, one way to preview the book is to read the first two paragraphs of the novel. What details do you notice that seem odd? What predictions can you make about the world of the novel from these details? The novel opens in a 34-story building called the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre in the World State, which has the motto Community, Identity, Stability. A hatchery and conditioning center with white coats, rubber gloves, and microscopes is described in the second paragraph, along with the Director s announcement that this is the Fertilizing Room. CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO BRAVE NEW WORLD 5

6 MODULE: TEACHER VERSION The second paragraph of the novel is mostly about the character of the harsh thin light that comes through the windows. There are images of death, the pale, corpse-coloured rubber of the gloves, and the frozen, dead ghost-like light. Only the yellow microscopes give off light of a certain rich and living substance... like streak after luscious streak of butter. Activity 5: Flipping Through the Book Flipping through the pages of a book can reveal some important elements in the contents. Flip through the book looking for unusual typography, illustrations, or other features that stand out. If you don t find anything else, try reading the first sentences of a couple of chapters in different parts of the book. What do these features mean? How do you think they fit into the story? Write down some of your observations in your Brave New World notebook. (Students may notice that the first line of every chapter is italicized. Reading some of these first lines might give the reader some expectations about what the nature of the book is and what it is about. Students may also notice that the typography of pages is unusual because the paragraphs are so short. This section consists of snippets of various conversations that are going on simultaneously in different places. Reading some of these snippets may also allow them to make predictions.) Activity 6: Making Predictions Based on your interpretation of the details on the first page and the details you noticed from flipping through the book, write a paragraph describing what you think the world of the book will be like and what the story might be about. Language 4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies. a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase. b. Identify and correctly use Understanding Key Vocabulary The first chapter uses a lot of scientific vocabulary related to human reproduction. It may be useful for students to discuss these words and concepts with a biology teacher at some point during the reading. You might even invite a science teacher to speak to the class. Some of the terms and concepts have not changed, but others have been created by Huxley as he imagines how test-tube babies might be produced. An expert could help students think about what updated technology would look like. Activity 7: Understanding Key Vocabulary The words in the list below are all related to human reproduction. You may remember some of them from your biology class. Look over these words to see which ones you know and which you don t. As you read the first parts of the novel, pay attention to what parts of the process for creating new human beings 6 BRAVE NEW WORLD CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO

7 patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech (e.g., conceive, conception, conceivable). Apply knowledge of Greek, Latin, and Anglo- Saxon roots and affixes to draw inferences concerning the meaning of scientific and mathematical terminology. CA c. Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., college-level dictionaries, rhyming dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of speech, its etymology, or its standard usage. CA d. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary). 6. Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression. in the World State are a normal part of human biology and what parts were imagined by Huxley. fertilize a sperm combines with an ova incubator a machine to control temperature and other conditions for the development of life ova female gametes or eggs ovary a female organ that produces eggs gametes cells that combine for reproduction sterilize make infertile salinity saltiness viscosity thickness of a liquid liquor a liquid containing dissolved components spermatozoa male gametes peritoneum the lining of the abdominal cavity morula a mass of cells that will become an embryo embryo an early stage in the development of a fetus placentin an insulin-like protein thyroxin a hormone of the thyroid gland corpus luteum a female organ that secretes hormones blood-surrogate blood substitute freemartin infertile female with some masculine characteristics MODULE: TEACHER VERSION CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO BRAVE NEW WORLD 7

8 MODULE: TEACHER VERSION Reading Literature 1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. Speaking and Listening 1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (oneon- one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades topics, texts, and issues, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas. b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed. c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning Reading (Chapters 1-6) Reading for Understanding The reading questions are designed to give students a focus for their reading and to provide topics for later discussion. The goal is to provide guidance for their first reading, or a sense of what to attend to, without interrupting the natural flow of the reading. Some students may want to focus on reading to answer the questions; others may want to simply skim the questions, read, and then return to the text to find answers. Activity 8: Reading for Understanding First, read the questions below just to get an idea of some of the items you will be looking for. Then read Chapters 1-6, keeping these questions in mind along with the predictions you made in Activity 6. As you are reading, put checks in the margins when you find a passage that may be relevant to these questions or your predictions (or use sticky notes if you can t write in your book). Don t worry if you don t find something for every question. You will be able to go back later. Chapter 1 1. What is the purpose of the Hatchery and Conditioning Center? It creates human embryos by matching a sperm with an egg and then controls the environment in which the embryo grows to produce a human with the appropriate characteristics for his or her job assignment. 2. What does the Director mean when he says that particulars, as everyone knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities are intellectually necessary evils? This is a complex statement. In the World State, each citizen needs to know how to do his or her job, but he or she is not supposed to think too much about the big picture. 3. What is Bokanovsky s Process? What is the purpose? For many jobs, the World State needs groups of people who are all almost the same so that there is no conflict. They achieve this by using Bokanovsky s process to produce large numbers of individuals from the same embryo so that they are all virtually identical. 4. What is social predestination? The hatchery anticipates where the individual will be assigned and what job he or she will do. The role the individual will play in society is predestined, and the individual is conditioned to perform it. 5. Why does the hatchery purposely keep some embryos from developing high intelligence? The World State sees intelligence as necessary only for certain kinds of jobs. If an elevator operator had high intelligence, the individual would quickly become bored and unhappy with the job. 8 BRAVE NEW WORLD CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO

9 and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives. d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task. Chapter 2 6. What is the purpose of conditioning the Delta babies to be afraid of books and roses? For individuals of this caste, books are considered to be a waste of time, and they might also interfere with their conditioning. Love of nature is a problem because nature provides beauty for free, so individuals seeking nature consume transport but nothing more. 7. Why is it necessary for the masses to consume transport and other products? Does efficiency of production lead to oversupply? The World State economy, like ours, depends on people being conditioned to consume products in order to keep the economy growing. 8. Why is Henry Ford, who invented assembly line manufacturing along with the first Ford automobiles, treated almost as a deity in the World State? The assembly line is the basis of the whole World State. Even humans are created using procedures that are like an assembly line. 9. Why did early attempts at sleep teaching fail? How did they improve it? Repeating facts without understanding them was useless. They switched to using sleep teaching for moral education, where no understanding was necessary, just blind obedience without questioning. 10. What is taught in Elementary Class Consciousness? Do we have a similar course in our educational system? Would it be a good idea? The World State is a caste-based system. Each individual is conditioned to be content within the limitations of his or her role. Some are intelligent and make decisions while most do simple routine tasks. In our society, we allow individuals to use their own natural abilities to succeed, whatever background they have, though we do have the rich, the poor, and the middle class, and children tend to stay in the class where they are born. Some would argue that our society is actually not essentially different from the World State. Others would argue that because we do have social mobility, even though it is limited, we are different from the World State. Chapter What is Centrifugal Bumble Puppy? Why is it important for games to require a complicated apparatus? Simple games do not require citizens to consume products and therefore are not good for an economy based on ever-increasing consumption by its citizens. 12. In the World State, children are encouraged to engage in erotic play. In our society, they are discouraged. Why is the World State society different? The sexual morality of the World State is in some ways a mirror image of our own. 13. Mustapha Mond quotes Henry Ford saying, History is bunk. Henry Ford really did say that. What do you think he meant? MODULE: TEACHER VERSION CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO BRAVE NEW WORLD 9

10 MODULE: TEACHER VERSION Some say that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. However, it is also true to say that history is written by the victors and that there are alternative views. Ford may have meant that science and technology would free humans from the patterns of the past. 14. What are the feelies? Do you think you would like to go? Feelies appear to be movies with some kind of apparatus for sensory stimulation. Students may be reminded of 3D movies. 15. Why is it smutty to talk about mothers and fathers? Natural conception and birth don t exist in the World State. Humans are produced scientifically and raised without mothers and fathers. 16. Is Mond s description of family life and its problems accurate? Do you think that the World State is a good solution? Students will probably see Mond s description as having at least some truth in it. 17. What is a Pregnancy Substitute? Why would someone take one? The World State does not seem to have been able to completely control the natural instincts of human beings. There are still some mood swings and unhappiness caused by hormones. 18. Why does Mond sometimes call Our Ford Our Freud? This is a reference to Sigmund Freud, who invented psychology. Ford and Freud have been blurred together. 19. Why does Fanny think that it is bad that Lenina has been going out with no one but Henry Foster for four months? The sexual morality of the World State is the opposite of our own. The citizens are conditioned to believe that a permanent relationship with a member of the opposite sex will lead to unhappiness. 20. Mustapha Mond says that stability of society is the primal and ultimate need. Do you agree? (People will disagree about this.) 21. Why is Bernard Marx considered to be strange? He is short for an Alpha, and he likes to be alone. Chapter What is soma? It appears to be a drug that produces a feeling of well being. 23. What do Alphas in the World State use for personal transportation? Helicopters appear to be as common in the World State as automobiles are in our own society. 24. What is Obstacle Golf? 10 BRAVE NEW WORLD CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO

11 Another complicated game that requires apparatus. 25. Why does Lenina hate the color khaki? Why is she glad she is not a Gamma? Lenina has been conditioned to believe that her own caste is best. 26. Why is Bernard Marx insecure? He is short, so he suspects that lower castes don t respect him because he does not physically appear to be an Alpha. 27. Helmholtz Watson is smart and popular with girls. Why is he dissatisfied? He is too smart to fit into the World State. Also, he has artistic tendencies, and he wants to create something different. MODULE: TEACHER VERSION Chapter What happens to citizens of the World State when they die? They are cremated, and their remains become fertilizer. 29. In what way are all the citizens of the World State equal? They all end up becoming fertilizer. 30. Henry and Lenina dance to a song called There ain t no Bottle in all the world like that dear little Bottle of mine. What is this song about? Instead of mothers, World State citizens come from bottles. 31. What is Orgy Porgy? Is it a religious ritual? Is it a wild party? It appears to be a little of both. Chapter What does Bernard like to do with his leisure time? What does Lenina like to do? Are they well matched? Bernard wants to be alone. Lenina likes to play games or go to feelies. They do not seem well matched. 33. When Lenina says, Never put off until tomorrow the fun you can have today, Bernard says, Two hundred repetitions, twice a week from fourteen to sixteen and a half. What does he mean? Bernard is in charge of sleep teaching. He knows exactly how many times a particular lesson or platitude is repeated. 34. What does Bernard mean when he says, it might be possible to be adult all the time? Why doesn t Lenina understand? Bernard thinks that the citizens of the World State behave like children all their lives. 35. When Bernard goes to his boss to get a permit to go to the reservation, what story does the Director tell him? The Director also went to the Reservation. He brought a girlfriend along, but she disappeared. CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO BRAVE NEW WORLD 11

12 MODULE: TEACHER VERSION Activity 9: Revisiting Predictions Look at the paragraph you wrote in your notebook about your predictions regarding the world of the novel. Which ones were confirmed? Which ones were wrong? Which ones are still undecided? Write another paragraph updating your first one. FA Formative Assessment Reviewing the paragraphs in which students have updated their predictions could provide you with a window into their reading, self-monitoring, and self-correcting processes. As you review these paragraphs, you might watch for patterns of predictions (true and false) that students formulated. A discussion about their predications and what contributed to them could help students and you become more aware of how their particular, personal background knowledge may shape their interpretations and comprehension of the text. Sharing Answers Divide your students into groups. Assign each group a set of questions from the list above. Each group then discusses the questions until they have answers they can share with the class. Students write down answers to questions they didn t discuss in their notebooks, so everyone ends up with some notes about each question. Activity 10: Sharing Answers Discuss the questions assigned to your group from the above list. In answering them, refer to specific page numbers and passages in your copy of the novel. Share your answers with the class. Write down the answers to the other questions that other groups came up with if they are different from your own. Reading Literature 3. Analyze the impact of the author s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters/ archetypes are introduced and developed). CA 5. Analyze how an author s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a Considering the Structure of the Text Questions like these are designed to cause the students to focus on the choices made by the author. Considering authorial choices helps them see themselves as potential authors, and helps them think critically about the text. 12 BRAVE NEW WORLD CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO

13 story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact. Speaking and Listening 1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-onone, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades topics, texts, and issues, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. Activity 11: Considering the Structure Much of the first part of the novel describes a tour of the Hatchery and Conditioning Center by a group of students led by the Director himself. What are the advantages for the author of setting up the novel in this way? This is a classic device for delivering exposition. Huxley needs to give the reader a lot of information about the World State. He has to find a natural way to deliver this information. Describing an expert giving a tour to students allows Huxley to tell us almost everything we need to know. MODULE: TEACHER VERSION Reading Literature 4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. Language 1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. a. Apply the understanding that usage is a matter of convention, can change over time, and is sometimes contested. b. Resolve issues of complex or contested usage, consulting references (e.g., Merriam- Webster s Dictionary of English Usage, Garner s Modern American Usage) as needed. Noticing Language In this activity, students will select words that they are interested in learning and engage in a number of activities that will help them acquire the vocabulary. The heart of the activity is a group exchange of selected words and sentences. This should generate a lot of discussion about both language and the novel. Encourage the students to ask about words they are uncertain about. After the group exchange and discussion, students look up the words to see if the meanings they came up with are accurate, and they write their own sentences using the words. They may create sentences that use the words incorrectly or do not demonstrate the meaning, but you can check these when they turn in their notebooks. If you yourself are uncertain about the meaning of a word, which is always a possibility with a writer like Huxley, you might suggest that the class look up the word again. Activity 12: Noticing Language Reading a novel means encountering many unknown words and words of which you have only a vague understanding. The situation and the surrounding text will provide some contextual clues about the meanings of unknown words. Knowledge of Latin and Greek roots can also help. It is possible for a reader to read and understand a novel without knowing all the words. However, reading novels can significantly increase your vocabulary. After you have read Chapters 1-6, for each chapter, choose one or more words either that are unknown to you or that you are uncertain about. Choose words that seem to be important or interesting because of their context, frequency, or level of interest. Keep choosing until you have 10 words, which means you will have more than one for some chapters. For each word you choose, do the following: Copy the sentence in which you found it in your Brave New World notebook. Underline or highlight the word. CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO BRAVE NEW WORLD 13

14 MODULE: TEACHER VERSION Describe what part of speech it is in its sentence. Write down what it might mean and why you think so. Don t be afraid to be wrong. You are just making an educated guess. In your group, take turns sharing the words and sentences you chose. Ask group members to help you define your words more accurately. Some will probably know your words better than you do. You will probably know more about other words that they have chosen. Look up your words in a good dictionary or online. How close were you and the group to the dictionary meaning? Write your own sentences using the words. Reading Literature 4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. Language 3. Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening. a. apply an understanding of syntax to the study of complex texts when reading. 5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyze their role in the text. Analyzing Stylistic Choices These questions focus on points in the text where the stylistic choices highlight important issues in the novel. Activity 13: Analyzing Stylistic Choices In your group, discuss the assigned question. 1. What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder. What does this mean? What does it parody? Brave New World has numerous phrases and references like this that echo language from our own world. What is the effect on the reader? This statement echoes the traditional wedding ceremony. One effect on the reader is to create the impression that the World State is a twisted version of our own world. When we encounter such a statement, we experience a kind of double-voiced discourse in which we understand what the speaker in the World State means, but we also experience an echo of what a similar statement means in our own world. 2. What is the stylistic effect of the series of sentences with the subject omitted in the description of Henry Foster s explanation of the operation of the Decanting Room that begins Told them of the growing embryo on its bed of peritoneum...? Students will have different impressions, but the style packs a lot of exposition into a few words and creates an impression of inevitability. 3. Chapter 3 begins with a scene of children playing in the sunshine. It says, The air was drowsy with the murmur of bees and helicopters. Is this sentence beautiful, funny, ironic, or strange? What effect does it have on the reader? The unexpected combination of the natural and the mechanical is in some ways an appropriate image for the World State. Helicopters existed when the novel was written, but were not common, so this phrase would have been even more striking for Huxley s original readers. 14 BRAVE NEW WORLD CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO

15 b. Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations. Speaking and Listening 1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (oneon-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades topics, texts, and issues, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. 4. The first part of Chapter 3 moves back and forth from Mustapha Mond s lecture to the students to the Henry Foster viewpoint. The last part of Chapter 3 is mostly a series of disconnected thoughts and phrases from the different conversations. What is the effect on the reader of this stream of disconnected consciousness? Is it confusing? Or is it a very efficient way of giving the reader a sense of the whole society? The technique allows Huxley to juxtapose different aspects of the society of the World State and amounts to a very efficient way of revealing a lot about the world and its characters in a few pages. (Students will have different opinions about whether this technique is effective or ineffective. Some readers will find it confusing. Others will find it effective for seeing the contrast between both worlds laid out side by side.) 5. The characters in Brave New World have names like Benito Hoover and Bernard Marx that echo famous political and historical figures. Why does Huxley do this? What is the significance? Brave New World is a science fiction novel with a strong political element, and the names will remind the readers of the political ideas Huxley is exploring. However, because the World State citizens know almost no history, the significance and irony of the names is lost on them. 6. Lenina is full of aphorisms and sayings, often about soma, such as A gramme in time saves nine, and One cubic centimeter cures ten gloomy sentiments. Where does she get these sayings? What is the effect on the reader? Find as many of them as you can. Discuss what they mean and how they are similar to sayings we are familiar with. These sayings come from sleep teaching, which is why they have little effect on Bernard, who is in charge of developing sleep teaching methods. Many of them have to do with soma. They parody familiar sayings and folk wisdom from our own culture. MODULE: TEACHER VERSION Reading Literature 2. Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text. Writing 2. Write informative/ explanatory texts to examine and convey complex Postreading (Chapters 1-6) Summarizing and Responding This activity is an opportunity to assess how well the students understand the basic concepts of the novel before they proceed to the next section. Activity 14: Summarizing and Responding Imagine that a friend who has not read Brave New World finds out that you are reading it. At this point you have only read the first six chapters. Your friend asks what it is about. Write a paragraph in which you describe the World State and some of the people in it. What is it like to live in the World State? How is it different from our own society? Would you like to live there? CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO BRAVE NEW WORLD 15

16 MODULE: TEACHER VERSION ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. 10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. FA Formative Assessment After students write the paragraph for Activity 14, you might engage them in a conversation based on their answers focusing on what it would be like to live in the World State, how it is different from our own society, and whether or not students would like to live in such a state. Selected student paragraphs might be shared with the whole class. This discussion could help you determine the depth and richness of your students comprehension of the novel and suggest which concepts presented in the novel might require further elaboration. Reading Literature 1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. 3. Analyze the impact of the author s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters/ archetypes are introduced and developed). CA 6. Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement). Speaking and Listening 1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-onone, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades topics, texts, and issues, building on others ideas and Thinking Critically The questions below concern some of the major themes of Brave New World. One way to introduce them would be to form the students into panels that focus on one of the questions. One panelist could introduce the question; others could cite and explore some examples from the novel that deal with the question; and still others could focus on connections between the question and our current society. Another variation would be to have students take on the roles of different characters and argue from a specific character s point of view. Activity 15: Group Discussion Topics Your teacher will give you directions for dealing with the following topics. 1. Fanny and Lenina appear to believe that promiscuity is a kind of social duty of which they sometimes tire. They are conditioned not to have strong feelings about anyone. Mustapha Mond explains that love is like water under pressure in a pipe. If the pipe is pierced once, a strong jet is the result, but if it is pierced many times, each jet is just a small leak. Mond argues that strong feelings lead to instability: No wonder these poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Their world didn t allow them to take things easily, didn t allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy. What with mothers and lovers, what with the prohibitions they were not conditioned to obey, what with the temptations and the lonely remorses, what with all the diseases and the endless isolating pain, what with the uncertainties and the poverty they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly (and strongly, what was more, in solitude, in hopelessly individual isolation), how could they be stable? (41) Are we the pre-moderns to which Mond refers? Is he right that we are emotionally unstable? Is his description of our situation accurate? Do love, marriage, and strong attachments create the problems in our society? Is the avoidance of love, marriage, and strong attachments to children and other individuals a good solution to the problems of our society? 16 BRAVE NEW WORLD CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO

17 expressing their own clearly and persuasively. a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas. b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed. c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives. d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task. 2. In Chapter 4, Lenina rides up to the roof in an elevator operated by a monkey-like Epsilon Minus Semi-Moron, who lives in a dark annihilating stupor (59). In the World State, humans are bred to fit into castes ranging from Alpha Plus to Epsilon Minus. Each individual is bred to have the appropriate amount of intelligence for the job to which he or she will be assigned and then is conditioned to be happy doing that job. Although Alpha Plus Bernard Marx seems to be a little too bright to be completely satisfied with his job, the elevator operator appears to be happy with his existence. Is this caste system with its careful breeding and conditioning superior to the somewhat random way that people are educated and employed in our society? MODULE: TEACHER VERSION CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO BRAVE NEW WORLD 17

18 MODULE: TEACHER VERSION The strategies in this section of the ERWC are designed to prepare students in advance of reading increasingly complex and sophisticated texts. These brief, introductory activities will prepare students to learn the content of the CCSS for ELA/Literacy in the sections of the module that follow. Prereading (Chapters 7-9) Making Predictions and Asking Questions The Reservation is the opposite of the World State. Huxley is setting up a kind of thought experiment: What will happen when the conditioned and sheltered citizens of the World State encounter the hard realities of a more natural life? The passage below is a sort of summary of the differences. Students may find the elliptical presentation confusing, but it is essentially a list of facts about the Reservation. Students should be able to take what they know from reading the previous chapters and put it together with these facts to form a prediction of what will occur when Bernard and Lenina visit the Reservation. Activity 16: Making Predictions At the end of Chapter 6, the Warden tells Bernard and Lenina that in the Reservation there are... about sixty thousand Indians and half-breeds... absolute savages... our inspectors occasionally visit... otherwise, no communication whatever with the civilized world... still preserve their repulsive habits and customs... marriage, if you know what that is, my dear young lady; families... no conditioning... monstrous superstitions... Christianity and totemism and ancestor worship... extinct language, such as Zuñi, and Spanish and Athapascan... pumas, porcupines, and other ferocious animals... infectious diseases... priests... venomous lizards... (103) Lenina responds by saying You don t say so? but that is because she has just taken half a gramme of soma. From what you know of Bernard and Lenina and the world that they live in, how do you think they will react when they actually get to the Indian Reservation? Write a paragraph in your notebook about your predictions. Reading Literature 1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. Reading (Chapters 7-9) Reading for Understanding As noted above, the reading questions are designed to give students a focus for their reading, and to provide topics for later discussion. The goal is to provide guidance for their first reading, a sense of what to attend to, without interrupting the natural flow of the reading. Some students may want to focus on reading to answer the questions while others may want to simply skim the questions, read, and then return to the text to find answers. 18 BRAVE NEW WORLD CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO

19 Activity 17: Reading for Understanding As you did for the first part of the book, read the questions below just to get an idea of what you will be looking for. Then read Chapters 7-9, keeping these questions in mind along with the predictions you made in Activity 6. As you are reading, put checks in the margins when you find a passage that may be relevant to these questions or your predictions (or use sticky notes if you can t write in the book). Don t worry if you don t find something for every question. You will be able to go back later. Chapter 7 1. Why is Lenina so startled by the old man and the women nursing babies? Citizens of the World State don t visibly age and usually die at age 60. Similarly, children in the World State are decanted from bottles and do not have mothers. Lenina has never seen an old person or anyone breast feeding a baby. MODULE: TEACHER VERSION 2. Why doesn t Lenina want to imagine being a mother? She has been conditioned to think that childbirth and motherhood are obscene. 3. Why does Lenina like the drums even though she doesn t like anything else? The drums remind her of Orgy Porgy. 4. What can you tell about Indian society from the ritual that Bernard and Lenina observe? What does John say is the purpose of the ritual? The ritual seems to be a combination of Native American and Christian elements. John says that the purpose of the ritual is to make the rain come and the corn grow by pleasing the gods. 5. Who is John? Why is he attracted to Lenina? John is the son of Linda, who came from the World State, and the Director of Hatcheries. He doesn t fit in the society of the reservation. Lenina is the first girl he has seen who looks different from the Indians. 6. Who is Linda? Why is Lenina disgusted by her? Linda is the girl left behind by the Director of Hatcheries when he visited the Reservation. She has grown old and ugly. She has been drinking mescal. 7. Why do the Indian women hate Linda? Are they justified? Linda has been conditioned to think that it is normal to have multiple sex partners, so she sleeps with their men. Chapter 8 8. What kind of childhood did John have? A very confusing one since Linda does not know how to raise a child. He has no father, and he is different from all the other children. He does not know who to be. CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE SEMESTER TWO BRAVE NEW WORLD 19

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