Skip to Main Content

US - 1984 in English 10: Home

A Libguide of curated information to support the comparison contrast essay assignment in English 10.

Compare and Contrast Essay

You will write a compare and contrast essay in which you compare the characters of Winston and Julia and their motivations and attitudes towards the party and the brotherhood or the world of Orwell's 1984 with some aspect of our present day world.  Below you will find three topics from which you must choose.  However, note that these are only topics not research questions.  Once you have decided upon a topic, you will have to craft a complex thesis statement from which to proceed.  

In all cases, you will need to make close reference to Orwell's novel in order to support your ideas.  

See the link to the Writing a Compare/Contrast Essay in this Libuide for sample theses for each of the topics below.

An outline and a rough draft will be written in class prior to the break and when we return you will write a fully cited comparison/contrast essay of approximately 1500 words and submit it to Mr Hinebauch.

Control of Information


Commentators such as Noam Chomsky consistently warn us that we are under attack.  Our idependent thought is being undermined in a host of ways in modern society.  Whether it is media manipulation, propaganda or the dumbing down of language we must remain wary of an external influence such as what Orwell termed "Big Brother".  Today some claim that media conglomerations and governments are limiting our abilities to think critically and contribute to a healthy democracy.  For example, ome say that without language, complex thoughts are impossible. In fact, most agree that language is what makes humans capable of such great accomplishments. The notion behind Newspeak is that by simplifying and dumbing down language, you simplify and dumb down those who use it. Do you think this is possible? Wat abot txtmsgs? R u concrnd that txts r a modrn frm of Npk? Social media and texting has evolved its own language of acronyms and emojis. Is this similar to newspeak in that it dumbs down the language, or is it a new way to be more expressive?




When faced with defending the government’s invasion of personal privacy, people often say, “If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to be worried about.” Does that statement adequately defend government policies that violate personal privacy? Do you agree with that statement? Why might a person still be worried about protecting their privacy, even if they have nothing to hide? View the Clip Below for more information:




In many areas of the world, people live under restrictive government regimes and are faced with difficult choices on how to live their lives. In the face of repression and governmental control, do they follow the rules and live with the fear of any moment being arrested for any minor transgression? do they work to rebel within the confines of the repressive system, finding small ways to make their lives more livable and human while accepting that the ruling body will never change? or do they actively seek to affect change at the top, working to overthrow those in power? In an oppressive society, is there an ethics of rebellion? Should one actively work against the state/oppressor or find ways to live freely within societal constraints?


Zurich International School
Steinarcherstrasse 140
8820 Wädenswil, Switzerland
+41 (0) 58 750 2500