1984 Close Reading Passage on the Parsons Family (Abridged Excerpt)

This close reading assessment features 9 text-dependent, high-order questions to promote improved reading comprehension and analysis of 1984 by George Orwell. Included is a brief abridged excerpt from Book 1, chapter 2, in accordance with fair use regulations; the passage focuses on the introduction to the Parsons family.

An answer key is included, as are Word Document and PDF versions of the assessment.

This resource aligns well to Academic Literacy Project teaching principles and may serve as the basis for small-group discussions. Through these discussions, students decode language and pose/respond to questions relating to plot, broad topics, and character development, demonstrating an ability to analyze how complex characters transform and advance the plot and themes by applying logic and citing compelling, meaningful textual evidence. They will also evaluate their peers’ reasoning and use of rhetoric to advance claims, clarifying or challenging unclear ideas. Using this resource for structured guidance, students, ultimately, will present information, conclusions, and supporting textual evidence clearly, concisely, and appropriately, thereby helping their peers comprehend their thinking.

In addition to helping students gain deeper understanding of the material and greater confidence in their ability to read and comprehend complex texts, this resource was designed to prepare students for ACT-style questioning.

By engaging in this exercise, students will:

  • Apply knowledge of literary devices and techniques including assonance and aposiopesis
  • Analyze textual details to make logical inferences about character fears, behaviors, and motivations
  • Analyze the emphasis on sports impedimenta and articulate how sporting events promote modes of thinking sanctioned by the Party
  • Analyze how the description of setting contributes to the author’s warning on the effects of totalitarianism on the masses
  • Define complex words and phrases in context
  • Write with logic, clarity, and precision
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Created: Feb 16, 2020

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

docx, 2 MB


pdf, 125 KB


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