Things Fall Apart – Day 2

Read and discuss the National Geographic article “Fighting for the Survival of Uncontacted Tribes”

  • What two points of view are presented in this text?
  • What point of view does the author side with? Give specific examples from the text to explain how you know this.
  • Which point of view do you side with? Give reasoning to support your opinion

Post your responses by clicking “Leave a reply” below. (Please note that your reply will not appear immediately, as I must approve it first.)

Things Fall Apart – day 1



Were Tocqueville’s predictions about the future of the American Indian correct? Find details from the text AND your knowledge of American history to support your opinions.

Write an essay for a chance to win $1000!

As an affiliate school of the Gilder Lehrman Institute, you are qualified to participate in an essay contest.

The Age of Revolution Essay Contest encourages high school students to examine the transformations in social and political ideas and movements from the late 1600s to the early 1800s.

Develop an original essay based on a primary source document in the Sid Lapidus ’59 Collection on Liberty and the American Revolution at Princeton University. Detailed information about the contest is provided in the 2015–2016 Age of Revolution Guidelines packet.


  • $1,000 to each of the top ten students and $500 to each winner’s school
  • One Slavery and Abolition History in a Box to each winner’s school


  • The 2015–2016 Age of Revolution Essay Contest is open to high school students (grades 9–12) in Gilder Lehrman Affiliate Schools. (AST has been an Affiliate School since 2012!)
  • The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 11, 2016.
  • Detailed information, contest forms, a scoring rubric, and other important details on submissions can be found in the 2015–2016 Age of Revolution Guidelines packet (PDF).

BNW Non-fiction assignment

Each of you will read and share at least one non-fiction piece (news article, story published in an online magazine – NOT simply information) with some connection to Brave New World. You must post a link to the article here as a “comment” (click on “Leave a comment” above), along with your name. Whether you are logged in or not, be sure your name accompanies your comment.

Once you have posted, be patient. I must approve it before it appears on the site.

For your final presentation assignment, present your article to the class with the following information:

  1. Explain the connection to Brave New World.
  2. Give a short summary of the piece (article, essay, etc.) you read.
  3. Did you encounter any vocabulary words which were new or difficult?
  4. What was the main point the author wanted you to get from reading his/her work?
  5. With which points of the piece did you agree or find easy to accept? Why?
  6. With which points of the piece did you disagree or find difficult to believe? Why?
  7. What did you think of this piece? OR How did this piece influence your ideas?
  8. Comment on the responses posted by your peers.

Some suggested topics:

  • “test tube” babies
  • Technological advancements
  • New products
  • Birth and death
  • Stress or other “human” phenomena
  • People “locked away” or separated from society
  • Use/abuse of drugs, effects on society
  • The “War on Drugs
  • Articles on social classes in our society
  • Articles about education in our society

Wordly Wise!

Another vocabulary quiz is coming up. Get prepared with the help of these flashcards and activities:

Book 12 lesson 13

Book 12 lesson 14


Invitation to Lecture at UNE

UNE lecture

BNW – Discussion ?s

1. Few of Huxley’s predictions have proven to be perfectly accurate, yet many aspects of the Utopia of Brave New World feel uncomfortably like our world. Talk about the book as a prophetic vision of the future. Which aspects of the book did you find most disturbing? Which hit closest to home? Which seem the most far-fetched?

2. When Brave New World was first published in 1932, the world was plunged in depression, fascism was on the rise in Western Europe, and Marxism appealed to increasing numbers of intellectuals in Europe and America. Place the book in the context of its historical moment. Which parts transcend its time and place?

3. The two greatest obscenities in the society of Brave New World are birth and mother. Why?

4. Toward the end of the book, the Controller Mustapha Mond sums up the benefits of living in the “brave new world” Utopia: “The world’s stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get.” It sounds like perfection, and yet the world Mond describes is deeply, intentionally horrifying. Why? What exactly is so bad about this society of the future? Is there anything good about it, anything we could learn from and try to adapt to our own uses?

5. As dehumanizing and oppressive as the brave new world Utopia is, the alternative in the “savage reserve” is in many ways worse – dirty, violent, unhealthy, cruel, uncomfortable. What point is Huxley making about human nature and the nature of human communities? Is his vision totally negative – or does the book hold out some shred of hope, some alternative mode that fosters both freedom and community?

6. One of the most striking – and comic – aspects of Huxley’s Utopia is the way our sexual mores and assumptions have been turned on their head: monogamy is bad, passion is deviation, casual, meaningless sex is the socially approved norm. What is Huxley getting at here? Is there any expression of human sexuality that he finds acceptable? Is sex at the heart of the “problem” in his view of human nature?

7. Talk about the morality of the book. Is it a Christian morality? Socialist? Anarchist?

8. In many ways, the main characters of the book are cartoon figures – Helmholtz Watson the alienated superman, Bernard Marx the cowardly, hypocritical intellectual, Mustapha Mond the cynical all-knowing leader, John the doomed idealistic. Discuss the book as an allegory and elaborate on what each character stands for.

9. When John first starts reading Shakespeare, he discovers that the words make his emotions “more real” – they even make other people more real. Talk about the power of language in the book, the power of the word to influence thought and behavior. Why did Huxley choose Shakespeare as the medium of John’s intellectual awakening?

10. Huxley wrote many other books, yet this is his most popular and most enduring. What is it about this book that has captured our imaginations for so long? Are there aspects of it that seem dated?

11. Talk about Huxley’s use of narrator. Does the fact that Huxley’s vision was impaired for part of his life have any bearing on the way he narrates the story and sets the scenes?

12. Could anything like Brave New World really happen? Has it happened in some form that we don’t fully recognize?

Brave New World

Here is an online version of the text of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

Chapters 1-3 should be read by Monday, January 12, 2015; there will be a reading comprehension quiz.

Annotations for chapters 1-6 are due Friday, January 15. You must write at least one annotation per chapter.

Common App Essay

Drafts due: Wednesday, October 1, 2014

This is an essay assignment worth 50 points based on the following rubric and prompts:

College Application Essay Rubric

Common App links


Here are some useful links to help you with your Common App Essays.

You should have drafts to turn in by Wednesday, October 1st.

Essay Hell

Johns Hopkins University