Brave New World: Using the Character Anatomy in Critical Literacy

Elijah Strong

  • Disciplinary Literacy Skill: Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme. (RL.9-10. 3) (DOK 2,3)
  • Critical Literacy Skill(s):
    • Interrogating multiple viewpoints
    • Focusing on sociopolitical viewpoints
  • Instructional Resources Needed:

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Students will be placed into four groups and given a character to analyze.
    1. Group 1: Bernard Marx
    2. Group 2: John
    3. Group 3: Lenina Crowne
    4. Group 4: Mustapha Mond
  2.  Pass out Character anatomy sheet (One for each group).
  3. Students will record aspects of their assigned character and apply them to its corresponding body-part located on the “Character anatomy sheet.” The goal is for students to analyze alternating, and sometimes opposing viewpoints of the characters. What exactly do each of the characters think of the position of government and, in turn, how does that affect them?
    1. By now, students should be on the 12th chapter in the novel.
    2. As students are writing, walk around the classroom and offer assistance to those who need it, as well as listening in on group discussions to make sure students understand the assignment and the material.
  4.  Students will record their thoughts and components on the sheet for 15 minutes with their groups. After recording, students will be asked to select a spokesperson for their group to share their findings with the class.
    1. Students will also be asked to record their favorite components of their character analysis on the board. It will help to categorize the character better and allow students to see what the main themes of each character are.
    2. One individual from each group will make sure each students’ name is written at the top of the “character anatomy sheet,” and then turn it in at the front of the class, before leaving.

Giving students the opportunity to discuss characters’ viewpoints in the novel will offer insight into the roles of government, hierarchy, and the general consensus of how the world inside of Brave New World works. The goal is for students to utilize this knowledge to create their own inferences toward the sociopolitical situations inside the novel, and hopefully in the real world.

Video Demonstration

About the author

My name is Elijah Strong, I am an English Education major at Iowa State who has a strong passion for education and reading. I grew up in Indianola, Iowa and have always had a fascination with challenging myself in pursuit of my work. Growing up with three older siblings, for better or worse, I have always appreciated working with other people, and becoming a teacher has always seemed to be the ideal career choice. I want to educate others and expand upon my love for literacy, as well as general instructional fields. To be a part of this project is an important step in this goal, and I am more than thrilled to be included.