The story centers on a young man named Juan, who takes a job with the government censorship office in order to intercept a letter he’d mailed to his friend, Mariana. Mariana had fled the country for Paris, and Juan knows that his letter may jeopardize her safety and his own. The plot turns ironic when Juan becomes so obsessed with his job that he ends up censoring his own letter, thereby incriminating himself and causing his own destruction.
My resources for study of “The Censors” cover the Oral Language strand of the Virginia Standards of Learning for English 10, having students work collaboratively with specific roles and assignments. Following discussion, each group makes a presentation of its findings to the class, while other students evaluate the presentations.
After we have read and discussed the story, I separate the class into groups, and each analyzes the story from a different angle: characters, conflict, humor, plot, and theme. The humor activity is most definitely the most difficult, because the humor in the story not as much “funny” as it is darkly satirical. In some cases, it would be best to divide the class into four groups and reserve the humor activity for a whole class discussion.
Available Teaching Materials
- Character Team Activity – PDF
- Conflict Team Activity – PDF
- Humor Team Activity – PDF
- Plot Team Activity – PDF
- Theme Team Activity – PDF
- Activity + Presentation + Peer Evaluation Rubric – PDF
© 2008 – 2012, Jo Hawke | mrshawke-dot-com. All rights reserved.