Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1, The Pill of Murti-Bing)
In Chapter 1, Milosz relates the plot of Insatiability, a novel in which people trade metaphysical concerns for a carefree life. They do this by taking Murti-Bing pills, which make them completely calm and happy. Milosz shows that this artificial cessation of concerns is caused by three factors: the absence of religion, the feeling that a man's life is meaningless, and a fear of thinking for oneself. This lesson examines the effects of Murti-Bing pills and their similarity to the Communist mindset.
1. Brain-Storming Activity. Invite students to write down the positive and negative aspects of the Murti-Bing pills. What can be gained by taking the pills? What are the negative consequences?
2. Small Group Discussion. What dangers arise when individuals no longer care about the world around them? How do the Murti-Bing pills change daily life and thoughts? What examples does Milosz give of the changed mindset...
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