Friday, January 6, 2012

1984

I'm reading 1984 right now. I keep it next to my bed and I try to read a page or two before I go to sleep each night. I’ve read other things by Orwell (Animal Farm, many of his essays), I like his style, and have always wanted to read 1984. There are so many references to it in our culture—doublespeak and big brother just to name a few—and I wanted to see where they originated from.

But I am having the hardest time getting through it. I am on page 72 and I feel like Orwell is still world building. And maybe that’s the point of 1984—building a world and society that’s a chilling forecast of what could happen if we let government get out of control. But I’m craving more plot than a man writing in his journal.

I’m using the receipt from when I bought the book as my bookmark, so I know I purchased it May 4, 2011. Eight months and I’m only 72 pages in. Pathetic. (It’s a good think I read like five books at a time.) The thing is I want to finish it. I keep a pencil by my bed and I underline things that really stand out or make me think. I’ve talked to my husband about points Orwell’s made that are really interesting or profound. But I’m rarely in the mood for a book of exposition about a fictitious community.

I love the classics, but I am not clicking with this one.

And yet, I want to finish it. I only paid $4 for it (thank you, my local used bookstore)so it’s not the money. Maybe it’s the curiosity. Dystopian books are really big right now and I’m seeing a lot of parallels between 1984 and a lot of these books I’ve read. Maybe, despite my frustration with Orwell’s main character, I’m more drawn in than I thought.

I started this post so that you could convince me to finish it, but I think I’ve convinced myself to keep chipping away at it.

I’ll let you know in about five years (when I finally finish it) what I thought about the book.

8 comments:

  1. Kudos for making the effort! That's interesting as a reader of dystopian fiction you've found a parallel in 1984.

    Oddly enough, I tripped across an old copy of 1984 at a thrift shop just yesterday and briefly considered picking it up. Now I think I'll go back and buy it. See, now you've convinced ME to read it lol ;)

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  2. I couldn't put the book down.

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  3. Ha ha! You are hilarious. It takes me about 5 years to read anything that's considered a classic, so ... ya. :) Good luck with that! ;)

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  4. I tried reading it again about a year ago and I couldn't. I loved it when I was a teenager but when I picked it up again it was so depressing.

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  5. I've read that book twice, and both times I wanted to jab my eyes out with a screwdriver.

    I get that it was scary at the time, but we live in a society where not only are we watched and monitored, but we do things like share personal info on blogs, and upload our photos to Facebook.

    Good luck getting through.

    The Great Gatsby is a book that I have a love/hate relationship with.
    It's one I'd love to do a re-make on, but I know doing that would mean that I'd have to deal with some REALLY nasty reviews on goodreads.

    I may wait for a while before I tackle that one.

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  6. I haven't been around in a while, so I just learned of your pregnancy and it's related challenges. You have my sympathy.

    I'm gonna tell you what you already know, but sometimes it's good to hear things again.

    I didn't have such delightful pregnancies myself, but my "baby" is now 17 and getting ready to head off to college in the fall.

    (This is the part you already know.)All this yuck is so worth it.

    (This is the part you may not personally know, but probably have figured out.) At some point in what I'm sure feels like the very distant future, but really isn't, this time of your life will have faded into a distant memory. You'll surely remember being so sick, but the intensity of it will be long gone and all you'll have left is the precious child this sacrifice is bringing to you.

    My very favorite quote of all time fits here. "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven, and in the end we learn it was no sacrifice at all. " Pres. Kimball

    Hang in there and know you are loved by LOTS of people.

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  7. I never read 1984, but I always felt like I did because I was a freshman in high school in 1984. Everyone made such a big deal about the book back then. We read a lot of quotes and talked about it a lot.You know how you are in high school. By the time 1985 rolled around, I figured 1984 was so last year.

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  8. I don't think that I can force myself through anything...not even classics! I must be so totally unsophisticated :)/

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