In Which I Finally Read 1984

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To preface this: I’m not sure, having read 1984 now, that there really are any similarities between Big Brother and Sauron… However, I still am going to read LOTR (in full) and at least take a stab at pulling the two together; though it may not happen soon, as I have a boatload of Greek tragedies/dialogues to get through before the middle of July and I have a craving for Charles Dickens in the inbetween.

That being said, I finally finished 1984 the other day, and I wanted to give you my thoughts, since it’s been so long since I’ve done a proper literature post. (It goes without saying but: spoilers. Serious spoilers.)

I wrote this immediately after finishing it while brushing my teeth at some point past finishing it on the 19th of June:

“Ugh, 1984… I can’t even think…

The worst thing is: I hate it now. But tomorrow I’m going to wake up and be hit with the sudden and violent realization that I’m supposed to hate it and that’s the genius thing about it… So I’ll think it’s amazing.

In a sense 1984 as a novel is like the Party… It is terrible but it is in its terribleness that it convinces us of its goodness. 1984 is forcing me to feel this… Slavery… Is… Freedom…

*chokes*

This won’t make any sense if you haven’t read 1984 but when I closed it I wanted to throw it against a wall but it hasn’t even been ten minutes and I’m just overwhelmed by its sheer brilliance……… I hate myself.”

From my journal on the 20th:

“So 1984. Okay. Wow.

Now this is difficult to write about, because I sort of hated this book… but in a contradictory fashion, I think it’s fantastic. When I finished it, I wanted to throw it up against a wall and/or set it on fire (unfortunately it isn’t my copy, so I couldn’t do that). I felt completely crushed. Good had lost and evil had triumphed… everything that had been up was now down; black was now white; evil was now good. The level of despair and anger one feels at 1984′s conclusion is huge. It’s not just that evil won, it’s that evil obliterated good… That those who had been fighting it had been won over. There was no secret victory in the hearts of the characters. The good character, the last real representative of true mankind has been converted into that which he once despised and fought against. Evil is triumphant and no one in the novel cares or is fighting it come “The End.”

So that basically sucks.

But after I wanted to set the book on fire, I got up to brush my teeth and I kind of stood there leaning against the sink and thinking about it and I slowly started to realized that I was supposed  to hate 1984. I was supposed to want to burn it and hate all the characters for betraying humanity and that which is good. Orwell as the writer operates the same way as “the Party” in the novel does… He takes away everyone who is good. The Party does not want martyrs and they do not want people to inspire faith (and beyond that – rebellion). Every character in the novel who gave you hope or made you believe that there was change on the horizon either turned out to have been evil the whole time or was corrupted by the time the novel ended. He gave hope and then took it away, ripping your morale to shreds. When Winston finally embraces Big Brother, I died a bit inside. It’s soul crushing.

Post 1984 texts I sent:

‘Oh this novel. It’s brilliant. It’s like psychologically manipulative. THE BOOK IS IN AND OF ITSELF THE CORE OF THAT WHICH IT PRESENTS.’

(The response to this was, “Go to bed, you sound drunk.”)

‘BUT LOOK. So I texted you the second I finished this book and I was furious and crushed that Big Brother had won and Winston had collapsed ad then I put it down and went to brush my teeth and GOSH that’s the whole point! 1984 is a novel trying to show everyone why totalitarian regimes are the worst thing ever so naturally you’re supposed to get out of it and hate the world and realize that Big Brother crushed Winston and this book crushed you and you realize that you cannot let what happened in the book happen IRL because Winston who in the book represents the last real human with a soul and his own thought…. He has been torn down and finally defeated and you’ve lost hope in humanity and… Now you feel like you have to stop that. He let humanity down, but you won’t. I am enraged at this ending, but that’s brilliant… This book is awful but it’s supposed to be awful to make you feel how I feel right now and think what I’m thinking… The book is written specifically to evoke an emotional response just like Big Brother emotionally warps… Oh, this is genius.’

I think what impressed me the most was how well Orwell did in not only showing the totalitarian regime at its utmost height, but by employing the same principles and methods of said regime subtly in his writing, he puts the bad taste of it directly into your mouth… It’s simultaneously terrible and stellar.

So all I can say is that this book should be read. It’s not entertaining or enjoyable, but it’s definitely a classic for very good and well thought out reasons.”

Some things I have to add: this book is kind of dull and there are some parts that are actually painful to read… the characters are flat and just make you irritated. I would argue that that’s the point – that you should hate them and everything about the society. I think the only character I actually liked come the end was the prole woman who kept singing that song and folding laundry – and I even didn’t like her at the beginning. It’s not a fun read. It’s like when you eat something and it doesn’t really taste good, but somehow the aftertaste is delicious. That’s this book. I also definitely feel that Brave New World is a more accurate reflection of where society is headed today – 1984 was probably more relevant in a communism saturated era, but nowadays we kind of all realize how terrible communism is without much help.

I definitely recommend it, but I can’t promise you’ll enjoy it. 4 stars. 🙂

I’m really hoping to start posting more frequently – VBS starts tomorrow, so maybe I’ll have something to write about. Thanks for reading, and I appreciate y’all sticking with me even though I’m so negligent of this poor little blog.

~Hero

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I Legitimately Forgot

I was working today, hunched over my computer, eyes glazed over, clicking intermittently… And my brain helpfully offered me this golden nugget of information: “It’s Thursday.”

And I was like, “Thank you, brain. I was aware that it is Thursday.”

“No, Hero, you don’t get it. It’s Thursday. As in, not Wednesday.”

*fpppppppppppp* “Oh.”

So, I’ve decided to sort of be lazy and stuff and give a general update on my life.

  • I AM FAILING NANOWRIMO. Like, seriously. FAILING MISERABLY. I haven’t even hit 25,000 words, but you know what? I got started writing a novel that I really enjoyed, and that’s all that matters.
  • Today is my friend Kristin’s birthday! (Notice, I linked to her tumblr: this is where I pretend that I don’t have the URL to her tumblr memorized because I have a life and stuff hahahahahaha…) Anyway, we met up with, like, a gazillion of our friends from church and we went to Cracker Barrel and Landon and Tanith and Odysseus and our awesome seminarian friend were there and it was a lot of fun. We got to Cracker Barrel at 9:15 and we left at — wait for it — 11:00. We finally yanked ourselves away from the table (to the relief of the waitresses) and then stood outside on the porch with all the rocking chairs for another ten minutes. It was a lot of fun and really awesome to get to have breakfast with my friends (first time I’ve ever paid for myself at a restaurant you guys: I’M SUCH A BIG GIRL). Kristin is beautiful and amazing and I freaking love her to death, so go to her tumblr and spam her ask with messages about how incredible she is because if there is one person on this planet who deserves ‘you are magical and a goddess’ spam, it’s her.
  • Tuesday night I went over to Essie’s house with the usual gang (plus Odysseus and Stella) and had a musical marathon. 😛 We watched West Side Story (which Essie somehow found neither romantic NOR SAD) and then we watched The Music Man — at which point Landon, Odysseus, and Stella (obviously those aren’t their real names, you guys – what terrible parent would name their children like that? I mean, all those names on their own are okay, I guess, but all three? Together? No worries, their real names are very not-crazy) had to go home because it was like, 11:40. *hd* And then Morgann and Essie and I stayed up until 2 watching Phantom of the Opera and the Phineas and Ferb musical… It was a lot of fun. I love my friends. 🙂
  • Working is annoying but being employed has benefits, such as being paid. So that’s that then.
  • I’m on a diet because I’m commiserating with a friend of mine, but my diet kind of stinks because I’m totally lame at dieting and I’m not exercising every day because I’m lazy. Also I ate cake yesterday that sent me wayyyyy over my calorie limit for the day (like, I was at 172% of what I was supposed to be at heh heh heh). But I’m trying. Yeahhh.
  • I really want to take a nap. Or maybe watch Mary Poppins. Or something.

Anyway, that’s all for me right now! I will now go pretend to have a life all holed up in my room watching Mary Poppins on my laptop.

~Hero

I Got Tagged (Also, Julia is a Butthead)

Disregarding the fact that Julia is awesome and has been helping me through some issues I’ve been having recently (which is why I didn’t blog yesterday, FYI), she tagged me in a ridiculous meme and I now hate her forever.

Yayyyyyyyyy.

So to make up for not posting yesterday, here is this MARVEL of a blog post. Enjoy.

The Lucky 7 Meme Award Rules are as such:

1. Go to the 7th or 77th page of your work in progress.

2. Go to the 7th line of the page.

3. Copy the next 7 sentences or paragraphs. Remember, they must be as they are typed.

4. Tag 7 authors.

5. Let them know they’re it!

Okay, so step one. *opens Semper word document*

Step two: *locates 77th page and 7th line*

Tada.

Eila made a face. Clearly Caerwyn had some sort of romantic feelings for Rhys – and Eoin and Rhys had them for her. What she had said to Seamus earlier had been right: apparently everyone was in love with this stupid girl.

She pushed Rhys away. “Shoo, both of you. Eoin, you have guard duty! You’ll be late!”

Eoin looked concernedly at her. “Aidan will cover me. Are you sure you’re…?”

Caerwyn rolled over, burying her face in her pillow. “Let me be, I’m fine. Both of you worry like old mothers with nothing better to do.”

Rhys put a hand on Eoin’s shoulder and led him toward the door. In the darkness, Eoin stumbled over another book and into one of the many bookshelves. There came a series of dull thuds as a number of books fell to the ground.

A muffled groan echoed from Caerwyn’s landing. “Eoin, you git!”

Eoin looked sheepish. “Sorry,” he muttered, gathering up the books and setting them on the bottom step of the staircase. “G’night, Caerwyn.”

Now, as for the next couple steps, I am too lazy/refuse to tag other people. Hurrah.

I’m pretty busy with VBS this week, but maybe on Wednesday I’ll snap a picture of my costume for the week and post it – I’m a 60’s flight attendant. It’s pretty awesome.

Write later, my loves,

Hero

P.S. I won a comment contest on This Page Intentionally Left Blank, which is this super awesome blog that updates way more regularly than I do – so you should check it out. 🙂 As a prize I get to write a guest post, so I will definitely link to that when I do.

P.P.S. Shout out to my friends Tatiana and Julia (even though I hate her right now, haha) – they really are some of the greatest friends a girl could ask for and I love them to complete pieces. Go read their blogs: they are much more intelligent and awesome than I. 🙂

Bonus ‘Hero-Is-Easily-Guilted’ Post

Okay, so I was glancing over today’s post, and it’s kind of boring and it doesn’t really instill the feeling of how awesome prom was, and it sounds really impersonal because I originally wrote it as an article… I just feel bad because I didn’t post on Sunday and so you guy have waited a whole week and I gave you… THIS.

So because I feel really guilty really easily (I’m not kidding – if I beat someone at a board game, I feel bad), I’m going to quickly go over what’s been going on in my life and try to give you something interesting to read. Sound good? Okay.

Yesterday we had our final religion class of the entire year… I didn’t even think I’d be emotional, but the class ended with me crying my eyes out. Granted, I’m a crier, but it’s just that… Augh. You know when you have a class that’s just the best class ever because the teacher is amazing and your classmates are hilarious and awesome, and you look forward to every Tuesday so you can talk to them all and learn a lot and have a great time? That was religion class. And now it’s over – and even though I’m going to request the same teacher for next year, the chances of me getting into another class with all of the same kids and having the same great experience like I did this year are really slim. And it’s just driving the point home: school is almost over, and even though I’m really looking forward to summer, tenth grade has been the best school year I’ve ever had. I made so many new friends, and had so many great experiences, and I learned so much… I’m going to be really sad to see it go. 😦

On a happier note, my dad FINALLY got a job! He retired from the military back in October, and he finally, FINALLY got a job last week! I’m really excited, because this means we’re probably going to buy a house in the Fun Neighborhood soon, and I might get a new cello, and a bunch of awesome things! 😀

I have auditions for this HUGE and Fancy Schmancy youth orchestra here in town at the end of May and I am FREAKING OUT. I’m practicing like a madwoman every day… I absolutely HAVE to nail this audition, or I don’t know what I’ll do. Along the same line, I have my end-of-year concert for my current orchestra on Friday, but I’m not worried – our pieces are easy.

I’ve been feeling sad about my lack of writing recently, and have vowed to get back into the swing of things and get back to my novel. It’s been ages since I’ve sat down and worked on it, and I miss it, honestly. How can I call myself a writer if I don’t ever write? I mean, honestly. Lately I’ve been identifying myself more as a cellist than a writer, which is really sad, because as much as I love my cello and as much as it means to me, I am a writer! It’s my dream, it’s who I am. It’s what I’ve always wanted to be and it’s what I always will be, even if I have my off-months.

I also haven’t worked on my Driver’s Ed at all recently. *shifty eyes* Oops. But I just haven’t had TIME! You guys have to understand how ridiculously busy I’ve been! Stop judging me! *hides from all the judging*

I’m trying to find a picture of my prom dress for you guys, but they all have my face in them (surprise, surprise) and chopping my head off of a photo of myself in prom getup is mildly disconcerting to me.

Let’s see… What else… Ooh. I did my hair like Taylor Swift’s today. 😛

I look like this:

Except I actually look like this:

My hair has gotten long enough to the point that it’s heavy and weighs down the curls… As a result, they’re not really all that bouncy by 9:30 at night. I legitimately DID look like Taylor Swift this morning, though. (I mean, hair-wise. I’ll never be as pretty as Taylor Swift.) I think it’s funny that Julia and I both went the Taylor Swift route today, though, haha. (Great minds think alike, right?)

Oh, and excuse my horrifically short nails. *sigh* The string-musician’s curse.

Anyway. As I mentioned, it IS nine-thirty, so perhaps I should turn in… I’m exhausted thanks to staying up too late on the internet exchanging rapid fire PMs last night… *ahem*

Thanks for being awesome. Don’t forget that today is the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts… If you’re like me and pretend once in a while that Harry Potter is real and that all that stuff actually happened, today is a good day to do it.

I hope you’re all having a lovely week and that this makes up for my incredibly lame former post. I’ll talk to y’all again on Sunday. 🙂

Hero

P.S. I really hope this posts… My computer just decided apropos of nothing to have an aneurysm… WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU, MY BELOVED LAPTOP? WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS? *falls to knees* WHYYYY? (Or as Landon likes to say: PORQUE???)