I am writing a report about reading 1984 by George Orwell. I had read only an excerpt from this book in the past. For blog post #14, I chose to read the entire book. For my report I will write more about my interaction with reading the book and in context to this course, rather than reporting on the book itself.
Click here for a plot summary
I "read" the book in a 24 hour period. I listened to an mp3 audio book. Not having a great deal of time, I set the speed to read at a fast pace. These were both first experiences for me. In doing this, I lost some aesthetic experiences that I love about reading, but I gained having the experience at all. Reading the book sparked an informative conversation with my husband about some background history. We discussed Orwell's pen name and the fact that he participated in the Spanish Civil War. We also discussed fascism, communism, and other related ideologies. We further discussed how these traps come disguised in our world today.
Although by quickly "reading" this novel, I personally missed some of the things I love about reading itself; none the less, I participated in the things I aim for my students to do when they read. Make connections! I imagined myself teaching a chapter of the book [chapter 7, part 2 was my favorite--When Winston has a profound memory of the past--- remembering his mother and sister, and his stealing chocolate] and helping my students make thoughtful explorations of the material. How does it relate to the past and present? Do you see any implications in our lives today? (I did.) I also read some poetry by Orwell today.
I enjoyed the book "like a girl." I got very bored with the parts where Winston read the explanation of the Big Brother/Brotherhood ideology. I also know that other readers might absolutely love to pick apart the analogies in these sections. I loved part 2 because their was character dialogue and interaction. I hated Winston for his defeat in the end, but understood that The Party killed him. I understand why the book is a classic. It is current no matter when, or how fast you read it.