Thoughts overall 1 Likable and interesting characters. 2 Every page up until more than halfway through (~500 pages) felt like a se**spoiler alert** 1Q84
Thoughts overall 1 Likable and interesting characters. 2 Every page up until more than halfway through (~500 pages) felt like a series of questions, questions, and more questions, all without answers. 3 Very large build up. 4 Tediously long but easy to read for the most part. Language is not overwhelmingly beautiful, but has lots of figurative language and occasionally a stunningly well written passage or quote. 5 Very careful with regards to the details of daily life, but less careful in regards to language and diction (some may be lost in translation?)... A mix of slice of life and the extraordinary. 6 A mystery novel intertwined with a powerful love story. 7 The answers in the end are satisfying, but the entire novel, perhaps due to its tediously long length, lacks an overwhelming sparkle. Most of the questions are touched upon, although some are still left loose. The beginning is fascinating, loses power in the middle, and has a satisfying end. 8 As my first haruki murakami work, 1Q84 was an interesting read and I would like to read more of his other works.... 4/5.
Themes: 1 Loneliness (an existential crisis- all characters experience this self doubt) vs. The prevailing nature of Love>>> 20 years, overcoming realities(?)>> Love is both magic and the only reality.> love as the only way out of the Loneliness> love as unconditional acceptance (Tengo is willing to accept Aomame no matter what...) vs Ushikawa who did not have unconditional love, always felt lonely, and whose family left him after his fall from wealth... Aomame is willing to risk it all (including her life) for a chance to save Tengo and to meet Tengo> Ushikawa has little to live for (no love) hence the dangerous smile vs Tengo and esp aomame whose future looks grim but is held together by (a hope for) love> love overcomes all (Aomame and tengo's reunion> allows them to leave 1q84/cat town and bear with the idea of surviving in a new world without logic) 2 History- once people forget, has the truth changed/ been lost forever? - tengo's father forgets about tengo's mother... Is the truth lost forever then? 3 Always one reality>>> paper moon quote? One loses track of reality in solitude, away from love and human interaction (Ushikawa during his stakeout, and Aomame to a less extent in her safe house because she has hope of love). Individuality Sanity in an insane world(?) Importance of believing> motivated by love (paper moon song)> Aomame believes in order to leave. 4 Women in a misogynist society>> azumi and police, aomame and her jobs, the dowager and her safe house 5 The importance of living with a purpose vs passivity (brought by cowardice?) >> tengo's many talents yet inability to make something of himself(?) and the freedom brought by less expectations(?) 5 Allusions to orwell's 1984>>> government >>> free will (vs. the little people- are things destined?)>> existence of free will (with influence from a greater will)>>> "Big brother is watching you" a direct reference is made in regards to Aomame's childhood religion, comparing big brother to God; although murakami does not disapprove of religion, he seems to disapprove of anything overly oppressive..... He has no problems with Spirituality without institutionalized worship. 6 Acceptance/change>>> aomame learns to accept her new reality, the passage about Chekhov, Sakhalin, and the Gilyaks not taking the new path, the Vatican not accepting the Copernican theory, Aomame fearing the truth behind the leader's ideas of the little people 7 Balance> Good vs. evil- the thin line between- fukada leader has an interesting dialogue about balance>Perceiver vs receiver> equivalent exchange (NHK fees and leader's physical illness due to powers - "you have to pay a price for what you've received" (747) "to get something important people have to pay a price" (757)> both Aomame and Tengo hear this on separate occasions 8 Choice- a choice, even a bad choice, is better than no choice... Opposing the greater will.... (aomame takes the option with a choice...)>>> importance of exercising self-action or free will in an unpredictable world (1q84 or cat town)>>> choosing to leave 1q84 and cat town 9 value of life> life is very valuable > the irreversible passage of time> murakami focuses a lot on the importance of looking forward and not being stuck in the unchangeable past (although, he also reveals that the knowing the past is important in shaping the future) 10 individuality> both protagonists left home at a young age to support themselves> "I am who I am" (721)
Motifs and some symbols: 1 Inclusion of dream sequences>>> the girlfriend's dream of the cottage in the forest 2 Town of cats>>>Tengo feels like the man who can no longer leave the town of cats aka Aomame's 1q84 of magical realism> being "irretrievably lost" due to a sort of purpose Town of cats=1q84=the forest(?)> it takes 2 to leave...? 3 The vacuum>>> we each have a place to belong(?) 4 The moon... 1 moon (1984-a reality where Tengo and Aomame would have never met) vs 2 moons (1q84- a reality where the two do meet and love)... A paper moon(?).... "Tranquil, solitude, lonely"... Also is what distinguishes the two worlds apart... 5 "Collective memory">>> history
Questions and answers: 1 is fukada is the real leader? Why would he do what he did to the girls? Was he forced? How real is his illness? How could he change so much? What happened to the wife? Yes. He believes that it is his duty to do what he does with the shrine maidens. No. He appears to have a conscious mind (allows maza/ his daughter to leave, allows aomame to kill him). Yes. His illness is real and so are his powers (still very human). The wife died naturally from stomach cancer years before. 2 who are the little people? How real are they? What is their purpose for making the air chrysalis? How were they created? Little people>>> like gods? A strong will? Air chrysalis= a womb like cocoon that makes the dohta(think daughter), a passageway arising as a copy of the maza(think mother). Becomes a shrine maiden and is "raped." Control. The dohta is a medium for the voices in the presence of the perceiver. 3 why are there 2 moons? Do others see 2 moons too? What is the significance of 2 moons? When a dohta is born, there are 2 moons. Others only see 1 moon. Two moons are a turning point for when one becomes drawn into 1q84. Big moon=maza, small moon= dohta(the copy). So when they leave 1q84, two moons become one moon again. 4 why did the dog explode? A warning from the little people for tsubasa. A cocoon lead to the explosion(?). 5 purpose of tengo's mother? Is she still alive? What is the significance of tengo's earliest memory? Is she related to Kyoko Yasuda (the photograph)? Are Tengo and his father blood related? A source of conflict and confusion for Tengo. She was murdered when he was 2 (not far off from what his father told him) after absconding with another man. Vague answers to the other 3 questions. 6 where did tsubasa go? Was she real? Were she and the other girls (incl. fuka-eri) truly raped? Tsubasa was a dohta who escaped, so she went back to the chrysalis. Because she was only a copy/alter ego, she does not have periods, etc. She did have intercourse but not in a sexual way with the leader, according to the leader... 7 who is the taxi driver? The expressway? The taxi driver remains un-named. The entrance to the expressway is a physical entrance that later disappears to signal a point of no return... However, the exit to the expressway still exists so that when Aomame is ready, she and Tengo and their child can leave the unpredictable dimension. (A balance?)... 8 what is the importance of the nhk(?) A government(?) broadcasting agency. Mr. Kanawa's dedication. Magical realism>> spirit still knocking? No conclusive answer is given but I guess the knocker is a spirit that appears while the man is in a coma and disappears after death. 9 Is there free will? Is free will a good thing? Is there destiny/a greater will (vs free will)? Can the will be likened to oppression (such as under a totalitarianism government)? Balance is a good thing and pure goodness alone is a bad thing. Aomame decides that there is free will, which is partly influenced by a greater will (855). 10 Where/why did tengo's gf (Kyoko yasuda) disappear? What does irretrievably lost mean? Toru is also irretrievably lost> Taken away by the little people. 11 What is the significance of naming the work 1q84 after orwell's 1984? Does the title of the novel have to do with politics (communism vs capitalism) or oppression? The communes were pro-communist and anti-capitalist but it's easy to see the problems (lack of info, hypocrisy, isolation, etc.) within the communes. What the young protagonists went through on Sunday's knocking door to door was also a form of oppression.... 12 why did Fuka-Eri become what she becomes? Was she always dyslexic? Is Fukada-Eri actually a dohta? She may not have been always dyslexic. In air chrysalis, the girl (Fuka-Eri) seemed to speak normally with punctuation and emotion... She made a friend but began keeping distance after the little people sought to hurt others around her. Tengo and fuka-Eri both suspect fuka-Eri is a dohta but also doubt it... Either way she remains mysterious and magical in the end. 13 how distinct are 1984 and 1q84? 2 moons.... 14 was Tengo the first to see the 2 moons? And he simply did not notice until after Aomame? Was the expressway really the trigger for aomame? Probably... Even if the expressway wasn't the trigger, it still acted as a one way physical passage because it disappeared after to signal a point of no return. 15 is the baby inside Aomame Tengo's? Is it possible to conceive without intercourse? Was Fuka-eri a stand in or transfer between the two protagonists? The night with the thunder, aomame kills the leader (and later realizes this was the day something inside her changed) and Fuka-Eri has intercourse/purification with Tengo. Yes. Yes. Also yes. Aomame acts as an air chrysalis for her baby, the dohta. 16 does aomame's name hold significance? Aomame= green peas> "peas in a pod" with Aomame and Tengo> destined to be together? 17 who is kumi adachi? She has so much wisdom and dreams of being strangled in a past life... 18 why are the little people making a new air chrysalis from Ushikawa'a hair? This is a mystery....? I guess the cycle continues... The little people tend to come from the dead.
Similarities: - master and margarita (450)- magical realism, oppression vs freedom, some aspects of religion, deeper messages within a leader figure, thin boundaries between good vs evil, the importance of love!!!!, the book inside the book comes alive - Portrait of the artist as a young man (509)- the idealization of a woman vs realizing that she is a flesh being rather than an icon - Spirited away (912)- entering and exiting a world With magic....more
Positives: - the development of the protagonist Vivian Bearing from a cold woman to a much more sympathetic one - themes of the necessity for kindness aPositives: - the development of the protagonist Vivian Bearing from a cold woman to a much more sympathetic one - themes of the necessity for kindness and companionship and simple honesty - the contrast between the calculating doctors and the comforting nurse - the seamless incorporation of John Donne's Holy Sonnets and analysis of it - the beautiful language and quotes - the title W;t
Negatives - lack of development in other characters (everyone aside from Vivian) - personal issue: liked Equus more than W;t (should not be compared but read both in a short span of time and W;t paled in terms of entertainment and intrigue)...more
Positives - pov: absolutely fresh and original - intriguing: new perspectives on daily occurrences and thoughts, truthful incorporation of (math and sciPositives - pov: absolutely fresh and original - intriguing: new perspectives on daily occurrences and thoughts, truthful incorporation of (math and science) facts - voice: completely unique - likeable, well developed protagonist: well developed, sympathetic (you understand him really well, see his view on the world, and want him to succeed by the end) - creative: use of picture, lack of figurative language... Corresponds to protagonist's character - good ending - more believable among books about autism and intelligent children
Negatives - not magnificent - contradictions/fallacy in Christopher's character development ...more
Positives - the writing style is simply beautiful - the abundance of beautiful quotes - character development of Dysart through monologues - theme and depPositives - the writing style is simply beautiful - the abundance of beautiful quotes - character development of Dysart through monologues - theme and depth (passion) - definition of normalcy - captivating - idea of worship