The Rory Gilmore Book Club discussion

Rory Book Discussions > 1984 - Part One

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message 1: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
Let's start the discussions for this month's selection, George Orwell's 1984. The book is divided into three parts, if I'm not mistaken, so we'll begin by discussing Part One here. Please add spoiler warnings where necessary. Happy discussing!

message 2: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
Just wanna bump this up to the top again :) How's everybody doing with the book? I'm gonna start it once I finish Middlesex. Dystopia here I come!

message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 100 comments You know... I haven't started it yet. I am having some difficulty getting through The Historian.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I've finished it...but have still been trying to formulate what to say. Having only a passing knowledge of it's themes (dystopia, Big Brother) before I started, I guess I was expecting something different. I won't say I was disappointed was just different. I read BRAVE NEW WORLD immediately after (also different than I expected) and started FAHRENHEIT 451 last night.

Book One is just setting up the environment. I found Book Two and Three getting more to the heart of the matter.

What I really think is--the society that we live in is far more similar to "1984" than the society in which it was written. I didn't find it shocking. It doesn't seem revolutionary. There are computer and tv screens everywhere. I'm sure the technology is there to monitor us. Our cell phones can track our movement. You can go onto Google Maps and look at the front of my apartment with the use of satellites. Times have definitely changed.

I found Goldstein's "book" in Book Two to be really powerful and the only time that I stopped and reread passages because of how prophetic I found them to be. But I'm jumping ahead.

message 5: by Meghan (new)

Meghan | 76 comments I haven't read this book since I was 11, so I'm interested to reread it. Of course, I haven't started it yet :)
I would like to say it's better to not try to judge the book-as-prophecy from a modern standpoint, or just with surface characteristics, but to look at the themes overall. And it doesn't have to seem revolutionary or shocking to be chilling -- knowing a lot of the capabilities of our technology match what's described in the book (the form of that technology notwithstanding) and what can be done with it is what's disturbing. What should be shocking is how much of our society *is* like the book, not the idea of things becoming like the book (sorry, that last sentence didn't make much sense, but it's the best I've got).

I find Fahrenheit 451 extremely sad from that viewpoint. How may people in our society are like Montag's wife and her friends? It's an almost disturbingly prophetic book.

Elizabeth (Miss Eliza) (strange_misseliza) | 144 comments Jessica I just loved the Historian! I think I didn't put it down till I was done.

message 7: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 571 comments i'm rereading this but haven't gotten very far.

what do people think of the two minutes hate? and the names of the government departments? and the kids accusing Winston of being a thought-criminal? good stuff.

Melissa Rochelle (melissarochelle) Even though the world described in 1984 is similar to our world now ( screens...etc), it is still incredibly different. Sure, there are TVs everywhere, but the people in the TV can't talk back and tell you to stop daydreaming and do your jumping jacks (however, it might be helpful if it did). Not to mention, there's no mandatory two minute "breaks" where we all stand around and scream about how much we hate someone. Sometimes, I may feel like it's a two minute hate when I watch FOXNews...but I have the freedom to turn the channel.

I think that the names of the government departments are brilliant...they are exactly the opposite of their names.

I'm still not clear on one thing do people become part of the "party'? Is just something that one is born into? A class structure that I members and proles. Is that it?

message 9: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 197 comments I'm finally reading this. I started listening to the audio book this morning on my way to work and I'm listening now at my desk. I'm only on Chapter 5 but I like it so far. It definitely makes me think of Fahrenheit 451.

message 10: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments I read this book in 1984, and, yes, today is much more like 1984 than 1984 was!

When we were on a long car trip with our kids, who were arguing a lot, we would take, maybe 5 minute, breaks to argue. The first time, it upset my kids to hear me and my husband yelling silly insults at each other. But, when they caught on, it was lots of fun. And it really did cut down on the fighting during other times. Ha ha abt Fox news!

message 11: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 197 comments I just finished Part One and I'm liking this more than I thought I would. I was blown away by the whole discussion of Newspeak and when Syme says the whole point is to narrow the language and narrow people's thoughts in the process-crazy!! I also thought it was so interesting the way that Winston has to change the news to make it seem like Big Brother predicted these things in the first place. I'm really interested to find out what happens next.

message 12: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 283 comments Big Brother climbs out of a fighter jet that has just landed on an aircraft carrier. Looking only slightly absurd in his faux bomber jacket, he mounts a podium under a banner reading "Mission Accomplished," grins his idiotic grin, and gives the thumbs up sign. Oops! Sorry. That wasn't Orwell. That was real. (I warned you I could not read this book and keep politics out if it!)

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm with you Deborah. I had a really hard time separating the two. In Part Two, all I could hear was "never-ending War on Terror".

message 14: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 283 comments "... to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy ..." One of Winston's thoughts on doublethink as he's exercising. This reminds me of two instances. One was Alberto Gonzales calling international law (and by extension, the Constitution, as the Constitution encompasses international law when ratified by Congress) "quaint" and "outdated." The other was a quote from Rumsfeld early in the Iraq war, to the effect that Iraq would be able to vote for whatever kind of a government they wanted. Then he qualified that, of course, they could not have a "religious" government like in Iran. So they could vote for any government they liked as long as the US approved it first.

message 15: by Angie (new)

Angie | 512 comments Doesn't seem like too many people are reading this. Is this a boring book or what?

message 16: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
I wouldn't say it's boring, just that everyday matters are keeping me from finishing it. But I do think it's the kind of book that requires more concentration.

message 17: by Angie (new)

Angie | 512 comments I am behind on the group readings (about to start Emma) but I will get to this book too.

message 18: by Mary-Ann (new)

Mary-Ann (arcticsilence) I wasn't a part of this book group then, I read 1984 in grade 10 though. (a longggg time ago). I enjoyed the read, I read Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) that year too. Probably two of the only classic books I ever chose to read by myself. I found the concept of being controlled like that entirely disturbing. I wouldn't mind rereading it IF I didn't have so many books on my to-read list already.

message 19: by Emily (new)

Emily | 40 comments I'm behind in the Rory books, I just started reading this one. I love it so far!

message 20: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn (madhadder) | 1 comments Hi,
I'm the new kid on the block. Where can I get a list of the "Rory" books? 1984 is what you're discussing? That's a book whose imagery will stick with you long after you finish it and keep popping up as you see or hear things which will remind you. I've read it a couple of times, and yes it smacks of Fahrenheit 451 which incidentally they're remaking. Off the subject, but which book would you choose to "become" and which actors can you picture "becoming" which books?

message 21: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
Hi Marilyn, nice to have you here. The list of Rory books can be found in the *Nomination lists thread at the Nominations & Voting folder. For June, July and August we're reading our summer selection, Vanity Fair. Incidentally, we've read both 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 in the past.

message 22: by Angie (new)

Angie | 512 comments Arctic wrote: "i'm rereading this but haven't gotten very far.

what do people think of the two minutes hate? and the names of the government departments? and the kids accusing Winston of being a thought-crim..."

I have to admit it was hard for me to picture the two minute hate. Does the government find all propaganda video of goldstien and the play it and everyone screams?

message 23: by Angie (new)

Angie | 512 comments Melissa Rochelle wrote: "Even though the world described in 1984 is similar to our world now ( screens...etc), it is still incredibly different. Sure, there are TVs everywhere, but the people in the TV can't..."

The whole exercise thing reminds me of countries in the middle east where everyone has to stop what they are doing bow and pray. I looked it up and they must do it 5 times a day.

message 24: by Angie (new)

Angie | 512 comments I am just now reading this book. Wish I would've read it with the group. I wish my library had the Spark Notes on it so I could understand it even better. Funny that I just look above and was supposed to read this book in 2009 and now it is almost 2012 and I am finally getting to it!!

I am not done and just discussing part one here and I also wonder how people were chosen to be in the party. It hasn't mentioned yet what exactly would separate people. Though I remember one time Winston mentioning that if you looked ugly with little beady eyes you would be more likely to be kept then vaporized so I wonder if it was partially based off looks.

I love the whole diary concept. We take that for granted right now. How we can just pick up a book and write down thoughts and opinions on subjects. And describe it. In the book 1984, the government was not only not letting people do this but taking words away from the people.

Another topic that interested me was the prostitute with the "painted" face. And that it was ok for party members to have sex with them every once in a while to get it out of their system. So it's like they knew that human nature couldn't be totally erased so let the humans do bad things every now and then.

message 26: by Angie (new)

Angie | 512 comments You are too cool!!!!! This will help me get more out of this book!!!

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Books mentioned in this topic

1984 (other topics)
The Historian (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

George Orwell (other topics)