The Ministry of Love was the really frightening one. There were no windows in it at all. Winston had never been inside the Ministry of Love, nor within half a kilometre of it. It was a place impossible to enter except on official business, and then only by penetrating through a maze of barbed-wire entanglements, steel doors, and hidden machine-gun nests. Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms, armed with jointed truncheons.
#2 DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER
His pen had slid voluptuously over the smooth paper, printing in large neat capitals—DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER
over and over again, filling half a page.
He could not help feeling a twinge of panic. It was absurd, since the writing of those particular words was not more dangerous than the initial act of opening the diary, but for a moment he was tempted to tear out the spoiled pages and abandon the enterprise altogether.
He did not do so, however, because he knew that it was useless. Whether he wrote DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, or whether he refrained from writing it, made no difference. Whether he went on with the diary, or whether he did not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed—would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper—the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed for ever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.
A few weeks ago I’ve decided to take a book-reading trip across Europe. It wasn’t an easy decision. As some might know I will be traveling (sadly not to Europe) pretty soon, and those travels never end in ‘relaxing in a chair with a book in my hand’. The best I can hope for is having a few minutes at night, a.k.a. my reading fix.
For some unexplained reason I thought that Battle Royale (the movie) was done prior to Battle Royale (the novel). Apparently, the book was released a year before and I don’t remember all of the details in the movie, but it seemed pretty close to the story in the book. (With the exception of little unimportant in my opinion details.)
My knowledge about the theme of the book started about 8 years ago when I first watched the movie Battle Royale. It was powerful and quite original, and I was happy to have had such experience. Then I forgot all about it, until last year when I picked up The Hunger Games trilogy and then it all came back to me. For some time I couldn’t understand why the storyline was so familiar, until I realized that it reminded me of the Battle Royale. Later on, reading some reviews and articles I found out that there is a book and ever since then I wanted to read it.
The Joy Luck Club is a book about differences: between mothers and daughters, between China and America, between old and new life. It is about understanding why we are all so different, why we so often don’t understand each other.
From first pages I absolutely LOVED the book. It reminded me so much about my own country and the way things are there. The things we were taught, the things we grew up with. I guess as a new immigrant I’m more like those mothers, than their daughters:
“There is a school of thought,” I said, “that parents shouldn’t criticize children. They should encourage instead. You know, people rise to other people’s expectations. And when you criticize, it just means you’re expecting failure.” “That’s the trouble,” my mother said. “You never rise. Lazy to get up. Lazy to rise to expectations.”
This is so true. The Chinese (Russian, Ukrainian, you name it) way of thinking in comparison with American/Canadian way.
“The eponymous Emma is a victim of the smug, self-deluding French bourgeoisie that Flaubert despised. Trapped in a marriage to a second-rate provincial doctor, she escapes the suffocating confines of her existence by immersing herself in sentimental novels.”
Well, yes, maybe… But! Was that marriage that bad, really, or the husband so second-rated. I mean, yes, he was no genius but how many are there on Earth anyway. I think Emma’s major problem was that she was spoiled by her father, who probably saw a much brighter future for her that could have been given in reality. (Aren’t we all doing the same for our children?) She wasn’t bad at all, but the books she chose to learn from weren’t the ‘right kind’, they idealized the world around Emma and she was literally expecting a prince on the white stallion.