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Rocketbook: 1984

April 4, 2010

Let’s face it, a one-hour video summary and analysis is not the way to experience classic literature.  I am probably robbing myself of some of the joy of reading and experiencing these novels by getting them spoonfed to me in indigestible lumps.  On the other hand, who can read a novel in an hour?  Not me.

I was already familiar with a lot of 1984’s symbolism and ideology.  Big Brother, 2+2=5 (or as Picard would say: “There…are…four…lights!”), even The Party’s influence over history.  I find the details of Newspeak fascinatingly horrifying.  I feel like I have a better idea how to answer the 3 questions for 1984 than for Great Gatsby.  A lot of what made Gatsby a great book was in the actual writing whereas more of 1984’s greatness comes from the ideas.  I’ll prep responses for both.  I want to start doing 3 a week so I’ll have a good 9 or 10 to draw from when I reach the actual test.  I really suspect I’ll be writing about Shakespeare since it’s pretty well guaranteed to have something of his on the list, but we’ll see.  It would be nice if I could write on Orwell or Tolkein instead.  But as long as I don’t have to B.S. something about Pride and Prejudice, I’ll be happy.

I think this technique is proving effective.  If I get a block of free time (hahaha), I’ll watch 1984 over the computer with Netflix.  I also plan to nose through a few SparkNotes online since Rocketbooks’ selections are limited.

Next up: Frankenstein.  I read it the summer before 9th grade; it was on a required reading list.  I didn’t get it then.  No time for the reread right now, but I can Rocketbook it.

I hear mixed comments regarding the accuracy of different film adaptations of Frankenstein.  Which is more accurate, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with DeNiro or the made-for-TV version with Luke Goss?  Input from scholarly types appreciated.  (You too, Tracie.  🙂

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2010 3:18 am

    The DeNiro one isn’t bad. However, that book is actually so damn good it is really worth reading. I know you are pressed for time, but of the many many many “classics” I had to slog through for my BA in English, that one was a joy every time I had to read it (once in middle school on my own, once in HS for class, twice in classes in college).

  2. April 6, 2010 5:36 pm

    Hmm. Well, I saw the DeNiro one but not the other, so it’s hard to say there. However, the DeNiro one is decent. I’m with izanobu; the book is SO damn good. I read the entire book in one day when I was in college, for a night class discussion of it. It was captivating and something of a thrill to read it all at once. I literally paused only to pee and have snacks for a whole day. Since I was under pressure to do so, I didn’t think I would enjoy it, but it was marvelous. Obviously, you don’t have that kind of time! But don’t skip this one, if you can afford the time.

    Pride and Prejudice is worth the watch, if you get the Colin Firth one. 🙂

    BTW, I’m watching the David Tennant version of Hamlet on Youtube in my spare time (six to nine minutes a clip). Very watchable.

    • April 12, 2010 4:05 pm

      Tracie- I prefer the BBC Pride and Prejudice myself, it has a better Elizabeth in my opinion 🙂

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