Brave New World

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Postby Cannon_Fodder on Wed May 10, 2006 6:18 pm

I realise that the teachers need to provoke the young students' minds, but I would think that an easier way to do this would be to bring up any actual plot or redeeming features of the book, or challenge my arguments with counter-arguments of their own. This was not happening. Instead, they would say something to the effect of "Oh, it's not that bad" and drop the subject. I don't think that any of them have ever been able to counter my arguments effectively. If they're trying to make me think on my feet (or challenge me), it's not going too well. Of course, I should be glad that they care so much about the subject to actually see plot in such books.

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En Famille

Postby black bart on Thu May 11, 2006 9:45 am

I had to read Guy de Maupassant's Quinze Contes (which sounds rude but it's not) for my French A Level. All of his short stories are majical and I have read them many times since - I particularily like 'En Famille'.

Neuromancer is a facinating book aswell.
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Postby SpisBoy on Thu May 11, 2006 8:53 pm

I hate the fact that English Classes ruins books by making us analyze every aspect of them, instead of just taking in the whole book, enjoying it, pondering it, and appreciating it for the work of art it is.

However, I do see that this wouldn't work. If we didn't have to write essays, then half of the students wouldn't even read the novel...
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Postby alexrose on Thu May 11, 2006 9:03 pm

English classes aren't that bad to books. It's the poems they really love destroying. They ignore that sometimes the poets themselves don't know what it means.

Voltaire is hilarious and I understood only a fraction Candide...
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Postby alexrose on Thu May 11, 2006 9:17 pm

I didn't have to read it for a class, so I was spared from having to write anything about it. I'm not sure what I'd have said.

Never heard of him.
I'm not sure I could read an entire book of poetry...especially in French. I'm definitely impressed.
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Postby johngalt on Fri May 12, 2006 12:47 am

Worst book I have ever read for class: A Seperate Peace. I mean, the main character knocks his best friend off of a tree, not a whole lot happens in the middle, and then he knocks him down some stairs in the end and kills him. What kind of person is this?! :?

I did like BNW though. It was less than well written, but the idea was there. I like the idea far more than the writing in many cases.
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Postby kat on Mon Jun 19, 2006 4:59 pm

I loved Brave New World and 1984, though I think Animal Farm is more age appropriate in this instance. (It reads better with the familiarity with children's books a young adult [or a parent] has. I honestly think some adults, not being able to view it as satire, get so wrapped up in the talking piggies they lose understanding of the book.)

I have never understood why The Great Gatsby is considered a particularly good book and the ONLY thing The Old Man and the Sea has going for it is that it is short.
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Postby beagle on Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:04 am

I personally reckon (even for most adults) Animal Farm is a far more visceral experience than 1984. Intellectual analysis of the misuse of language, and the other mechanisms of political spin (though a hugely valuable resource) distracts a little from the underlying themes of pain and betrayal in 1984.
People can't connect with human suffering on the scale of the Stalinist purges, but transform it into Boxer's fate and it gets you straight in the gut.
It seems like maybe he wrote 1984 as the intellectual guide, and Animal Farm as the motivational piece to put everyone on their guard.

I wasn't that taken with The Great Gatsby, but figured that maybe it was one of those books like Brideshead Revisited that could be actually improved on by a movie creating the unique sense of time, place and style.

Personally I could never understand why Chaucer is rated so highly, but got quite into the BBC's modern versions of his plays. Think I was just too thrown by the old language to grasp the stories.
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Postby Grey on Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:09 pm

I adore Voltaire. I read Candide in eight grade, and re-read it this year, as well as most of his other well-known works.

Animal Farm was amazing! I loved all the symbolism, and such.
The Great Gatsby was okay.
The Old Man and the Sea was terrible. I was terribly bored throughout, and was hoping he'd get eaten by the sharks.
I read A Brave New World voluntarily, and I rather enjoyed it.
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Postby kat on Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:21 pm

Grey wrote:The Old Man and the Sea was terrible. I was terribly bored throughout, and was hoping he'd get eaten by the sharks.


Yeah. Okay- if you are forced to read this in an English class, all you need to recognise is that the old man is Jesus, and there, that's the whole book, okay?

When forced to write an essay, talk about the symbolism, and how the old guy is Jesus, and a fish, and you'll get an A.
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Postby Grey on Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:28 pm

I was. I actually didn't see that.
Foruntanelty, my teacher that year wasn't that big on symbolism, so we wrote essays on controversial issues linking to it.
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