Monday, October 11, 2010

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a little rough at first to get used to the "N" word being used so frequently, and I realized that it was intentional to show how things were at the time.  I think it was genius, in fact, how family friendly the language was in this book, accept for that word.  It really helped to point out what I felt was one of the main points of this book. 

I think Twain did an absolutely amazing job of capturing much of the southern lifestyle during the early 1800's.  Not only was this book a great example of how people felt about slavery and how black people in general were regarded in that time, but it also showed the relative lack of respect for life that existed.  The book was a great example of the downfall that comes from pride and the power that can come from humility.

Tom Sawyer drives me crazy.  I don't know if I will be able to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  I probably will... The kid just got old to me.  Over and over he has to make things so difficult and ridiculous because, "that is how it is supposed to be" because he has read about it in books and has such a crazy imagination.  At the same time, I can respect what Twain was showing through this of how much ridiculousness there is in the world as a result of pride and tradition when common sense is overlooked.

In summary, I loved this book.  Twain is a genius.  The use of dialect and writing through the lens of Huck was very engaging and harmless, while teaching some very heavy and important lessons.

Friday, October 1, 2010

1984 by George Orwell

This was one of those "So this is where that comes from!" books.  Such stuff I have always heard referred to like "Big Brother" and "Thought Police" that I pretty much knew what it meant, now has reason. 

I found the book to thought provoking and fascinating.  It was dark, though, and I can't say that I enjoyed reading it.  However, I do appreciate how fantastic it is that Orwell could write something in 1949 with elements of technology and even ideology that exist today.

I think what I like the most about the book was the idea about reality.  Much of what we perceive as reality is determined by our own perspective.  So, in part, when we control our perspective we control reality. 

One of the main elements in the book that is shown to be necessary to eliminate the will of man is to eliminate a belief in God.  I think that is because when we have a strong belief in God we are willing to always have in mind that God has a perfect perspective, and while things are unclear to us, they are always clear to Him.  So those that truly want to exercise full power over others only need to replace God with themselves in the lives of those they wish to control. 

This made me think of how much time we dedicate to meaningless things.  I think you could safely refer to them as Idols.  All of which are carefully crafted to influence our perspective and thus control our reality.

In summary, this is a dark book that makes you paranoid.  I liked it.  I think...