surrealistic's blog

oryx and crake vs. handmaid's tale

Since both of these novels are by Atwood, I immediately began noticing similarities (and more often, differences) between them when I started reading Oryx and Crake. The two greatest similarities seem to be: the meandering narrative style, which is not my personal cup of tea but is certainly better than being dry and dull; and the overall dystopian viewpoints of the books.

recognizing a life pattern

I'm going to use my last "freebie" blog post and cop out on this one, because I have two term papers due this week as well as a video production project, and all of my ideas about this novel were pretty thoroughly dissected in class. I will be making several comments on others' posts to contribute, though.


dialect & language in midnight robber

Wow, as the end-of-year-tiredness sets in, I keep on forgetting to do these...sorry about that...anyway, I was in the second group of presenters on Wednesday, and I was the one who talked about dialect and the use of language in the novel.

metaverse(s) and identity

So this is me freaking out somewhat because I realized halfway through the weekend that I forgot to do my post about Snow Crash...eeeeek. Let's see what can be done.

slow river and corporations

Of all the "subplots" that make up this novel, I found the Lore/Sal Bird -- Magyar one the most intriguing. In the beginning it definitely inspires a disgust for the corporate machine and how little it seems to care about the consumers of its "product", which is essential to life: water. All of this seems to suggest that in a technological age, one of humanity's few remaining weaknesses is its dependence on greedy profit-driven corporations for survival, which is certainly true of our real world.

poetry & language in "stars in my pocket..."


This is something that I mentioned in class, but what particularly interests me about in Delany's book is the protagonist's relationship with poetry and carefully chosen language. I can't really even articulate it very well due to the sheer abundance of detail that is given, but poetry seems to be connected in his brain somehow with sex, desire, and a sort of ethereal musical harmony. This was the passage I found where it stands out the most:

sex as the alien in lilith's brood (vols 2 and 3)

I went into more depth with this line of thought in my paper, but for some reason the Lilith's Brood trilogy got me thinking about how the subject (and act, ultimately) of sex is treated by our society, and why.

sexuality & power dynamic in lilith's brood

First off, I really enjoyed reading this book; in my opinion it does a far better job of presenting an alternative view of gender than Left Hand of Darkness did. I don't know that I'd necessarily want our civilization to evolve in this direction gender-wise, but clearly Oankali society functions quite smoothly even with a lack of duality. The message is that this kind of functioning is possible for us. Lilith's Brood is a feminist work in the best sense because it promotes and presents a model of true gender equality.

though it has probably been noted...

I decided that I needed to take one of my freebies for the Handmaid's Tale response. That book just made me angry because of its terrible ending, and potentially frightened, because Gilead resembles what a freakish fundamentalist-Christian America would be at its most extreme. For that reason alone, I actually think that more people should have to read it, and maybe have second thoughts about pushing their morals/beliefs on others. That being said, I also already have midterms beginning. My first exam is tomorrow. Gah....: /

buddhism in le guin's "left hand of darkness"


Since the religion that I most closely identify with is Buddhism, I was pleasantly surprised to see some Buddha-flavored (for lack of a better description) ideas emerging as the overarching themes or conflicts of the novel. Though little actually happens plot-wise, Le Guin has a very distinctive, almost sarcastic "writer's voice" that gets the reader caught up in this meandering philosophical journey.

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