Book Review Soup


i have neglected a discussion of On the Road and here i am finished with 1984 and starting Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Kerouac influence and that of the beat movement on my present understanding of popular culture came through with full force. however the bohemian lifestyle is anything but appealing to me. i would love to travel the country and see the sites and have adventures, but every night is one of ‘spontaneous’ carousing and spurious half constructions of worldview that fade away faster than the hangover at the end of the night. his point as i see it, is to give example of the idea that life should be lived for enjoyment, not mere existence. no moment should be wasted. however, the enjoyment that i see in his book is the same stuff i reject utterly and i see all of the time. alcohol, sex and wantonness do not fulfill me. i need stuff with more substance. i guess like i sound like an old fart, but so what.

1984 on the other hand, was better this time than it was when i read it in high school. i understand more about society and culture and in reading 1984 i see the hand of emil? durkheim all over the place. i think the logical end of the mating between fascism and communism in the novel is extinction. in this sense i agree with winston but for different reasons. his were merely an emotional ‘its not fair, you’ll never get away with this’ attitude, but i believe the intricacies of doublethink and the eradication of independent thought will kill The Party. Why? because the party leaders in the book have sufficient mental prowess to tweak the system and adapt to changes, but with the crystallization of the social structure and the complete reality control it will contain, no one will be able to replace those the members of the inner party, the result? endless parroting and replication of action. members of The Party will swallow this easily enough, but stagnation only lasts so long until someone smells something rotten and throws it out into the trash. it will have to be the proles, mindless, seething, raucous. uneducated does not mean blind, nor stupid. they’ll figure it out eventually although it might take a very long time.