For J: On Feed and 1984

I enjoy the book conversations I have with people. These questions are for J, so he has a purpose for reading and some concrete things to think about as he goes. At some point, I’ll record our discussion of these questions.

    

  1. Consider the three party slogans from Orwell’s 1984. Give your thoughts/reactions to each in the context of the novel and in the context of your own experience.
  2. M.T. Anderson writes his novel to those who resist the feed. Who are those people? What do they look like in the context of today’s society. What do they look like in the context of the novel? Are you one who resists the feed? Why or why not?
  3. Explicate. Consider diction specifically. “You don’t have the feed. You are the feed. You’re feed. You’re being eaten. You’re raised for food” (202).
  4. In what ways is the feed in Anderson’s novel and Big Brother in Orwell’s novel similar? Despite the obvious, how are they different? Given each context, which do you find more intrusive? Why?
  5. Do you think we’re moving toward a society resembling that of Feed or like that of 1984? Consider both the current consumer and political climates in your response.
  6. In your mind, what does the idea of utopia look like? Think about the two novels you just read and the novels you read in AP last semester, like Huxley’s Brave New World. Outline the virtues and flaws of each society. How do they measure up to your internalized concept of utopia?

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