Daily Archives: October 7, 2017

British Soc & Mod Novs: Blog Post 2 (Brave New World)

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (1932)

Blog posts and presentations due: Monday, October 23

  • Group 3: There are hints in the book that the World State inherently doesn’t work or has problems. What are they?
  • Group 4: Is it true that a society of only high intellectuals would be a disaster?

Write a post here of about 200 words discussing one of these questions; or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. Discuss satire and humor in Brave New World.
  2. Discuss the historical meaning of the character names (Marx, Lenina, Ford, Bernard [Shaw]). Why does Huxley use them?
  3. Most World State members are happy, though people like John, Bernard, and Helmholtz are not. Why? What is wrong with World State society?
  4. Are there things in life better than being happy? Why are they denied in the World State?
  5. Huxley once complained that a society where people were controlled through childish pleasures wasn’t much different from California! Do you think there are cultures now that are too much like the World State?
  6. Discuss how factory production (even of people) is depicted or satirized in the novel.
  7. The role of sex and love in the novel. Do you find the novel offensive? Why?
  8. Discuss the castes of people in the novel. Is it true that a society of only high intellectuals would be a disaster?
  9. Is John really more “free” in the savage reservation than the people in the cities?
  10. Is pain really necessary for the possibility of true happiness?

British Soc & Lit 2 – Blog Post 2 (Orient Express)

Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie (1932)

Some help with locations and French expressions at this website.

Blog posts and presentations due: Wednesday, October 18

  • Group 3: Is it an appropriate punishment for Ratchett to be murdered?
  • Group 4: Does Poirot make the right decision about hiding the truth to the police?

Write a post here of about 200 words discussing one of these questions; or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. Discuss the ending. Did the ending shock you?
  2. The plot changes quite a bit during the snowstorm when the train is stuck– what happens?
  3. M. Bouc and Dr. Constantine seem a little stupid compared to Poirot. Is this true? Why?
  4. Poirot relies mainly on psychology and logic to solve crimes. How is detective work different today? (Such as in TV shows like CSI).
  5. Are the characters likeable? Do you sympathize with any one of them more than others?
  6. Are the ethnic stereotypes simply a product of Christie’s time, or do you think she is making a statement by using them?
  7. Why was the story set on a train? Is there any symbolism to the train?
  8. Is the book funny in places? Are there any humorous characters?
  9. Does Ratchett deserve to be murdered? Are the people on the train wrong to do so?
  10. Does Poirot do the right thing in hiding what happened to the police?