Daily Archives: October 4, 2018

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

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (1932)

Blog posts and presentations due: Monday, October 22

  • Group 3: Is the World State… actually so bad?
  • Group 4: Where is John really the most “free”– in the reservation, in the World State, or on his own?

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 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. It seems in some ways like a seductively good idea– isn’t everyone well off and safe in the World State? Why are Bernard and Helmholtz unhappy, and are they right to be?
  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 (Murder on the Orient Express)

Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie (1934)

Some help with locations and French expressions at this website.

Blog posts and presentations due: Monday, October 15

Group 3: TED-style Talk

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 lot during the snowstorm when the train is stuck– what happens? Does the snowstorm symbolize something to you?
  3. M. Bouc and Dr. Constantine seem rather 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?