Keep The Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell book review

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I respect Gordon Comstock for fighting the good fight. The fight against money worship. The fight against this horrible system. The wicked Bolshevik/capital/socialist/bourgeois system of sickness that has people running in circles for their very survival.

The hamster wheel for humans.
Corporate stimulus for the morons
Sick and dying for fake money

It was a pleasure to know Gordon. He is much like me. Dancing the dance of the middle class. Swearing against the Beast system. Cursing the remarkable incoherence of corporate capitalism.

Trying my best to win the unwinnable war– the fight against the bug, the inhuman insectoids that run this nightmare world.

It’s sick. It really is. Gordon was doing his best. But his best was NOT good enough.

Gordon was making his way DOWN to the muddy bottom of poverty. Intent on winning the fight against money. Because having no money and refusing to work for money is victory. But then something happens. Something terrible.

Gordon gets his girlfriend pregnant and is forced to rejoin the work-a-day money world of lies and disease.

The war is unwinnable. The book had me pinned to the pages. The ending is heartbreaking. The truth is a tough razor blade to swallow. Hopefully it kills you on the way down.

some of my highlights:

Complete Works of George Orwell by George Orwell

Book last read: 2021-12-07 18:04:03
Chapter 38: Chapter 1
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Chapter progress: 20.55%
Highlight: Our civilization is dying. It MUST be dying. But it isn’t going to die in its bed. Presently the aeroplanes are coming. Zoom — whizz — crash! The whole western world going up in a roar of high explosives.

Chapter 39: Chapter 2
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Chapter progress: 20.71%
Highlight: You can’t be friendly, you can’t even be civil, when you have no money in your pocket.

Chapter 39: Chapter 2
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Chapter progress: 20.92%
Highlight: It was no longer a thing that he created, it was merely a nightmare with which he struggled.

Chapter 39: Chapter 2
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Chapter progress: 20.92%
Highlight: Of all types of human being, only the artist takes it upon him to say that he ‘cannot’ work. But it is quite true; there ARE times when one cannot work. Money again, always money! Lack of money means discomfort, means squalid worries, means shortage of tobacco, means ever-present consciousness of failure — above all, it means loneliness.

Chapter 40: Chapter 3
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Chapter progress: 21.16%
Highlight: They were one of those depressing families, so common among the middle-middle classes, in which NOTHING EVER HAPPENS.
Notes: Take action

Chapter 40: Chapter 3
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Chapter progress: 21.16%
Highlight: None of them had the guts to lose it in sensational ways such as squandering it on women or at the races; they simply dribbled it away and dribbled it away, the women in silly investments and the men in futile little business ventures that petered out after a year or two, leaving a net loss.
Notes: Money

Chapter 40: Chapter 3
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Chapter progress: 21.16%
Highlight: Really vital people, whether they have money or whether they haven’t, multiply almost as automatically as animals.

Chapter 40: Chapter 3
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Chapter progress: 21.32%
Highlight: What he realized, and more clearly as time went on, was that money-worship has been elevated into a religion. Perhaps it is the only real religion — the only really FELT religion — that is left to us. Money is what God used to be. Good and evil have no meaning any longer except failure and success. Hence the profoundly significant phrase, to MAKE GOOD. The decalogue has been reduced to two commandments. One for the employers — the elect, the money-priesthood as it were— ‘Thou shalt make money’; the other for the employed — the slaves and underlings— ‘Thou shalt not lose thy job.

Chapter 40: Chapter 3
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Chapter progress: 21.32%
Highlight: At an earlier age than most people he grasped that ALL modern commerce is a swindle.

Chapter 40: Chapter 3
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Chapter progress: 21.32%
Highlight: Every intelligent boy of sixteen is a Socialist. At that age one does not see the hook sticking out of the rather stodgy bait.
Notes: face mask cult of death

Chapter 40: Chapter 3
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Chapter progress: 21.36%
Highlight: You can possess money, or you can despise money; the one fatal thing is to worship money and fail to get it.

Chapter 40: Chapter 3
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Chapter progress: 21.41%
Highlight: They seemed to want to see every young man in England nailed down in the coffin of a ‘good’ job.

Chapter 40: Chapter 3
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Chapter progress: 21.53%
Highlight: One’s got to get right out of it, out of the money-stink.

Chapter 40: Chapter 3
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Chapter progress: 21.65%
Highlight: Most of the employees were the hard-boiled, Americanized, go-getting type to whom nothing in the world is sacred, except money.

Chapter 40: Chapter 3
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Chapter progress: 21.73%
Highlight: He told him that he wanted some kind of job; not a ‘good’ job, but a job that would keep his body without wholly buying his soul.

Chapter 40: Chapter 3
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Chapter progress: 21.89%
Highlight: In her wordless feminine way she knew that the sin against money is the ultimate sin.

Chapter 41: Chapter 4
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Chapter progress: 22.06%
Highlight: . A padded armchair under your bum, and tea and cigarettes and the smell of women — you learn to appreciate such things when you are starved of them.

Chapter 42: Chapter 5
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Chapter progress: 22.71%
Highlight: Money suffereth long and is kind, is not puffed up, doth not behave unseemly, seeketh not her own.
Notes: 1 Corinthians 13:4 excluding money

Chapter 42: Chapter 5
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Chapter progress: 22.79%
Highlight: Therefore the hatred of modern life, the desire to see our money-civilization blown to hell by bombs, was a thing he genuinely felt.

Chapter 42: Chapter 5
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Chapter progress: 23.27%
Highlight: The woman-scent breathed out of her, a powerful wordless propaganda against all altruism and all justice.

Chapter 43: Chapter 6
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Chapter progress: 23.4%
Highlight: What a pity we can’t cut it right out, or at least be like the animals — minutes of ferocious lust and months of icy chastity.
Notes: Scionex

Chapter 43: Chapter 6
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Chapter progress: 23.44%
Highlight: In the last resort, what holds a woman to any man, except money?

Chapter 43: Chapter 6
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Chapter progress: 23.48%
Highlight: Serve the money-god, or do without women — those are the only alternatives. And both were equally impossible.

Chapter 43: Chapter 6
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Chapter progress: 23.8%
Highlight: Because it’s the women who really believe in the money-code. The men obey it; they have to, but they don’t believe in it. It’s the women who keep it going. The women and their Putney villas and their fur coats and their babies and their aspidistras.

Chapter 44: Chapter 7
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Chapter progress: 24.94%
Highlight: Serve the money-god or go under; there is no other rule.

Chapter 44: Chapter 7
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Chapter progress: 24.98%
Highlight: American pugilists, lady aviators, film stars, bishops, titled poets, and Chicago gorillas.

Chapter 45: Chapter 8
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Chapter progress: 25.18%
Highlight: They were tremendously Bohemian at Modigliani’s, of course; but there are ways and ways of being Bohemian, and Gordon’s way was the wrong way.

Chapter 45: Chapter 8
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Chapter progress: 25.67%
Highlight: First cast out the beam that is in thine own eye before thou castest out the mote that is in thy brother’s,’

Chapter 46: Chapter 9
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Chapter progress: 26.16%
Highlight: The rich are graceful even in their vices. But if you have no money you don’t even know how to spend it when you get it. You just splurge it frantically away, like a sailor in a bawdy-house his first night ashore.

Chapter 46: Chapter 9
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Chapter progress: 26.48%
Highlight: But there’s a certain amount of truth in what he says. Capitalism’s corrupt and we ought to keep outside it — that’s his idea. It’s not practicable, but in a way it’s sound.

Chapter 46: Chapter 9
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Chapter progress: 26.52%
Highlight: We can’t afford principles, people like us.

Chapter 47: Chapter 10
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Chapter progress: 26.97%
Highlight: You’re trying to behave as though one could stand right outside our economic system. But one can’t.

Chapter 47: Chapter 10
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Chapter progress: 26.97%
Highlight: The mistake you make, don’t you see, is in thinking one can live in a corrupt society without being corrupt oneself.

Chapter 47: Chapter 10
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Chapter progress: 27.09%
Highlight: ? It was just a derelict’s job, a blind-alley job.

Chapter 47: Chapter 10
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Chapter progress: 27.21%
Highlight: He knew what she was thinking; he had to induce in himself a kind of brutality to stand firm.

Chapter 47: Chapter 10
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Chapter progress: 27.29%
Highlight: Going to the devil isn’t so easy as it sounds. Sometimes your salvation hunts you down like the Hound of Heaven.

Chapter 48: Chapter 11
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Chapter progress: 27.66%
Highlight: Only a little while before the aeroplanes come. Zoom — bang! A few tons of T.N.T. to send our civilization back to hell where it belongs.

Chapter 48: Chapter 11
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Chapter progress: 27.66%
Highlight: The money-god is so cunning. If he only baited his traps with yachts and race-horses, tarts and champagne, how easy it would be to dodge them. It is when he gets at you through your sense of decency that he finds you helpless.

Chapter 48: Chapter 11
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Chapter progress: 27.78%
Highlight: A sort of cross-section of the money-world. A panorama of ignorance, greed, vulgarity, snobbishness, whoredom, and disease.
Notes: USA

Chapter 48: Chapter 11
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Chapter progress: 27.82%
Highlight: The Americans always go one better on any kinds of beastliness, whether it is ice-cream soda, racketeering, or theosophy.

Chapter 48: Chapter 11
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Chapter progress: 27.9%
Highlight: He would sell his soul so utterly that he would forget it had ever been his. He would get married, settle down, prosper moderately, push a pram, have a villa and a radio and an aspidistra. He would be a law-abiding little cit like any other law-abiding little cit — a soldier in the strap-hanging army. Probably it was better so.

Chapter 48: Chapter 11
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Chapter progress: 27.94%
Highlight: Everyone rebels against the money-code, and everyone sooner or later surrenders.

Chapter 48: Chapter 11
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Chapter progress: 27.99%
Highlight: They begot children, which is what the saints and the soul-savers never by any chance do.

 

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