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EL-336 Magic Kingdom

"The problem was that she was really good at coding sims. Her Great Movie Ride rehab at MGM was breathtaking-the Star Wars sequence had already inspired a hundred fan-sites that fielded millions of hits." (Doctorow p,28)

Out of the physical world and dumped into the hypertext galaxy of 0s and 1s. The three main characters were two "has beens", important figures in history transferred to the Magic Kingdom, where youth maintains itself through rejuvenation.The third character, Lil, younger than the others, who maintanced the bots fantasized of them as being living, breathing creatures of habit. Or a virtual world where micro chips determine the outcome of situations.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom sort of was generated on the lines of 1984, but in the digital world, a controlled environment with a revolutionary plot.


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The paralle between this book and 1984, aside from the obvious dystopia, is the oppourtunity for memory manipulation. The characters rely on backups as much as the characters in 1984 relied on Party documents. Just as the documents in 1984 were edited to control people's memories, the digital files of the mind in "Down and Out" can be altered to modify the recollection of reality.

There is also a protagonist, Jules, who is against some of the practices of modern society. He sees the dangers in Debra's rejuvination of the Hall of Presidents just as Winston saw the danger of editing the past.

Wow, interesting connection, Jeremy. But I think Doctorow's fictional world is a lot less frightening and oppressive on the surface compared than Orwell's.

Like we spoke about in class, the whole idea of the person agazinst society book has been done. While this is a new way of using that concept, I wouldn't compare it to 1984. I like political undertones of 1984 much better. I do not seem to be getting the same from this book.

It reminds me more of Brave New World because everybody is a happy hedonist.

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