Warning: BookTalkII assumes an audience that has already read George Orwell’s 1984, and attempts to compare the classic dystopian nightmare against both the novel 1Q84, written by Haruki Murakami, and V for Vendetta, a graphic novel by Alan Moore. Broken into twelve parts, BookTalkII will focus on a chronologically new section of 1Q84 and V for Vendetta while considering the entire narrative of 1984. See the BookTalkII main page for more details and links to all twelve parts.
Spoiler Alert: This part covers the last four chapters (8-11) of Book 3 of V for Vendetta and chapters 13-18 of Book 3 of 1Q84 (up to page 999).
Murakami describes Ushikawa “as inconspicuous as a centipede in a cup of yogurt.” Again and again, he is described as an out-of-place bug like the character of Kafka’s Metamorphosis – uncomfortable with the human condition, uncomfortable in his current position. Truly, Ushikawa is only seen comforted by the darkness, nestled into the floor of an anonymous apartment.
“He wasn’t particularly fond of his brothers and sister. From Ushikawa’s perspective, they were irretrievably shallow.” (Page 912)
While Tengo stutters into focus, he pieces a puzzle together; his interwoven narrative seems to be at a different tempo from that of Aomame and Ushikawa. Komatsu thinks he plays as Tengo’s puppet master, but in reality he is the 1984 equivalent of the character Syme. He is too smart for his own good and busy at work editing the latest edition of the Newspeak dictionary.
“But a narrative takes its own direction, and continues on, almost automatically.” (Page 999)