Modern day Dystopia Essay

Modern day Dystopia Essay.

Dystopia is a dark vision of future which is imaginary, existing in a wretched place where life is fearful, full of miserable, oppression, human misery, violence and dehumanizing. Dystopian society lives with a fiction and prototypes of totalitarian dictatorship, continuously putting its population on trial, basing essence on concentration camps, enslaving and disenfranchising entire classes of citizens and prey on oneself through justifying and glorifying violence by law (Relihan, 1996, 23).

Dystopia society is considered undesirable because current trends are driven to nightmarish extremes.

Frequently writings on dystopia are set as satires or warnings to indicate extrapolations of current trends to nightmarish conclusion. The characteristics of dystopia societies have made humanists, revolutionists and governments to discourage them as much as possible. The first reason is because the society is imaginary for it does not reflect contemporally society which explores probabilities and possibilities.

Secondly, this society does not conform to tendencies of contemporally whole and thus can’t serve as a representative society. Again, dystopia illustrations and revelations about life are made to frighten and provoke.

Dystopia is relative with time and place, making it spread fast because of technological advancements. The existence of this ideology is hard to define and demarcate, and thus intuitive (Otten, 1982, 56). If this ideology is left to spread, it may be difficult to govern the society and ensure conformity in economic, social and political domains.

This is because the society will be characterized by social stratification, enforcing and defining social classes, without social mobility, stigmatization and suppression in form of inequalities. Their political systems advocate for bureaucracy, anarchism, chaos, communism, socialism, dictatorship, totalitarianism, fascism, excessive capitalism, idealism and oppression. If these ideologies spread, life would lose meaning. It is therefore necessary for governments to ensure surveillance and carry out sensational and awareness creation seminars to change people’s way of thinking (Glendinning, 1996, 20).

Reference: Glendinning Miles. A History of Scottish Architecture: From the Renaissance to the Present Day. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 1996, PP. 20. Otten Terry. After Innocence: Visions of the Fall in Modern Literature. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 1982, pp. 56. Relihan Constance. Framing Elizabethan Fictions: Contemporary Approaches to Early Modern Narrative Prose. Kent State University Press, Kent, 1996, pp. 23.

Modern day Dystopia Essay

Examination Day and Harrison Bergeron Essay

Examination Day and Harrison Bergeron Essay.

The short stories “Examination Day” by Henry Seslar and “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, both examine the idea of a world where governments have total control over its citizens. The main characters in the stories are Dickie Jordan and Harrison Bergeron. In “Examination Day” discrimination against intelligence is portrayed through Dickie who is eliminated because his “intelligence quotient [was] above the Government regulation.” This quote depicts the governments authority in its society and how the government eradicated the people who questioned them through an intelligence exam.

Examination Day and Harrison Bergeron

The irony of this examination is that success was seen as negative. Whereas, “Harrison Bergeron” explores the theme of forced equality in American society in the not so distant future. Right in the introduction, the three main issues concerned throughout the story are given, ” Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution.

Examination Day

Thus, absolute equality in intelligence, physical beauty, and athleticism have been ratified into law by the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, respectively. Both stories share a conflict in regards to person versus society and both the protagonists die at the end. In “Examination Day” Dickie is on his own when it comes to the test given by the government. Before the test when Dickie asks his father what the test is for, his father tells him”the Government wants to know how smart [Dickie] is.” Later on, the story ends with an automated message from the government with the reason for his death and preferred funeral arrangements. In “Harrison Bergeron” Harrison knew better than to follow government regulations and tried to make a difference. In the end, he was killed as “Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled gauged shotgun.

She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor.” This quote shows the government’s control over what is accepted and what happens to those who exceed government regulation. Harrison wanted an end to the absolute equality so he stood up for the citizens of the country who did not realize how absurd their society was becoming; in the end, he died trying to make a difference. In “Examination Day” the setting invokes sympathetic feelings towards Dickie. Dickie , a week after his twelfth birthday, was sent from his “little apartment” to the “great pillared lobby” within the “polished” governmental building. This contrast of settings invokes sympathy for Dickie because he is limited to living in a small home while all the money is used by the government to develop large, modern government buildings. Also, Dickie is taken to a place that is foreign to him, with large intimidating architectural masses which makes him seem insignificant and isolated.

The story compares the “dim” and “cold” room within the government building to the “warm”, “bright” house that Dickie lives in. The cold, clinical description of the government building is symbolic of distinction being taken away from humanity. It demonstrates the idea that Dickie is being taken from the comfort of his home and into the control of a frightening, overpowering government. Contrary to Harrison in “Harrison Bergeron” who is a fourteen year old boy that poses such a terrible threat that he has been shackled with more handicaps than anyone else. Giant earphones instead of the small ear radio his dad has. Large glasses to obscure his vision and give him headaches.

So many weights that he “looked like a walking junkyard.” On top of it all, he is so handsome that they gave him a clown nose, shaved off his eyebrows, and blacked out his teeth. Also, Harrison is so frightening that he is arrested “on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government.” The government’s news bulletin describes him as “a genius and an athlete, […] under-handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous.” In conclusion, both “Examination Day” and “Harrison Bergeron” examine the idea of a world where the government has total control over the government and individuals living within the government.

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Examination Day and Harrison Bergeron Essay

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Dystopian Lit Essay

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Dystopian Lit Essay.

A dystopia is quite common as a literary subject. It is usually unpleasant, with a repressive society and/or strict ruling force, and is the flip side to another common literary subject; a utopian society, in which everything is perfect to either the inhabitants or/and protagonist. Some stories set in a dystopian universe or ‘world’ may seem quite normal or maybe even ‘perfect’ at first, but eventually the reasons behind that become apparent and become quite unpleasant for the protagonist as they are forced to fight against a society or group they were once a part of.

Examples of this kind of dystopian world are in both Uglies [2005, Scott Westerfeld], where the reader follows the female protagonist, an ‘ugly’ who is allowed to undergo surgery to become ‘pretty’ -portrayed to be a perfect state in her world- once she turns sixteen, but over the course of the novel, she finds out it might not be everything she had hoped for.

With mind manipulation by the ruling force, isolation between certain age groups until a ‘coming of age ceremony’ and bulling the ‘inferior’ group into wanting to do what the ruling force chooses- in Uglies, it is becoming a ‘pretty’ who has purposely been given brain damage without consent, something she does not want to happen And in The Knife of Never Letting Go, which follows a very simular pattern.

The main protagonist [Todd] is a ‘boy’, and will continue to be so until he is thirteen and has completed a ‘coming of age’ ceremony of his own, and from then on is considered a ‘man’. Like in Uglies, becoming a ‘man’ is considered a perfect state, or at least more idyllic than being a ‘boy’, and this is reinforced by bulling by his ‘superiors’ -men- over his ‘inferior’ state, thus making it seem that becoming a ‘man’ is something he should want to become, so he is no longer isolated from his peers, and becomes ‘one of the group’.

Again, over the course of the novel, he finds out exactly what become a ‘man’ means, and it is far from what he wants to become. Some other examples of modern dystopian lit. can be found in these novels; Armageddon’s Children (2006) by Terry Brooks Bar Code Rebellion (2006) by Suzanne Weyn The Pesthouse (2007) by Jim Crace Extras (2007) by Scott Westerfeld The Host (2008) by Stephenie Meyer Double Cross (2008) by Malorie Blackman The Hunger Games (2008) by Suzanne Collins Revealing Eden (2012) by Victoria Foyt

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Dystopian Lit Essay