Unraveling The Mysteries Of Dystopian Fiction

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few years, you have probably noticed the growing trend in dystopian novels. It’s pretty hard to ignore. Most of these names will probably be familiar. Some are oldies. Most are recent. Hunger Games. The Giver. Divergent. Matched. Legend. Crewel. The Circle. The Time Machine. The Maze Runner. The list goes on and on. Dystopian fiction really well written, and I myself sometimes pick one up. But a question I often find myself asking is “Why do we choose to portray humankind in such a manner?”

In dystopian novels, humankind as we know it has been totally and utterly disfigured. In most novels there was either a great environmental disaster, a nuclear apocalypse, or a great war between man. The underlying message in many dystopian novels is often “Humankind is flawed, but through great trial, effort, and a few hundred years, we can always fix things. Er, change things for the better. Well, what we and a bunch of other people think is better.”

So, why do we even like it? Dystopian fiction, for the most part, views us, humans as we are now, are fundamentally flawed. Our emotions bring us down. Our government and its leaders suck. We should all only be able to see the color grey. (Which, surprisingly, comes up a lot). It basically insults us, our thoughts, ideas, and dreams. Yet, it is one of the most popular genres. How does this even make sense?

I mean, if you’re going to take the time to imagine a whole future world, could it maybe look more like this?

C’mon, people! Let’s see some rainbow roads!

But nooooooooo, dystopian worlds have to be colorless and everyone can only see grey. No red, green, purple, that kind of stuff. GREY.

At least someone’s getting it straight.

Also, what is up with the use of computer chips? How about a stylish bracelet or ring? Maybe a belt? STOP WHIPING PEOPLE’S MEMORIES. THAT IS SOOOOO OVERDONE. IT NEEDS TO STOP. NOW.

So next time you go out and write a dystopian novel, please take the time to think about what I said. Dystopia, you are in for a major change.

The Circle

*Warning this book is not suitable for children, unless they are at least 13, maybe 15, or is they are really, really mature.

I do belive that this is one of the most thought- provoking novels that I have ever read. I simply couldn’t put it down. It was such a profound piece of writing that echoed the strange future that we may someday live in. Everyone is safe. Thanks to new technology quickly being invented, there is no crime, and it is incredibly easy to track people. Everyone knows everything about everyone. It’s safe. And at the hub of this computer- controlled world is the Circle.

Almost everyone loves the Circle.With a TruYou account, created by computer genius Ty, is so convenient. You can do everything on one account. And best of all, you know everyone’s exact name and location. No memorizing complex passwords or leaving around pieces of paper that could be seen by anyone. No creepy, lewd comments. Safety and security.

This book led me to an important question: what is more important, freedom or security? This question obviously drives many of the characters  in this complex story. Take Francis. His sisters were kidnapped and raped. This drives Francis’s life and decisions. It also causes him to create a chip/program called ChildTrack, in which a chip is implanted in a child’s ankle to allow police and parents to track the child at all times. What an invasion of privacy!

In fact, many things dreamed up by the author, Dave Eggers, are, in my mind, a complete invasion of privacy! Sure, they would keep more people safe, but at what price? Again and again, the book brings up this moral question, as well as many others. Perhaps this is what makes it such an interesting tale.

One of the things I loved to do as I read this book was thinking about the impact of the main character, Mae’s decisions, and how they affected the company and the world. The ending of the book could have been so different! If only she was more like Marcel…

Another thing I loved to do was compare the Circle to google. Oddly similar. And I hope I wasn’t the only one who noticed the little google comparison. I mean, Google Circles, the book title is the Circle. Just something to think about!

Tell me what you think about privacy v. safety! You can comment or take my poll.

 

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