Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dystopian novels- are they closer to home than we'd ever had thought?

Novels like The Giver by Lois Lowry, Days Like This by Allison Stewart, Crossed by Allison Condie and even The Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner really get me thinking about life and after reading them, no matter how fantastic they are I'm always so glad, so very comforted in knowing that my life isn't like the characters in those books are. (though they may be amazing, I couldn't live the way they are forced to)
In The Giver the community is structured by rules and ways of keeping only the very simplest of things out to the world; a person is trained to keep all the feelings, colours, emotions and memory's of the world to themself, war and famine, heat and taste are all things that only he can know of... their landscapes are blank, no hills, no light, no colours.
Everything is so to keep things the best they can be.
But could you live like that?

In Days like This the goverment has put up a wall, incasing the wealthy part of Sydney inside where they'll be safe and paying and on the outside of that wall? Everyone who defies that very goverment.
Children are getting sent into hospitals where they're drained of their youth, which the adults then pay for.
It's scary as anything, the thought that we could get so very mad to be young that that could happen...
Would you let your life be ruled and taken advantage of like that?

In Crossed (SPOILER) if you see something you shouldn't you must take a pill to forget and you can't fall in love, you are chosen a life partner and they you stick with.
Could any of you let your life be ruled like that?

And in the Museum of Thieves the children are protected by a guard chain, never, through their childhood, are they let off to play or be alone... they're under constant supervision.
So could you never have a moment to yourself, could you stand living by the rules and never doing something you wanted to do for yourself? Would you let yourself be told everything and follow those rules day in and day out? Coudl you live in a landscape that is bare and lifeless? Could you live by a guard chain your whole life?

These things, they all seem so forign and so unthinkable that I believe we could never become those things which some of the people in these books are... but are these things all becoming a little closer to home?
Are children being taken off to boarding school at a younger and younger age, always being watched and never being allowed to have a childhood in which they can roam and be free and do just what children do best- be their-selves?
Are we letting things go, as a whole mass and as individuals, more easily?
Are we letting people take advantage of us and are we allowing them to rule our lives?
Are we letting our world darken and become polluted, just so we can continue to have the best of everything?
Are we trying to keep ourselves from growing old by putting chemicles and needles into our faces, arms, legs and entire bodies, just so we can keep looking younger than we are, instead of letting time do what it will to us and being proud of who we are?
Are we all believing in ourselves every day, following only our decisions and being happy for the things we choose to do? Or aren't we?

Romi Foster.

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