The real world is better

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- Dixya Poudel

Nov 2, 2017-

Are you familiar with the term ‘dystopia’? Dystopia is a society which is in decline resulting in terror and oppression. Dystopian novels show us ways in which humanity can fail, and often uses analogies with real world issues. I have read quite a few dystopian novels and loved them. The most vivid recollections I have are those of the trilogy The Hunger Games. When its movie adaptation released in 2012, starring Jennifer Lawrence, it took the movie industry by storm.

The protagonist of The Hunger Games is the courageous Katniss who really enthrals readers. Here is a strong female lead who can wield bows and arrows and fight the menace in the arena. What is so fascinating about The Hunger Games is the world it portrays. It is a world where each of the districts in the dystopian country elects a representative. All of these representatives have to fight a game known as The Hunger Games in a deadly arena. The sole purpose of these games is to instil fear in the masses. This book got me thinking: What if we were all deprived of our freedom and had to live in a totalitarian society? 

Another such dystopian novel is The Giver. Imagine a manufactured world that is devoid of feelings and memories. Can you think of a world where everything is cut and dried into ‘sameness’? The people function without emotions and pain. You can find such a society in The Giver. The protagonist in this novel is Jonas who at first seems like a normal kid with a normal life. But soon you realise it is a bizarre world which is mechanical and without emotions. The members of this dystopian society interact with each other robotically. This might not be that awful except that it is all superficial politeness without an iota of sincere feelings. There is just sameness. There is no free will and choice. All the choices for the children and adults are decided for them. Life in this bizarre world is decided and set in stone.

Each child is given his or her designated profession at 12 years of age. Jonas gets to be the Receiver of Memories. Then he meets his mentor, The Giver. Things start to change when The Giver transfers actual human emotions, memories and perceptions to Jonas. Jonas undergoes a remarkable transformation. Jonas starts to feel and the emotional depth that he experiences makes him aware of the danger in sameness. He undertakes a campaign to change the future of this dystopian world. This dystopian world that Lois Lowry has created is unsettling. 

After reading dystopian fiction, I am grateful for a life in which I have the freedom to make my own choices and decisions. While dystopian literatures give me new perspectives, I am happy to know that it is just fiction. Unlike fictional dystopia, the real world holds possibilities for a better future.

Published: 02-11-2017 07:47

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