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Having just finished Brave New World aftter reading 1984 and Animal Farm last year, it got me thinking: what does everyone believe to be the greatest dystopia, the one truly revelent to our time? Is it 1984? Brave New World? A Clockworth Orange? Another?
Although I found 1984 amazing, I felt Brave New World to be scarily more close at hand. Although written before 1984, it described advanced versions of cloning, IMAX movies (albeit without the "feely" effects) and advanced drugs and birth control. (I heard there is actually a new drug out called soma.) With entertainment like MTV and teenagers everywhere having casual relationships (the new "friends with benifits" has a lot in common with the "everyone belongs to everyone else" mantra), it almost feels like we are a less advanced Brave New World. In schools and jobs everywhere, it is considered socially unexceptable to crave solitude, you must be constantly surrounded by a crowd. New technologys such as the ipod and features such as plasma screens with HDTV and Surround sound have officially matched the synthetic music and entertainment of the novel. Consumtion is encouraged, and people get there satisfaction from shopping. It's scary how much of our youth culture has changed in the millenium.
However, the same could be argued with 1984. Surveilance, especially in London, has reached a new all-time high. New technology that scans your eyes, and any noticible marks on your body, such as birthmarks and tattoos. All of this goes into a national FBI database, supposedly to track down "terrorists." But it could just as easily be used for ordinary people.
What do believe? Which novel do you think has the greatest impact?
I don't know if it was a book, but check out the movie Equilibrium (with Christian Bale) for an interesting take on a future society where emotion and all forms of art/creativity are outlawed. Sort of a combination of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451.
Peace today, Lisa