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All posts by Alexandra Lopez

Brown, Michael. “Why are the Millennials Protesting?”. Townhall. March 10, 2017. https://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2017/03/10/draft-n2297066

Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother. Tom Doherty Associates, 2008.

Wallace, Kelly. “Is ‘fake news’ fooling kids? New report says yes”. CNN. April 3, 2017. http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/10/health/fake-news-kids-common-sense-media/

 

The survey was conducted by Match, the largest relationship company in the world, and the participants are singles in America. The study covers many topics, from traits in potential partners, to the do’s and don’ts of a first date, the expectations of a romantic relationship, and how technology has affected dating. The participating group consisted of both men and women, and specific statistics were derived from the millennial generation to draw a comparison between the different generations.

To start with, statistics show that 15% of singles are addicted to dating, they enjoy the process of looking for a date. However, Millennials are 125% more likely to be addicted to dating, which implies how important dating has become in the social aspect of the younger generation’s lives. This statistic is supportive in my argument of how the millennial generation are not really taking dating seriously. Dating seems to be more of an amusing activity rather than trying to form genuine connections with others.

Additionally, singles are very judgmental, and during the mock academic conference, one of the presentations emphasize how insecurity is a flaw of our society that needs to be addressed. 42% of the singles judge their first date by their social media or profile picture, and this attitude contributes to the stigma that appearances are more important than personalities. Social media has only increased the insecurities of society in regards to looks, and the impact has reached the dating realm.

Feminism is a movement that is often misunderstood; in fact, 43% of the singles believe it has many different definitions. Feminism encourages the image of a strong independent woman, and many often translate this into the idea of single women who refuse to date men because they are do not rely on men. The misunderstandings of feminism can in a way discourage the whole romantic chivalrous side of dating, and the millennial generation appears to be the most approving of the feminist movement, which in turn can explain why dating is the least romantic when it concerns millennials.

Overall, the survey can be used as evidence in the research paper as inferences drawn from the statistics support main points of the argument. During the analysis of the survey, Match does project a certain bias towards online dating, emphasizing to the fact that online dating being popular is good, and this bias is logical. Match would not want to discourage the use of dating websites since the company is the original dating website. However, actual numbers from the survey are not biased; therefore, they can be used as evidence in support of the argument of the research paper. The argument is mainly about the millennial dating culture, and the statistics pertaining to the millennials are most relevant. Essentially, the thesis of the argument is that the characteristics implied in this survey are reflected in young adult dystopian novels.

 

“Singles in America Match Releases Largest Study on U.S. Single Population.” Multivu. Feb 6 2017.  www.multivu.com/players/English/8024551-match-7th-annual-singles-in-america-study/?c=y?. Accessed 13 March 2017.

Dystopian novels are often trying to teach a lesson. Young adult dystopian novels are teaching lessons about dating and love. The millennial generation has an unromantic attitude with high expectations, and specific dystopian books such as The Hunger Games, The Giver, and Matched present situations that act as warnings.

My presentation will discuss the main sources of evidence for the research essay. In The Hunger Games, love is manipulated as a source of entertainment and a form of political propaganda. The Giver concerns a society with a lack of feelings, and such a society is the opposite of human nature. Emotions are what makes us human, and removingfeelings essentially reduces us to empty shells. In Matched and The Giver, the Matching Ceremony and the Matching of Spouses are identical processes that select ideal life partners for the citizens, which accurately reflects the formulas used by dating sites.

The attitudes towards romance in the dystopian novels often are a part of a bigger picture, and they reflect certain values the authors feel are important. Suzanne Collins, the author of The Hunger Games, is highlighting the manipulation of love as entertainment and propaganda. It is important for readers to acknowledge the importance of the ability to recognize the difference between fake and authentic portrayals of romance. The author of Matched, Ally Condie, and the author of The Giver, Lois Lowry, are both emphasizing how ideal life partners are not truly perfect, and how a life without emotion is not one worth living.

 

The topic of romance in dystopias is important, since today’s society tends to emphasize on social lives and relationships. The social construct of a society can greatly impact lives, and dating is an important part of our social lives. In the context of dystopia, romance and dating can greatly shape the way a society is set up.

Dystopian literature consists of many books that are very dissimilar but at the same time very alike; some examples include The Hunger Games, Gulliver’s Travels, 1984, or Matched. These books were all published in vastly different time periods yet they all depict a dystopian future with varying qualities. It would be interesting to determine if there were any parallels between the books and the time period in which they were published. The novels could be based on the atmosphere of that time, and the negative attributes of society are reflected in the dystopia.

Orwell’s 1984 was published in 1949, at the start of the Cold War. Orwell wrote the political novel to warn against totalitarianism and the upcoming rise of communism. He was concerned about the possibility of technology being used by the government to monitor the activities of its citizens; this concern is shown by the Party’s ultimate and unyielding control. The Party even manipulates history to be aligned with their needs, a characteristic found in today’s society with biased “historical” texts. Today, this book is still mildly popular and can still be relevant as a warning about the government and the future.

Whereas Matched and The Hunger Games appeal to a younger audience, they are still novels containing concern for an authoritarian government. The Capitol’s brainwashing propaganda, President Snow himself, certain attitude towards life partners in Matched, and censorship are just some similarities these books have with reality today.

Evidently, there are many more connections between historical and present events and the characters and plots of the dystopian books. Authors such as Orwell are using their novels to depict a dystopian future to caution society about negative qualities and to prevent catastrophes. Conducting more in depth research about specific novels and certain time periods will hopefully show how the reality affects the characters and
plots of dystopian books.

 

Works Citied

  1. Flaneur. “1984 – George Orwell.” 2013. JPEG file.
  2. SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on 1984.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2007. Accessed 18 Feb. 2017.
  3. Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic, 2008. New York.
  4. Condie, Allie. Matched. Penguin Group, 2010, New York.

Propaganda is commonly thought of as information used by governments to convince people to follow a certain cause such as the World Wars, the Vietnam War, government policies, or political agendas. Propaganda plays a key role in dystopian literature, books that revolve around this one fixated society where the rules are unbending and social expectations.

In the book Matched, the Society has constructed a perfect system to guarantee a long, satisfying life, provided you follow the rules. Cassia, the protagonist, has grown up with the same information, that the Society has replaced a failing and miserable way of life. Routines ensure maximum efficiency, Matches are made for ideal life partners, secure jobs provide comfort. in other words, there is order and peace. While at the recreational center, she and her friends watch a video of the history of Society and how it came to being. The video emphasized the horrors that the Society eliminated and how everything would collapse if the Society failed. Cassia described the video as “overdone” and “ludicrous”; the scenes are overdramatic with actors exaggerating death scenes. Her and her friends do not take the showing seriously; they know how fake it is, but they continue watching it since it is one of the few films available to them.

The Society may have removed diseases and hardships but also anything of the past. Only a hundred poems, a hundred songs, and a hundred painting were kept; it was reasoned that an excess of information causes chaos, thus all that was deemed unworthy was destroyed. Censorship is another form of propaganda, by limiting the public’s access to information sets up a biased atmosphere. The people have no choice but to trust what the Society tells them for they have no other resources. The Society has even deprived them of writing; everything is technology, ports, tablets, screens, and computers, devices easily monitored by the Officials. Writing is a form of communication, but it poses a threat as it is much more difficult to regulate. The secret poem Cassia’s given is easily disposed of, reducing the words to “ash and nothing.”

Controlling the means of communication and all history records allows for complete power over people; their citizens will believe any of the propaganda the Society feeds them, since all other sources of intelligence are nonexistent.

Citations

  1. Casey, Ralph D. “The Story of Propaganda”. American Historical Association. www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/gi-roundtable-series/pamphlets/what-is-propaganda/the-story-of-propaganda. Accessed 3 Feb. 2017.
  1. Condie, Ally. Matched. Penguin Group, 2010, New York.
  2. Thomas, Dylan. “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.”Literature and Society: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Nonfiction.  Pamela J. Annas and Robert C. Rosen. 4th Ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2006.

Dystopia is defined as an idea in which a society does not function well1. A dystopia depicts negative traits and describes a flawed system; often, authors create dystopian worlds to highlight what they believe is wrong with their society. Margaret Cavendish discusses women’s education and gender in The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World (1666) while Gabriel de Foigny’s La Terre Australe connue concerns the topic of colonization2.

Dystopia is commonly misunderstood as science-fiction or apocalypse or horror, and it may have some similarities with these other genres, but dystopia is a completely separate genre. I think dystopia and science-fiction are related to each other; they both tend to contain characteristics of similar nature. However, I feel like dystopia is a genre whose focus is on social aspects, and science-fiction delves into deeper detail about the “how” the environment evolved into the scene they are setting up. Additionally, science-fiction does not necessarily describe an alternate world, but a situation made possible by science, not by social constructs while dystopias emphasize on the inner workings of a society.

When I think of dystopia, the Hunger Games trilogy, Uglies series, and Divergent books are my first thoughts. Some common themes include a setting in a futuristic time period, drastically different social norms, and a hidden discontent among the population. There is also an element of the prominent presence of order, whether it be government, a police force, or the social expectations. The protagonist in these YA dystopian books typically is someone who doesn’t really fit in with others; they may also be questioning the world they grew up in. The dystopia often collapses because of the actions, intentional or unintentional, of the main character. Perhaps the protagonist represents hope or change for a better way of life. Young adult literature has incorporated many themes of dystopia while also adding a modern twist to appeal to their target audience and to set a scenario appropriate to the current time period.

Overall, dystopian literature has effectively captured the main essence of the definition of dystopia, the addition of young adult literature broadened the audience spectrum and evolved the topics that are suitable for the appropriate time period.

Works Cited

  1. “Dystopia Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary.” Dystopia Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.
  2. Claeys, Gregory, ed.The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge U Press, 2010. Print.