Blog Post 3

The outline of my presentation is about how patriarchy system effect today current. Patriarchy society fall under a dystopia society because the fact a group of people are oppressed and displease with the government. Patriarchy is more of a way of life not a government, being that it is a way life government is just a reflection of what patriarchy is a male dominated system and women are label as not qualified or able to make the necessary decision for life or what society say only a man should be able to do.
My outline for my presentation start off with questions to ask the class so people can create their own opinion before my presentation to have the ability to convict the audience that something maybe different and open new idea for discussion. Next my outline explain what is patriarchy system which is a male dominate society. My outline explain a patriarchy system by giving a definition and the origin story. After explaining the subject I explain how, why, and where this system comes from and how it could have had derive from the animal kingdom using the loin pride as an example to help the audience understand the oral communion. In the outline I also explain why patriarchy be misunderstood as well, many people view this system as one sided but even some women say that the pressure for male are not as easy as one think it is.
The finally part of the my outline goes into my thesis how does patriarchy effect today society by giving reason why patriarchy is a factor with not only women not being treated fairly in the work place to the responsible of men role in society can be over bearing. Then the presentation with my thesis to give people what I think my research has told me.

The thing that interests me the most about dystopias is comparing the quality of life between the dystopia and real life. The technology tends to be more significantly more advanced in the dystopia. However, the advance in technology can point out some flaws in human nature. For example, a Black Mirror episode showcases a seemingly wonderful technology. The technology allows the elderly to enter a virtual world in any time period they want (70s, 80s, etc) and relive their youth once a week. However, they can choose to “pass over” and live there forever after they die. While the technology seems out of reach to me, I think it points out a flaw in us today. We spend some much of our time in a fake, virtual world through screens that we can forget to live our real lives.

My independent reading is proving to have a similar theme so far into my reading. I am reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. The setting is a pretty horrible world riddled with problems and overall misery due to overpopulation, unemployment, and energy shortages. It provides for a bleak life, but thanks to technology, people can find an oasis in a video game world called the OASIS. Imagine a super realistic virtual reality paradise; that is the OASIS. It sounds appetizing so pretty much everybody logs into the OASIS every day to play. It provides the foundation for the human population to live two identities: who they are in the flesh and who they are in the OASIS.

Ready Player One and Black Mirror are making me ask a lot of questions about how technology is playing a role in our lives right now. The big question I find myself coming back to is, “Are we flawed for the way we use technology in our lives or is the technology flawed?” Like most black and white questions, I’m sure the answer will have some gray area. However, I hope with my upcoming research and continued reading of Ready Player One I can find and articulate an answer.

Image result for subliminal messages meme simpsons

 

For my independent reading, I explored the dystopian novel Candor which takes place in present day Florida. The entire essence of the novel is that in the town of Candor, music is always playing wherever you go, and the music contains subliminal messages that cause the citizens of Candor to obey the laws and conform to a perfect society. However, Oscar Banks (the son of the founder of Candor) knows of the town’s secret, and he smuggles new children out of the town. The novel begins with a new girl in town Nia meeting Oscar, but the two don’t get off to a good start. Oscar tries to convince Nia that the town sends subliminal messages to the citizens, but she doesn’t believe him. However, the character of Nia is very intriguing because she is seen going days in Candor without conforming to the subliminal messages as she even says “I only  do what I want” (Bachorz 86). Even though Nia has been exposed to the messages she remains in her own control until she is locked in the listening room where she spends days listening to the messages. Thus, I plan to study the effects of being exposed to subliminal messages on the human mind. Topics that I plan to look into for my research will be whether or not subliminal messages can actually change human behavior. If I discover that they can affect the behavior, I plan to look into how they actually work and whether using subliminal messages to change behavior is ethical. On the other hand, if I conclude that subliminal messages do not change behavior, then I plan into looking at possible explanations that can cause the citizens of Candor to have their behavior change. All in all, I plan to use psychological studies on behavioral changes to discover the truth about subliminal messages, and whether Candor could possibly be a reality.

     Over the last couple centuries, YA dystopias have evolved characteristically to be, more often than not, set in the future. In turn, dystopias must predict the development of technology, so that melds with the setting. One of the areas I would like to focus on is computers, and how they have played a role in YA dystopia. Its role in dystopias must have changed over time, and I would like to trace how they have changed based on our current growing dependence on them.

     The Hunger Games includes many scenes of The Capitol using computer-like devices to manage the tributes. 

– Screen used by The Capitol in The Hunger Games.

The tools at their disposal, combined with the integration of those systems, makes it clear that Collins saw the development of technology, and more specifically computers, trended towards this sort of integration. The trackers, health monitors, tributes’ geolocation, forest fire creators, and care package deliveries were all included in the screens The Capitol used during the games. In The 100, people on The Ark can be seen carrying personal devices, a sign that this more recent shift of device integration is widespread among modern sci-fi dystopias.

– Image of screen from The 100.

In Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, cell phone and computer use is common throughout their society, though more removed from the far-reaching predictions of most science fictions. Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars shows a more repressive form of technological use: its outlaw. This “prediction” falls in line with many’s fear of technology, and its power in information distribution. This creates a more bleak vision of our future, where the ruling class can control a population by controlling its technology.

     Though there is great variation in how modern YA dystopian authors foresee the future of computers and personal devices, I believe I can find some sort of trend or at the very least categorize it. Our fears of these new and mysterious personal devices are ingrained in our society, and we can examine and predict those fears through YA dystopia.

It’s interesting how a lot of dystopias thrive on fear. It forms the basis of control for a lot of dystopian governments and is a great way of tying people down in mental chains.

The ruling entity uses fear as a strong tool to make sure no one dares step out of line. The two most important ones while also being highly prevalent are –

  1. Making an example of violators

Most dystopias have some kind of punishment for breaking rules, which is different from our modern day society in that the violators are not given anything even close to a fair trial and are punished at the discretion of the rulers. Moreover, unlike our society, these rules are in no way agreed upon as ‘good’ by the people or for the better of the society. How they might be presented depends for each dystopia but they tend to revolve around the rulers’ motives to keep the people in control. Moreover, these punishments are widely publicized, making sure to carry the clear message that opposition will not be tolerated.

  1. Manipulation of and monopoly over information

This is a sly method for the proliferation of fear but way more effective as it is indirect. Keeping information from people, or giving them false information or making it difficult for them to procure it by banning communication, all work towards the goal of spreading ignorance. When the people making the rules are the only ones providing information, they can manipulate it to always show themselves in favorable light. This also increases the people’s dependence on them and as a result, a general fear is born out of the dread of not getting information in case the rulers are opposed or revolted against.

 

However, fear has its pitfalls. ‘When fear ceases to scare you, it cannot stay. When a certain line is crossed, especially in YA dystopias, to the point where the protagonist has lost so much that nothing scares them anymore, they become fearless and go all out against the people who have done this to them. Thus, fear is a weapon to be exercised with caution and control. Too much of it can tip the bowl the other way!

As someone who spent most of her life planning to become an author, finishing a good dystopia (or really, any good novel) always left me with a burning question: What inspired this? The brainstorm stage behind starting a story or essay has always been my favorite part of the writing process. Specifically, after reading Lord of the Flies for the first time, I was curious as to how William Golding (pictured below) could come up with something so morbid. After doing some research, I learned that Golding served in World War II and was heavily inspired by the terrors of war for his book, and also developed a lot of life philosophies after his experience. I think it would be really interesting to develop a timeline of sorts, and “plot” the dystopian novels that were published across the years. I personally believe that “clusters” would form around important world events.

Additionally, I think it would be super interesting to ask authors (or do extensive research) about why they chose a specific sub-genre to represent their ideas. Why would one choose a fantastical dystopia over a post-apocalyptic one? This also makes me wonder if authors generally pick their characters and storyline before their sub-genre, or vice versa. Is there a different method to writing novels for dystopian writers?

Another thing I wish to understand about dystopian novels is why the YA target group is so popular. I understand this is the age group that tends to have more time to read, tweet, go to the movies etc.; but it seems unrealistic that teenagers are always leading the rebellion. I would be interested to do some quick historical research to see examples of this in real life. Maybe authors intended to motivate younger crowds to be active in their societies?

 

Overall, I hope to be able to research the true motivations behind the authors of these works. I personally believe (though, I am biased because all my favorite books are dystopias) that dystopian novels are more important to society than other fictions, and thus, more thought goes into writing them. I am particularly interested in researching historical context of the world before the publication of certain books, and perhaps components of the authors’ lives that could’ve influenced the novel.

 

 

What interests me the most about dystopias is how they start off as celestial places or ideas and sudden tragic events occur and or relationship outcomes turn to heartbreakers and even death. The Hunger Games is a great example of a utopia turn to a heartbreaking dystopia. I think it is interesting how the characters in the story don’t see the disadvantages of other so called “utopian cultures”. Like in the hunger games how the Capitol were trying to recruit people by “selling them lies” like saying they would give them resources and other goods for the recruitment of people. I love how their plotlines suddenly change and end up resulting in a heartbreaking matter or casualty. I also love how the dystopian is “slept on “throughout its plot. In Little Brother we are reminded often of the hazards of an gradually digitalized world, where an inflow of data is kept on record by the government, and is accessible to those who are smart enough to get past whatever security was put in place, but also to show the young adults reading, that this is maybe how our society might end up in the future. We are becoming gradually digitalized and the options of this are limitless, but there is a high potential for abuse of this whether from a bossy government or very sneaky hackers thinking what they are doing is for the right reason. Early in Homeland, Marcus has the opportunity to work for a politician along with being given information about the government that could bring the government a lot of dilemma. The story focuses on the moral dilemma of whether Marcus should release this information. Where Little Brother focuses on a course of action if problems do ascend with an increasingly tech attaching culture.

I think the most interesting thing about dystopias is what people are willing to do in order to do what is right for them or what they need to do in order to stay alive. Seeing people make these sacrifices and risks to save the ones they love or themselves truly opens your eyes to the type of people humans can be when put into certain situations. Let’s take The Summer Prince example. My independent reading is about a place ruled my queens that can serve up to two five years’ terms. Every five years, a king is chosen to take the throne for one year and then dies in a bloody sacrifice. This reminded me of the TV show the 100. In the show, people were sacrificed in order to protect the queen just like what they are doing in my book. In their minds, the queen is sacred to their people and is the leader. She knows what needs to be done because she has the power to remember her other lives. Another thing I realized is that most dystopias I have read or watched before has some type of love in it. Whether it’s between a brother and his sister, a mother and her child, or two people who will do anything for each other, love has a strong will of making people do things they never thought they could do before. An example can be Lincoln and Octavia in the show the 100. Lincoln is a grounder and Octavia is a sky crew.  Their love puts them in danger with their people and yet, they still want to be together. Lincoln gave up his home and the will to live with his people to be with his beloved Octavia, even though some human does not trust him because he is a grounder. Their love is just one of many examples that most dystopias show. I believe by having that type of mood in a dystopia can make its audience seem like the film or book is more relatable and interesting.

 

Based on young adult dystopia readings such as The Hunger Games and Little Brother I’ve found dystopias to be extremely interesting because, while they are clearly written in response to current events, or as a critique of society, it is not obvious what the author intends the work to do. Is the author just complaining about the state of the world? Or maybe the author hopes to inspire the young readers to take a proactive stance on recreating a better society. Sometimes, I wonder if these books even have an effect on young adults. Do the middle schoolers pick up on the critique of capitalism in The Hunger Games, or do they simply fangirl about team Peeta and team Gale? When watching The 100 are they really comparing the different types of government or are they engrossed in the drama of the show?

Sure, one could argue that teen girls aren’t thoughtful enough to appreciate the dystopian novels to their full extent or learn all the potential lessons offered. However, I would counter by saying that as these young adults are exposed to corrupt societies and governments through reading dystopian novels, seeds of doubt are being planted and young adults are actually being taught to question everything. Which is good and bad. Marcus, the protagonist in Little Brother, Tris in Divergent, and Katniss in The Hunger Games are just a few examples of teens in dystopian novels questioning and over throwing authority figures. What I wonder is whether we are raising the next generation to be inquisitive and informed, or if we are instilling within them problems with authority.

My chosen independent reading novel, The Glass Sword, follows Mare Barrow after she causes a disturbance in the social class structure of reds versus silvers in the first novel The Red Queen. She is similar to Katniss in that she does not intend to cause a revolution. However, she becomes a symbol to a movement much larger than herself. While it is difficult to relate the fantasy novel to the world that we live in today, when reading the novel you automatically feel the injustice of dividing the world by the blood running in people’s veins.

Some questions I have for this novel are what point, if any, is the author (Victoria Aveyard) trying to make? Is she trying to talk about the intrinsic racism in society by making a parallel between the treatment of the reds and people of color? Or is she is warning us of genetic engineering by presenting the reader with a genetically superior race (silvers) possessing powers we can’t imagine? Also, I wonder if fantasy dystopias are as effective as other genres just because they are so hard to see the parallels to today’s society.

So far, I have struggled to find previous research on the effectiveness of fantasy dystopia novels, therefore, I decided to shift my central question to be: what are the effects of young adult dystopia novels. I plan on researching specific dystopia novels that have been important throughout history as well as trying to find information and interviews from the authors explaining their work. Through these means, I hope to uncover the intention and effect of young adult dystopia novels.

 

Works Cited:

http://iwastesomuchtime.com/77674

https://www.wattpad.com/259396803-survivors-bellamy-blake-whatever-the-hell-we-want

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22328546-red-queen

In dystopian novels, one issue that generally manifests itself is the issue of communication. This can happen in many ways. For example, in the book, Little Brother, the main character, Marcus wants to hold a press conference but doesn’t want to reveal his identity, so he uses a game on the Xnet as a mode of secure communication for himself. Another example is in The 100, a dystopian television show. When the ship lands on earth, all of the communication systems get broken on impact and there is no way for the teens on earth to communicate with the people still on the Ark except through bracelets that relay their vital signs. The photos show the bracelets on the characters’ wrists and the readout on the Ark. I think this theme recurs in many dystopias because for humans, communication with others is essential for survival, no matter what the time period is. Just the simple fact that our language is so complex and sophisticated, and that it is continually developing into modern modes of communication, is proof that it is absolutely necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

It is therefore unsurprising that this issue came to light in my independent reading book, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. The basic premise is that vampirism has become a disease and is spreading throughout the population and those that are bitten must be quarantined in what they call “Coldtowns.” The communication between the outside world and those inside the Coldtown is very unreliable and skewed by the media. Those outside the Coldtown have to rely on the news and traditional media sources in order to hear what goes on, yet these are not necessarily accurate. The main broadcast is of an endless party held in a mansion, which glamorizes life in the Coldtown, when the reality is much less than glamorous and is in fact very dangerous and difficult. The more reliable sources of information are the people in the Coldtown that have a social media presence. One specific character, Midnight, entered the Coldtown with the intention of sharing her experiences online with her followers. She makes blog posts and YouTube videos divulging the true things that happen within the walls of the quarantined city. So, social media, because it is not filtered by other people that have their own agendas, and comes directly from the source, becomes more trustworthy and honest. Even in our society today, more people than ever are relying on social media as a mode of communication and a source of reliable information.

For my research paper, I want to investigate the relationship between traditional media and social media, and their role in society and in dystopian fiction. At this point, the topic is pretty general, but I think it will get more specific as I continue to research.