What interests me the most about society in YA dystopias is how Technology effects the interaction between a government and it’s citizens, specifically in the Ender’s Game and in today’s society.
Most YA dystopian novels feature a society with extremely advanced technology, owing, perhaps, the fact that sophisticated technology enhances the control aspects of utopian literature.
Inevitably, as time goes on we are dangerously close to attaining the technology to recreate the overbearing supervision found in books like Little Brother and Ender’s Game. The problem with this advanced technology is that it is often used as a tool in controlling and monitoring it’s citizens rather than advancing the lives of said citizens.
Take the Ender’s Game sage for example. Gifted children were scouted by the government in search of a child to “end “ the war with the Formics. These children with such potential were then equipped with a “monitor” that allowed the government to effectively watch everything that the child saw. By stealing Ender’s perspective, Gaff was able to manipulate his interactions with his classmates and family. This therefore, was what gave him the power to mold Ender into a weapon for the IF.
Very few people would take it upon themselves to disagree that Technology blunts human interaction. It’s depersonalizes it. Gaff was able to manipulate Ender because he had the power, the technology, and the willingness to see Ender as a tool as he had so many children before him. That ties into another question I’m interested in asking. What is to be said about the willingness of an advanced society to use children as perpetrators of the future they will inherit. Ender killed the Buggers unwillingly, unwittingly through ignorance. He had no knowledge whatsoever of what was actually going on in the command room because they were just images on a screen.
Card, Orson Scott., and John Harris.Ender in Exile. Tor, 2008.
Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother. Tor Books, 2008.
Card, Orson Scott, and Alan Smithee. Enders Game. Boekerij, 2013.