All posts tagged behavior

My upcoming paper is about how non-normative behavior occurs in popular sources of YA literature. This is shown by people acting irrationally in the never ending high pressure situations, how they act selfish and uncivilized in such situations. Also, even though they act this way, deep down they show signs of normative morals deep behind all the chaos.

In dystopian societies, the citizens who are subjugated to harsh conditions are put in a position where they have to struggle to survive or are just oppressed, certain immoral qualities appear in humans. This is seen in the 100 when a little girl interprets Bellamy’s advice to slay her demons as him telling her to kill Wells. In a normal situation, one would not go to such lengths to make themselves feel better. Especially when in a structured society, such act would be punished hardly by law, but in such a chaotic society structure the little girl thought murdering another person was completely justifiable even when he didn’t do anything wrong in the first place.

With such idea in mind, my paper will also discuss the topic of germ theory. Germ theory states how disease is caused my microorganisms pervading around. Then Harris relates germ theory to dystopia by stating “pathogens” live in the human mind that are constantly controlled by the government. Without this structure, it causes these “pathogens” to “spread” causing disorderly conduct by citizens which result in a ruined society. So basically, in an ordered society there is a structured body that regulates how society functions like in the arc in the 100. Without such structure, such as on earth, people act in irrational ways. The ways governments control or cure such diseases is through the use of control and in extreme cases of dystopias governments tend to use methods that strip away the individuality and freedom of its citizens for the “good of the people.”

This pattern is illustrated in a numerous amount of sources, which I will go into detail about in my paper. To learn more about germ theory and how it applies to a numerous amount of YA literature work or to learn about the commonalities of non-normative behavior in such sources, be excited for my paper on “The Non-Normative Behavior in Dystopian Literature.”

Works Cited

Harris, Clea D. “The Germ Theory of Dystopias: Fears of Human Nature in 1984 and Brave New World.” Scripps Senior Theses, Claremont Colleges, 2015,


Propaganda seems to play a large role in dystopian fiction, as it promotes specific societal standards, plays on social tensions, and relays messages over media to masses of people. In Feed, by MT Anderson, the role of propaganda dominates all others, as society and trends are controlled by the Feed, with implanted brain chips guiding every individual’s thoughts, opinions, and free time. In Anderson’s novel, a group of American corporations regulate and control all things relating to the feed: installation, fees, maintenance, qualitative material, and customer service. From an economic standpoint, this makes the Feed a monopoly, allowing it to charge above market prices and avoid innovation, since there is no competition. This creates a dependence on these corporations, since all business, social, and leisure activities are centered around this technology. The corporations behind the Feed are therefore incredibly powerful and influential, supplying the public with their main medium of communication. This then allows the Feed to display advertisements, images, and propaganda that guide their users to buy more and more from the Feed, making the technology a necessity in their society.

Brain chips are slowly emerging from a fictional impossibility to a realistic scientific endeavor. Does dystopian literature reflect and critique the possibility of this advancement in our modern world? (“Brain Chips”).

Anderson clearly illustrates that public opinion and societal trends are greatly controlled and influenced by the Feed, and specifically through the media that the Feed provides. Flashing advertisements pop up in the character’s minds when they reach any new destination. They’re constantly updated on sales, clothing trends, and TV show updates that pop up in their feeds. The customization of shopping also guides the individual towards what the Feed wants them to like, through advice from online helpers and visual stimulation on the network. All of these images, videos, and updates serve as propaganda that the Feed literally plants in the minds of their users, guiding them towards a specific outcome or sale. The Feed does not only serve as a way of communication between users, but also a way of control and communication between the user and the corporation.

This specific form of propaganda exemplifies the typical government/corporation totalitarian control that often occurs in dystopian fiction. For a non-democratic government system to work, all citizens and participants must consent to their government, or be forced to consent. The Feed serves as the media that subconsciously forces their customers to continue using their services, since the technology has become a social survival necessity. The Feed also reflects on our own modern world, serving as a critique of the rapid advancement of technology and how it will affect our intelligence, communication, and language. Anderson’s Feed is a sort of pessimistic prediction of how society will adapt to technological change, and how personal intelligence and personality may be wiped away.

Anderson’s “Feed” explored a technological advancement that impacted society, government, and individual rights, with propaganda as the center of the technology. “Feed” exemplifies how media can control, not only society, but individual minds. (ISawChannel).

Works Cited:

Anderson, Matthew Tobin. Feed. Candlewick, 2002.

“Brain Chips.” Information Stash, 1 Feb. 2017,

ISawChannel. Memory Brain Chip? Episode 13. 19 Mar. 2015.