Incarceron

All posts tagged Incarceron

In today’s world, we take information for granted. Everything can be found at the click of a button and the all-knowing google almost never fails us. And growing up in this society, I’ve always looked at information as something good to have or something essential for my advancement through school or eventually through my professional career. However, reading through all these dystopias has given me a new perspective on information.

Information can be used as a weapon. To gain an advantage over others. However, unlike other weapons, knowledge can be disguised to look like a favor to the ignorant. The tactile handling of sensitive information – whether it is the withholding of facts, or disclosing them at the right time to the right person can all help to work the situation in your favor.

Thus, the topic of my presentation is – Information: The decider of fate in a dystopian world.

We’ll see how different dystopias use information differently to further their purposes.

One of my main arguments is that – Information can be used to manipulate. In my independent reading book – Incarceron, one of the two protagonists – Claudia is a ‘princess’ who’s about to be married off to an idiotic Earl and is not happy about it. Her father, the antagonist, is the Warden of Incarceron and has always told her half-truths. Claudia and her part of the world have been led to believe that Incarceron is a perfect world for prisoners and all those who are trapped inside, in fact, deserve to be that way. Thus none of them ever questions its legitimacy or whereabouts and all of them highly respect the Warden for keeping the ‘bad people’ in check. I also use examples from ‘Little Brother’ and ‘The 100’ to further my argument.

Some of my other arguments include how information is used to create fear, and yet how it can give hope. I explain these using examples from popular YA dystopian literature.

I look forward to presenting on Wednesday, letting you guys know more about these arguments and answering any questions that you might have for me!

Incarceron, written by Catherine Fisher, is a YA dystopia about a world divided into two worlds. One is during the Era. The Era is basically similar to living during the 18th century. There is a hierarchy consisting of monarch, elites, and commoners. Technology, such as cell phones, computers, and even modern medicine, is banned because it is non-Era (meaning it came before the switch to the “ideal” society). The Era is set above ground in the natural world.

 

 

 

Opposite the Era, there is Incarceron, a giant living prison. When the kings created the Era, they took half of the population, for example the undesirables, the criminals, and the ill, and locked them in Incarceron. To the people in the Era, the prison is supposedly a paradise, and according to the elites it is. In reality though, it is a nightmarish landscape. Since the only contact between Incareron and the people in the Era is through the Warden, no one is aware of this.

 

 

 

One of my favorite things about dystopian literature is its criticism of a social ideal. One of the ideals being criticized in this book is “the good ol’ days,” and how even though things may have seemed perfect in the past, they are not actually perfect. Trying to recreate them, as one can see in Incarceron, creates more problems than benefits.

 

This criticism of social, cultural, and political ideas is present in every dystopia. Through them we can form an opinion of a piece of one’s own society or society as a whole. Sometimes this spurs within each individual a spark and one thinks “Wow, I never even thought about that before”. Or maybe the reader has thought about the criticisms but is now able to see it from a new perspective. The point is, readers are able to draw parallels between the traits of the fictional world in the dystopia and use them to critique their own society.
So how has dystopia literature influenced the views of readers? How will the criticisms of these book, particularly those brought up in YA dystopia, affect the future political and social climate?

Sources:

Fisher, Catherine. Incarceron. Penguin Group, 2007.