All posts tagged Post-Apocalyptic

Today in class we looked over some generalized feedback based on my midterm assessment. We talked through some important distinctions in dystopian theory and I reiterated some key elements of success for blog posts, in-class participation and Twitter participation. I encourage you to look over your feedback on TSquare (Gradebook-Comments on Twitter & Participation assignment) and assess what you need to do in order to improve for the second half of the semester.

We followed this discussion with a reflection exercise, first looking at your infographic assignment, then looking at the class as a whole. These reflections should be filed away in your folder for the end of the semester portfolio.

We talked briefly about the idea of apocalypse and what post-apocalyptic literature looks like and used the Knickerbocker essay to ground our discussion of apocalypse. We emphasized the Biblical origins of the apocalyptic narrative and its relation to dystopia and utopia, as both a literary device and a part of the evolution process of society.

We moved on to talk about The 100. In small groups, you worked to identify the key defining elements of both The Ground and The Arc as dystopian societies and post-apocalyptic societies. We will start next class by looking at these charts and arguing for whether The 100 is a dystopian story with elements of post-apocalypse or a post-apocalyptic narrative with some elements of dystopia. We’ll also look at your Twitter discussion questions and discuss the show in more depth.


  1. Blog Post 3 due by 11:55pm. Please be sure to review the generalized feedback on blog posts from my post earlier today.
  2. Read Darko Suvin’s article “On the Poetics of the Science Fiction Genre” available on TSquare (Resources folder ->Week 7).
  3. Continue to research for your research project – remember your annotated bibliography is due on Friday.

In my experience, the media and propaganda almost always serve the same function in dystopian societies, that is to keep the common citizens ignorant. This is likely because technology often plays an important role in dystopias, and as a result, most dystopias include societies with either primitive or incredibly advanced technology. Primitive dystopian societies aren’t able to use propaganda on a scale large enough to be interesting, but for more advanced dystopian societies, propaganda offers a peaceful way to control people while also allowing the author to introduce relevant themes regarding the control of media. In the case of my independent reading novel, Under the Never Sky, both types of societies exist. There are the “Savages” who live in the post-apocalyptic wilderness and are mostly concerned with staying alive and protecting their tribes, and those who live in the Pods and spend most of their time in a type of augmented reality known as the Realms using a device called a Smarteye.

The Smarteye does more than augment vision. It tricks the nervous system, allowing users to truly feel as if they’re in the virtual world.

As one can imagine, the Realms allow the government to control the information available to its citizens to a great degree, even for a dystopia, since they are able to virtually shape reality as they see fit. Even familial interactions take place in the Realms. People are raised to believe the outside world, known simply as the Real, is a terrible place filled with pain, suffering, disease, and cannibals. Even worse, the Real is boring. You have to actually walk places, and one’s appearance can’t be changed instantaneously. This is perhaps one of the most effective uses of propaganda by a dystopian government I have ever seen. The government does not need to force its citizens to obey. Instead, it only needs to convince them that obeying is an enjoyable experience. Different Realms are created to cater to people of various interests, and because it’s all virtual, the government does not actually have to divert resources to keep its citizens happy. As long as the government keeps its darker actions secret, which isn’t hard when it has so much control over reality, who in their right mind would rebel in what is seemingly paradise?


Works Cited:

Rossi, Veronica. Under the Never Sky. HarperCollins, 2012.