scifi

All posts tagged scifi

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.

 

Citations:

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.

 

Propaganda serves as a method by the government to control the flow of information to its people. It is so prevalent in dystopian societies because such governments are entirely dependent upon their complete control of their citizens. By managing the flow of information, they can shape people’s views and opinions favorably for that government.

In Ender’s Game, Propaganda is the tool of  the International Fleet, a far-reaching government instituted with cooperation from all countries for one purpose: The Protection of Mankind. Eighty years ago, the people of earth were caught off-guard against a dangerous foe, now known as the “Formics” or Buggers due to their exoskeletal appearance. The Formics were an advanced alien race, and even though Earth managed to defeat them, humans now live in fear that one day the Formics will return. Before, the Earth was on the verge of a Third World War but suddenly they all had one rallying cry that every human could share. “Never Again.”

 


 

In the Hunger Games, President Snow says “The only thing stronger than fear is hope.” Like the Capitol, The International Fleet knows this too well. As long as there is a greater enemy, the Formics, then the earth is one nation and the International Fleet is in total control. The Propaganda posters loudly declare that the Formics are their one true Enemy and they must be defeated at all costs while fostering hope that some “hero” will end the threat. Any sympathy for the Formics is crushed. They are the enemy.

It’s somewhat important to recall that the last time the Formics attacked was 80 years ago. But the International Fleet has had 80 years to convince people that they’re coming back. It’s that one unifying thread that keeps them together, the survival of humanity.

Most often, Propaganda is viewed as the tool of the weak and a largely negative thing. In most cases, it usually is. However, the International Fleet had one purpose: to keep mankind alive against a dangerous threat. Who was to know that this thread was also itself. The Formic Wars were the only thing that kept the world together. The external threat forces a pause on Earth politics so that Human Kind could survive. And when the Formics were ultimately slaughtered by Ender, the world fell back into war, proving that they needed a reason to look over their should so they had no time to look upon their neighbors. It’s not to say that propaganda is positive, only that bias is a necessary thing to hold together a Nation.

 

Citations:

Ender’s Game Trailer. www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=19&v=0MOqoRSWHCs.

Card, Orson Scott, and Alan Smithee. Enders Game. Boekerij, 2013.

Card, Orson Scott., and John Harris. Ender in Exile.  Tor, 2008.

“Los Angeles Times.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, herocomplex.latimes.com/movies/enders-game-new-propaganda-posters-appeal-to-honor-fear/#/0.