One of the things that interest me the most about dystopias is that they subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) critique the United States. In Little Brother, the constant surveillance creates an image of the future United States where people are always being watched and tracked to keep civil order. Constant surveillance is not a farfetched idea because even today the government can track our every move. This capability is creating paranoia among many people. Little Brother makes the reader think about our current state of surveillance and how our country is one tragedy away from constantly being surveilled.
In The Selection, the book critiques multiple facts about today’s American society. The most obvious criticism in the book is about the popularity of the TV show The Bachelor. The whole series is based around a prince having to pick between 35 girls to find his future wife. There are many scenes throughout the book where girls turn on each other and attack one another verbally, and even physically, to fight for Prince Maxon’s affection. Throughout The Bachelor, there are often moments where the girls do the same thing. By drawing on this plotline, the author created a book that appeals to our society as well as a book that makes readers rethink their enjoyment for the TV show. Another criticism in The Selection is about the stability of the United States government. The Selection takes place after multiple future World Wars which has caused the United States government to become a monarchy. Returning to the government structure that the founding fathers condemned is a criticism because it leads the reader to believe that the United States could be on the path to failure. This criticism of the United States is what I want to focus on for my research paper. Many recent events have led people to organize nationwide protests against actions that have been taken to “protect” them. Although it is unlikely, recent events could be the gateway to the failure of the United States government.
Below are some links that are going to be useful in my research paper. This includes a website about Thomas Jefferson’s ideas and how he believed in creating a perfect United States. There is also a newspaper article about how the United States government is now considered a flawed democracy. These resources are going to be useful in writing my research paper about the way the United States was created to be a utopian society, but in reality is a dystopia.
Cass, Kiera. The Selection. HarperTeen, 2012.
The Bachelor. Produced by Mike Fleiss and Lisa Levenson, written by J. Holland Moore and Mike Fleiss, American Broadcasting Company, 25 Mar. 2002.
Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2008.