Hey all I’m back for this week’s Bookish Wednesday with another topic that I’m finally getting around to covering. It’s all about my hatred for Dystopian novels.
Dystopians? Really?: Yeah, I absolutely hate the genre. It started with me reading The Giver as a kid and being utterly disgusted with it. Stories don’t have to end with a happy ever after, but honestly a story shouldn’t be so depressing and that’s what The Giver was to me.
So many novels, including stuff like Brave New World, The Hunger Games, 1984, and their like are just all made as social commentaries. Honestly if the authors wanted to write a social commentary, they should just submit an op-ed to their local or national news outlet or write an essay and submit it to a scholarly publication.
Instead they write incredibly depressing stories that are pretty much tailor made specifically for literary analysis in order to showcase what the author feels is wrong with the world. For me Dystopian stories are the epitome of terrible writing. A novel should be a way for the reader to escape their day to day lives, and these novels are all about the things most people will want to escape from.
How is that rational?: It isn’t and I don’t claim that my hatred of Dystopia is a completely rational hatred, in fact one reason I haven’t written this column until now is me coming to terms with that fact. I think that Dystopian stories are bad writing because they are made specifically to make the reader think about their life and what can go wrong. And for me that is absolutely the antithesis of what reading is.
I read to get away from my own inner despair and hopelessness that I struggle with every waking moment due to my severe depression, and Dystopian novels showcase the worst parts of my own mind and thrust it into my face. I don’t need that crap given to me in the form of a story since I get it already from my own inner voice that tells me to give up and just die every moment of my life.
This week I’m covering one of my least favorite books I’ve ever read. It’s Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Plot Synopsis: The novel opens in London in A.F. 632 (AD 2540 in the Gregorian Calendar). The vast majority of the population is unified under the World State, an eternally peaceful, stable global society where the population is permanently limited to no more than two billion people, meaning goods and resources are plentiful and everyone is happy. Natural reproduction has been done away with and children are created, “decanted”, and raised in “hatcheries and conditioning centres”. From birth, people are genetically designed to fit into one of five castes, which are further split into “Plus” and “Minus” members and designed to fulfill predetermined positions within the social and economic strata of the World State. Fetuses chosen to become members of the highest castes, “Alpha” and “Beta”, are allowed to develop naturally and are given stimulants while maturing to term in “decanting bottles.” Those fetuses chosen to become members of the lower castes of “Gamma”, “Delta” or “Epsilon” are subjected to in situ chemical interference to cause arrested development in intelligence and physical growth. Each Alpha or Beta is the product of one unique fertilised egg developing into one unique fetus. Members of lower castes are not unique but are instead created using “Bokanovsky’s Process” which enables a single egg to spawn up to 96 children and one ovary to produce thousands of children. To further increase the birthrate of Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons, “Podsnap’s Technique” causes all the eggs in the ovary to mature simultaneously, allowing the hatchery to get full use of the ovary in two years’ time. People of these castes make up the majority of human society, and the production of such specialised children bolsters the efficiency and harmony of society, since these people are deliberately limited in their cognitive and physical abilities, as well as the scope of their ambitions and the complexity of their desires, thus rendering them easier to control. All children are educated via the hypnopaedic process, which provides each child with caste-appropriate subconscious messages to mould the child’s lifelong self-image and social outlook to that chosen by the leaders and their predetermined plans for producing future adult generations, as well as stopping the lower caste citizens from wanting to be more than they were grown to be.
Plot: I really dislike books like this because it’s really obvious they have a specific message to the reader and it’s usually don’t trust your government or something like that. The plot in this book isn’t all that great in fact it sucks period.
Characters: I can’t even remember anyone’s name except for the Savage, but I actually dislike him the most out of all the characters.
Overall: If you want to read a boring book that has no really interesting plot read this.
For those who like: Boring Plots, Dystopian fiction.
Not for those who want: Real plots and actually interesting subjects and characters.