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Delirium

Delirium

by Lauren Oliver

Dissatisfaction Theme

Utopian societies are supposed to be perfect. No crime. No difficult choices. Paradise, right? That's never how it works out. Utopian societies are always a dystopia to someone, and the someones in this case are the lower classes. Even if it weren't for the skyrocketing oil costs and rampant poverty, Lena would still have plenty to be dissatisfied about. Her whole life is decided for her, and so her life is completely devoid of surprises. All she has to look forward to is going to a boring school. Then having a boring job. Then having a boring husband. When Lena realizes that this complete lack of free will just isn't for her, she decides that something has to change.

Questions About Dissatisfaction

  1. Why is Lena's self-esteem so low?
  2. What aspects of Lena's society is she dissatisfied with? What is she just fine with? How do these opinions change during the course of the book?
  3. Hana is richer than Lena. Is Hana dissatisfied with anything, or does she have a perfect life?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The rules of Lena's society have basically taken satisfaction out of the equation. You do what the government tells you, and, well, they don't care if you like it or not. By being dissatisfied, Lena is questioning her society's rules without realizing she's doing so.

People won't try to change something if they're satisfied with it. Since satisfaction isn't a consideration for most people in Delirium, they blindly follow the government's rules.

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