The Giver, The Defenders, and Blade Runner
Would you rather have no memories or think you could be on equal standing with robots? And no, when it comes to dystopian literature, "I refuse both of those options" is not an option.
|American Literature||All American Literature|
|Author||Lowry - Lois Lowry|
|Literary Topics||Author Highlights|
And having your DNA tinkered with in Gattaca...
You probably have tons of dystopian tropes floating around your brain.
Its okay if you cant remember them all as long as you remember that theyre
in there somewhere.
Its not like anyone is erasing your memory.
Not that youd remember if they had.
In The Giver we see a world where selective memory runs rampantand its not the
people selecting their own memories either.
The Elders control everything in this world from the events people remember...
To the colors they see.
When our hero Jonas is selected by the Elders to receive all the memories of
his community which have been suppressed the kid figures out that his black and white
world could be a whole lot more...colorful.
Of course as many dystopian heroes before Jonas have learned the knowledge that your seemingly
perfect society is seriously flawed isnt necessarily a recipe for instant happiness.
Having no memories most people in The Giver are perfectly fine with their situation.
They have jobs.
They have families.
Sure these things have been assigned to them but at least they have them.
And at least they have clean air to breathe.
Thats more than we can say for humanity in Philip K.
Dicks short story The Defenders.
In this tale humanity has been driven underground after a nuclear holocaust and the
war above is waged remotely by robots.
Because you know being driven underground wasnt proof enough that nuclear holocausts are a bad idea.
As is usual with anything by Philip K.
Dick however nothing is what it seems in this story.
When the humans notice that robotic defenders are coming back from the supposedly radioactive battlefield
without being radioactive the robots have some serious explaining to do.
In the end though its the humans who end up questioning themselves.
Humankind has it a bit better in Blade Runner the movie based on Dicks novel
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Of course its a little hard to tell
whos human and whos not in the world of Blade Runner since its populated with
replicants robots who look exactly like people.
No worries though.
Any troublesome replicant is taken care of by your friendly neighborhood blade runner.
With robots in the mix dystopian tropes suddenly get a lot more complicated.
When a group of particularly troublesome replicants take cover in a futuristic L.A.
the powers-that-be bring expert blade runner Rick Deckardaka Harrison Fordout of retirement.
Of course Blade Runner wouldnt be a dystopian classic if it were just a robots-are
bad-humans-are-good kind of story.
Its a movie that really makes us think about the possible gray areas that humanity
might have to face as robots steadily become more like us.
When robots look and act human what does it even mean to be human Would
some people not even know if they were robots or not Would it even matter
You might long for the days when even if you didnt get along with your
co-worker at least you knew they were human. NOTE end of file