My mini-story focuses on the consequences of limiting people’s ability to communicate efficiently and freely. In the world all of these mini-stories take place, the setting is a future America in a bleak and desperate state. The government is no longer democratic and instead is a vicious dictatorship. The people are held under tight control from the authoritative government, severely limiting all of their liberties and freedoms. People are no longer able to leave their jobs, their homes, their lives, and if they try to fight against this, they die. And this isn’t the only use of the death penalty, its applied to many crimes no matter the severity, including being caught past curfew, being suspected of being an enemy of the government (which is vague law on purpose), and being caught speaking against the government or it’s motives in any way. The government does this in secret to the rest of the world, as no information that isn’t controlled by the government leaves the country. The last crime I listed earlier is what my story focuses on, speaking against the government.
The main character, Franklin, works as a journalist for the newspaper The Times, which is controlled completely by the government. Everything that goes into the paper must be approved by the government, who chooses to tell the journalists what to write about and how to write it. Franklin is unhappy with his role in spreading misinformation, but in reality that’s his only choice if he wants to live. Growing in content as the days go on, Franklin decides he can’t live this life anymore and needs to do something. He accepts he has no chance of making it to out; only a few people ever manage to escape through the walls enclosing the country. But he knew that if he could somehow get word out to the rest of the world what’s really happening in America and the lies the government is spreading, there’s hope for a better future for the people of America.
Working as a journalist at the biggest newspaper in America, Franklin is always close to the news of major events and anything that happens around the country. Most of the time, what he’s told to write is sent directly to his desk and is already altered to be acceptable to the governments standards. But sometimes he discovers what actually happens, the truth, and begins recording instances where the government lies to the people and the world. After a few months of recording, Franklin has filled a journal with information that could expose the government and, hopefully, bring a better future for the people living under the authoritative American government. Franklin leaves with his journal in hopes of getting it over the walls that surround the country and into the hands of someone on the outside. However, it’s noticed nearly immediately by the police that Franklin is missing, and, given the nature of his work and the information he is exposed to, is to be immediately dealt with to keep his mouth shut. The police are right on Franklin’s tail throughout his rough journey to the border of the country. Right as Franklin is in a position to throw his journal over the wall, the police kill him and his information is never delivered to the outside world. The journal is immediately destroyed, nothing was ever said again about Franklin the journalist, and the desperate American’s were forced to keep living their sad lives.
This main theme of this story is to bring light to the importance of freedom of speech. It’s meant to be tragic and leave you feeling sad, both for the tragic hero Franklin and the death of his message to the world. In our current US of A, we have the ability to say whatever we want and spread that message to the entire world through the means of the internet and social media. By introducing a world with a polar opposite of our current reality, where what people say is strictly limited and what is shared is controlled as well, it makes you value our reality more and highlights the importance of freely expressing yourself. Throughout the story, certain aspects of life that’d be negatively affected by no freedom of expression would be showed constantly to emphasis it’s consequences. This includes people not talking to strangers in fear, people having to constantly live a lie/ show a façade, etc.
All in all, the main goal of this story is to highlight the importance of freedom of speech by showing a world without it. It’s a tragic tale of Franklin the journalist who died trying to go against the government, a true story of civil unrest.