All posts by Domanique Borges

Domanique’s Quotations

Lord of the Flies: William Golding

1. “Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.”

2. “We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”

Lost Horizons: James Hilton

1. “Laziness in doing stupid things can be a great virtue”

2. “The will of God or the lunacy of man — it seemed to him that you could take your choice, if you wanted a good enough reason for most things. Or, alternatively (and he thought of it as he contemplated the small orderliness of the cabin against the window background of such frantic natural scenery), the will of man and the lunacy of God. It must be satisfying to be quite certain which way to look at it.”

The Giver: Lois Lowry

1.“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

2. “…now he saw the familiar wide river beside the path differently. He saw all of the light and color and history it contained and carried in its slow – moving water; and he knew that there was an Elsewhere from which it came, and an Elsewhere to which it was going” 

Ecotopia:Ernest Callenbach

1. “But what matters most is the aspiration to live in balance with nature, “walk lightly on the land,” treat the earth as a mother.”


The Story of Nam Enola


We always heard there was a strange society out there. In the woods far beyond where any of my friends or I had ever gone, there lay a society referred to by us as just “the place”. We didn’t think it was real or it existed; we just liked to clown around about it and chat about what it could be like to live there- in such an isolated society. I surely didn’t think this place existed. I mean no one really did. The stories had always been around but there was no proof and without proof it was like it didn’t exist. I would soon learn that it did exist and I would learn the name of “the place” was called Our Great Society or OGS. The way I got there still feels so coincidental, as if I just stumbled there by mistake on the same day I decided my life sucked and I was going to leave home and try to start a new life for myself. Deep down I know it was God’s way of showing me that my life was to be cherished and that I should be grateful for the life I had. Too bad my life would never be the same and too bad I had no one to confide in about what I witnessed.

My name is Nam Enola and this is my account of Wednesday October 5th – Friday October 7th in the year 2101. I doubt anyone will ever read this or believe it for that matter but I have to get this out of my mind and I have to write it all down. I don’t want to forget what happened to me and if I somehow convince myself that it was just all a dream at least I will have these pages as a reminder.  If you happen to find these words and you happen to read them please forgive me if this account seems out of this world. Perhaps it is out of this world; nonetheless it is as true as the sun is hot. I have no purpose or reason to distort the facts or truth as I am writing this for my own purposes. You have merely stumbled onto the confessions of a lonely soul.

The Journey

It was 75 degrees and we were upset. Usually during this time of year my two best friends and I would have gone to the pool after classes let out, but the weather had been cooler than usual for October and we decided instead to go our separate ways and try to get some homework done. I left them and hurried towards my house, which was only a few blocks away from our school. Just as I began to hurry along I got a brain wave message from my mom alerting me of the dishes in the sink I left after breakfast. Gosh, even at 19 she was still on my case all the time. I was in college and doing what she wanted me to and even that wasn’t enough. I slowed to a complete stop and made a decision.

I wasn’t going home! I wanted a change in my life and I wanted to be liberated from my parents and their rules. Life was boring, and I needed a change. I wanted to do something fun and be someone important in the process. Yeah. I could see it now, from nothing to something overnight. I could be a success story. Ok alright, I would actually settle for just heading to my cousin’s house and figuring out a plan from there.  I decided to take the long route through the woods so I could take time to think about my big decision. It seemed rash but I was really fed up with the things going on in my life. Classes were rough, my boyfriend was acting like a jerk, and my parents were always on my back.

I realized I must’ve wandered a little further than I wanted to because I was in a strange place in the woods I never seen. I was frustrated at now being lost. I chuckled and joked to myself it was just my luck to get off track and end up in “that place”.  No one actually had ever been there before or even ever seen pictures but there were stories and tales of a secret society or world here in the woods but no one believed it and no one cared to talk about for more than a few minutes joking around. I quickly got rid of the thought and looked for a way out of the woods, it was getting dark and I was getting tired.

I must have walked for miles without making any real progress. I tired of walking so I decided to just sit there in hopes I would be rescued by police or the Park Rangers who did a lot of traveling through these woods. I found a tree with a small rock underneath and sat there. How ironic this was. I was looking desperately to escape and instead I ended up lost in the damn woods all alone. I wanted to scream and laugh at my new found circumstance because it was just all too much for me. It was then I noticed them watching me.

I knew immediately I was not about to be rescued by the threesome that was just watching me and I knew also they didn’t come from the same place as I did. They looked human enough but there was an oddness to the two woman and man that I saw. Something seemed very off about them, perhaps they were the living dead. I had no idea but I was scared and thought I would piss my pants when they started approaching me. It was then I noticed the dead look in their eyes.

The man reached me first and said, “We will not hurt you, but the others will if they find you here. You must come with us until we can get you out of here safely!”

When I am nervous I can’t stop talking. This situation was no different, and I frantically responded to the man, “Who are you? Where are we, and who is it that will hurt me? I can’t go with you guys I need to get back home so I can”

“ah ah ah…” the older woman of the two said “you mustn’t rush your thoughts out like that.”

The younger woman then stated very matter of fact-ly “all of your questions will be answered.”

“We are part of an underground sect in OGS known as the moderates. You must have stumbled through one of the transportation portals that leads from out there where you live to here we live in OGS.  We live our lives moderately and cherish human life so we must live our lives in constant hiding and fear. I’m Senterion, these two are Anastasi” he said pointing to the younger “and this here is Felinia”. I didn’t know that I could trust them but I had no choice. I didn’t know where I was and I was also drawn to them.

Felinia said at that point “In Our Great Society, where we come from we are wanted by the Professors who monitor the daily activities of the people in OGS.” At this I laughed.  I couldn’t help to think of my Mother and her monitoring ways. Senterion yelled at me “how dare you laugh, the people where we live have meaningless lives and don’t know anything more than the garbage they are spoon fed by the government known as the Sanitation.” It was weird even his yell was no more than what I would consider a loud whisper. They said we were in a hurry but yet they seemed to be moving at a quite normal pace to me. I would even say we were walking slow at times even stopping while they explain to me the rules where they come from.

I was shocked by what I heard. Anastasi rarely spoke but what she did tell me was terrifying. She originally came from a district known as District Sadism where they were responsible for “rehabilitating” the citizens caught not following the rules. What she described to me there was like nothing I ever heard of before, people actually allowed to live out their sick thoughts on the citizens who had broken the law. It sounded all too absurd. It was Senterion who helped her get out of the District and into the underground sect where they practiced moderation, appreciated life and spent the majority of their time trying to stay out of harms way. Unlike the other citizens who were involved in extreme activities for a portion of their day, and lived separately in 5 Districts that were separated based on specific attributes. The citizens where the mysterious trio was from were also employed in laborious, grueling, and boring jobs during the day and this dulled life in the OGS community.

I couldn’t think strait because although nothing was happening too quickly, my mind couldn’t wrap around what they were telling me. I had to see it for myself. If what these people were saying was true I needed to see it and I needed to go there. I decided from this point on I was no longer taking this group for their word, everything was too strange for me.

“I don’t believe you and I want proof of what you’re telling me!” I stood there and waited for any of them to respond to me and give me answers. They slowly looked around at each other. Senterion spoke first,

“You do not understand. If we take you any further than this we cannot guarantee you a safe return. Our people die every single day in the thousands. Freak accidents are common in the District Adrenaline. There the people are crazed and obsessed with living life to the extreme even more so than in the other Districts. It is not a safe place for you and I am afraid you will just have to take my word for it.”

“You know Nam, he is right”, said Felinia. “It is much better if we try to get you back where you came from! Where we live things are sad and depressing but most people don’t realize it. There is no trust and even citizens are against other citizens, reporting one another to the Professors. We are even convinced they are feeding the corpses of the dead citizens to the people.”

Anastasi interrupted Felinia saying, “She must come with us, it is the only way. She could be the savior that we need. Once she witnesses what life is like in Our Great Society she will understand.” I didn’t like how instead of speaking to me like the others did she turned her back to me and spoke to only Senterion and Felinia. I mean I still could hear her word for word but it was as if I was not there to her.

As if she read my mind Anastasi turned and said in a hushed voice, “I will help you get out safely but you can only stay for one day. We will go in the morning when people are busy with their jobs, that is when it will be easiest to keep you safe. The night hours are vicious and we will start the journey back then. For now we must rest.”

She made the decision and it was final. We walked around a bit more then came up on a small cave. I realized this would be our resting point. Once inside I realized this cave was not ordinary. There were blankets and a lantern inside along with other camping necessities it was as if they prepared this place for us at some earlier point. The night was smooth after that. We spent some time exchanging stories about our respective lives and I asked questions about OGS. The place seemed like a horrible and crazy place to live and no matter how much they answered my questions I thought they were holding a lot back. Especially when I asked about their families.

Overnight I couldn’t sleep and I was extremely anxious to get on the move the next morning. I sat up quietly as to not disturb the others and I realized Felinia was still sitting up. I pointed to the opening of the cave as if to signal, let’s talk outside. She got up and I took this as a sign that she was prepared to go outside and speak with me. When we got outside we could finally speak. I spoke first. “Why don’t you guys run away from there if it’s that bad?” She looked at me and said. “We are not like you. We cannot conform to the outside world. We are not human, but mere human replica.”

I gasped. I knew they seemed different, but clones. Could it really be? This was getting weirder the more I learned. “Is that why you guys didn’t answer my questions about your family? You all don’t have families. I get it now.” I didn’t get it, but I didn’t know what else to say. She told me more details about OGS but I tuned her out for most of it. Instead I thought about my own life and what I had at home. I knew my mom and dad were at home and must be worried but I prayed they were all right. Secretly I prayed I would be alright.

Morning came and it was time to head out. As we walked I noticed the woods slowly opening up. There seemed to be less brush up ahead and I was anxious because I could feel us getting closer and further into OGS. I asked how much longer to go after what I thought was about an hour of continuous walking. Senterion responded by kindly smiling at me. I took that as we were close. I knew I was right because at that moment I could see in the distance smog and smoke being released into the sky- I knew this was one of the factory buildings where the citizens did their work.

“Ok let’s go on to the Moderate hide out and from there we will create a plan on how to maximize the time Nam will have here today, let’s try to show her as much as possible”, said Felinia excitedly. I could tell that by now she grew very fond of me and was happy to have made my acquaintance, especially after we talked last night. “Great idea. Let’s head there now.” Responded Senterion. Anastasi led the way.

As we entered deeper into Our Great Society I began to get nervous. What if their government noticed I was here and try to keep me. Even worst what if the group I was with just wanted to get me here so they could hurt me. Why did I come here? Was my life that boring at home that I need to escape to the hell I was walking into? As we walked I noticed all of the buildings were huge. Felinia explained that the citizens lived in big buildings to accommodate the population which was exceedingly large.

The very next thing that struck out to me was a group of men walking wearing identical clothing I knew from the conversations I had with Senterion, Felinia, and Anastasi that these men were a part of the group known as Professors. They monitored the citizens and would punish any caught not following the laws set forth in the constitution of OGS. I knew this meant trouble right away because we abruptly changed course and started walking the opposite way. Anastasi began to speak. “I must distract them so you guys can try to escape. I know they saw us and will try to capture us all. Since I am the only living person who has ever escaped The District Sadism and joined the Moderates, I am the most wanted member in our underground sect. They will be pleased to catch me. You three will be able to escape by running through to the district of Knowledge. From there if you can get to the District Adrenaline you should be able to escape!”

I felt really bad about the plan but I could do nothing but run with the others; especially when Anastasi made her location known by running out in front of the Professors screaming in a beast-like manner, grabbing their attention away from the screens they were using to call backup. She toppled one of the professors in one swift motion and sent his body flying onto the ground. I didn’t think she could be so violent, I mean she was such an older woman for crying out loud, but after what I learned about the District where she lived most of her life I was not that surprised. I didn’t see any more because soon we were too far ahead and I didn’t want to keep looking back.

We made our made our way through this district which I realized was District Authority. Immediately I saw that there were numerous people in these uniforms walking around the town and frantically answering their communicators. The news was spreading that we were loose in the town. I hoped we could get out of this district fast and into one of the other districts that would be easier to blend in to. Felinia was now leading us and she entered a large complex building that housed the citizens in this district. We ran up 12 flights of stairs and finally came to a stop on the landing. I was out of breath and crying by this point, but the tears mixed with the sweat made it so no one knew my true fear. I knew they were clearly in much better shape than me because they seemed to be faring much better after our long run.  I now think back and realize their amazing physical abilities probably came from the fact that they were clones who probably had the best genes.

Felinia spoke and told us there was a route in this building we could use to get through to one of the other districts. I didn’t know how that would help us but Senterion looked relieved by this news so I assumed this was indeed good news. I then thought about Anastasi and asked the two what would likely happen to her. “Well if she doesn’t escape during the time they transport her back to the District of Sadism she will be killed. It is unfortunate but we must not dwell about it, people here die in the masses daily and death is a huge part of our society. However, it is not something we were trained to care or concern ourselves with so it is no big deal.” I was appalled at the way Felinia spoke about the life of people and especially since this was her friend we were talking about. “You should have more respect for life than that.” I said and left it at that. I was beginning to see that this was not like home for me and everything I ever thought was true was a lie here.

“No time to dwell on that now Nam, we must get a move on and we have to get going.” Felinia said and then started down the hall we entered. At the end of the hall I could see nothing but a wall. Nothing that indicated we would be able to get out of this building. Everything in my heart told me we would never get out, but their lack of fear helped me to stay strong. We quickly reached the end of the hall and Felinia tapped on the wall three times and TADA like magic there was an opening. When we entered there was a small landing and a gaping hole in the ground with some sort of slide reaching down towards the bottom. It was the scariest thing I have ever seen with all these rusted shards sticking out of the sides of the slide, and a very narrow space for getting down. The drop down could be anywhere from 15 stories high to 30 for all I knew because I could barely see down and as far as I could tell there was no bottom.

Senterion spoke first. “Ok, here’s the plan. I will go down first and Nam can follow. Felinia you go after her so that way she is protected by us in the front and back. Once we get down we should be not far from the District of Knowledge. We will be fairly safe there and we will be able to ease our way out of the district into the District of Adrenaline where we will be able to lead you safely to your home.” Senterion looked at me while he said the last sentence. I trusted them but the plan seemed like a long shot and I only hoped it worked. I nodded to show my agreement.

Senterion slowly lowered himself onto the slide and nudge his weight forward allowing him to accelerate down into the darkness. I rushed behind and quickly did the same thing I could no longer see him down below and I didn’t want to be too far behind him in case something happened to me and I needed protection. I was scared but somehow I finessed my way down and soon I was plunging deep into the earth I could smell the sewage mixed with mud as we got further within. There was a stale taste to the air and I could hardly breathe going down. Suddenly after about 15 minutes of going down the slide and it turned sharply and I was thrown out onto the ground. I screamed out of panic!

“Aaaaaaaggggh..ugh” Senterion quickly was behind me holding my mouth closed. I gasped for breath. HE quietly said to me “hush or we will be caught. We are fairly safe but we are still outlaws in this community and we must not do anything that will alert people to our location.” Speaking of our location where the hell were we? Books, artwork, computers, gaming devices, machines, and all types of other crap I can’t even name were everywhere. Thrown around in the streets and piled high on the corners. Out of nowhere appeared Felinia. Senterion directed us to walk north, towards a large building that could have been a University of some sort. I asked “are we in the District Knowledge?” Felinia responded to me only by nodding. They seemed rather reluctant to speak as we walked. I just couldn’t help but notice the few people we did see were so engaged in a book or a computer monitor that they didn’t even notice us. No one ever looked up from what they were doing and everyone we saw was doing something. It was late. I was tired after all we had been through that day and I knew we had to keep moving but I wanted to rest.

“Do you guys think it is ok to rest for a bit? We haven’t eaten or taken a break all day and I am worn out.” I said with a little whimper in my voice hoping that would help. Felinia looked as if she understood my pain, while Senterion clearly was not up for my complaining. “I’m going to give you something ok? It is similar to a vitamin and it will help with your energy and also stop the hunger,” Senterion said to me. Felinia just looked at Senterion saying nothing although the look on her face said she had a lot to say about what he just said. “Will it hurt me?” I asked naively. “No, but there may be side effects,” he answered. “Like what? Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting? I don’t want to feel like that while I’m here, just forget it,” I replied frantically. Now I was worried about what could happen to me. I needed something to help me with my tiredness and my hunger but I didn’t want their mystery drugs.

Felinia laughed. “Oh no. Nothing like that at all. The side effects are quite minimal actually.” She said to me quickly. “It might actually be what you need to help you feel better. Would you like to take one of the vitamins?” I told her to just give it to me instead of wasting our time talking about it so we could get a move on. I was anxious to get through this district into the next one so I could finally be on my way home. Although home was starting to seem further and further away. Senterion handed me what looked to be an aspirin. I gladly grabbed it and swallowed it using the saliva in my mouth as water. Just as I swallowed my stomach growled and I hoped the effects would be quick as I was getting hungrier and weaker by the second. As I wondered why the others didn’t seem to get hungry after our long journey I noticed my eyes closing almost involuntarily. I tried to keep them open but I couldn’t. My knees gave out and I could feel myself fall back into Felinia’s arms.

When I gained consciousness I was at the entrance of the woods near my cousin’s house. I don’t know how I got there and I don’t know what happened to Senterion or Felinia. My clothes were filthy and my hair was matted. My body was sore but there was no visible bruising. I could hardly remember what had taken place so I sat there until I had some of my memory back about what had happened to me. How did we ever escape and where were my two companions now? What about the portal to OGS? Was it still there? These were the first questions to pop into my head as I replayed the events over in my mind.

I slowly stood up and walked away from the woods towards the street. The second I got out of the woods my brain wave communicator went off like crazy. I must of have over a thousand missed communications. The last one I ever opened was the one from my mom about the dishes in the sink. I was thankful to be back into a world I was so familiar with but somehow I was sad that I never got to see more of Our Great Society. I wanted to figure out what happened to my friends and I worried about Anastasi. What ever happened to her? What ever happened to me? These are questions I would forever grapple with. From that point forward, I knew nothing in my life would be the same.

By: Domanique Borges


Our Great Society- OGS


Philip Kubiak, Domanique Borges, Laila Metjahic


  1. Any citizen who follows the rules set forth by The Constitution Of OGS is considered a good and right citizen in the eyes of our governors, The Sanitation. All such good and right citizens are considered equal in OGS, regardless of sex, creed, height, or girth. The Professors are a force sworn to protect and respect all the good and right citizens of OGS as well as finding out any citizens who are not good or are not right.
  2. Each citizen shall belong to one of five districts of OGS: District Adrenaline, District Sadism, District Knowledge, District Authority, and District Sin. Citizens are required to keep within their district, associate amongst their district, live, sleep, and work in their district.
  3. Every citizen over the age of sixteen years must report to their assigned work stations at 800 hours and may not leave before 1800 hours. This time is reserved across all districts every day for every citizen to contribute to the well-being of OGS. Citizens under sixteen years must study their trade and the glory that is OGS during this time.
  4. Every citizen must spend the hours between 400 and 700 in their Vitality Chambers. This is necessary for each citizen to be properly rejuvenated after a night of excess and ready to serve OGS at full capacity.
  5. Outside of these times, citizens are required to participate in extreme activity as mandated by the heads of their own respective district. Any moderation will be met with severe punishment.
  6. Each citizen has the obligation to observe his fellow citizens and report any suspected moderation to a Professor.
  7. The Sanitation reserves the right to relocate any citizen who is not good or is not right to District Sadism so they may learn to adjust their behavior.
  8. Citizens must not speak of, or associate with, the sect of criminals known as “The Moderates.” Any knowledge of the whereabouts of any suspected member must be reported to a Professor immediately.
  9. There are to be five districts in OGS: District Adrenaline, District Sadist, District Knowledge, District Authority, and District Sin
  10. All citizens must follow the laws and statutes created by OGS
  11. All citizens are created equal under the law and must be treated as such.
  12. No citizen’s life is worth more than the other, and the loss of a life is not consequential.
  13. There is to be no established religion in OGS.
  14. Murder, theft, rape, and arson are morally apprehensible and banned.
  15. Any action seen as morally apprehensible by OGS or The Sanitation is prohibited.
  16. Any such action that violates the liberty of another citizen is prohibited.
  17. Any such action that physically harms another citizen is prohibited.
  18. Any violation of criminal law can and may result in the revocation of citizenship.
  19. Only citizens are guaranteed equal protection under the law and the benefits the law provides.
  20. The citizens of Our Great Society are only to engage in sexual intercourse or carnal activities if approved by the governors, The Sanitation.
  21. If approved for carnal activities by The Sanitation, citizens must commit at minimum three (3) of their nights a week after 1800 hours to engaging in carnal/sexual activities.
  22. If a citizen who has not been approved for carnal activities by The Sanitation, is caught engaging in sexual acts at any time they will be considered outside of the law and relocated to District Sadism as set forth by Section 7.
  23. Whether or not a citizen is permitted to engage in carnal activities no citizens are to engage in carnal activities outside of their districts.
  24. All students will be required to spend a minimum of 6 years within the Educational System of Our Great Society, The Direction
  25. Concerning matters of the health all citizens are to be examined one time per week by an appointed citizen from their district- known as the Health Guardian (HG). During this weekly examination all citizens will be examined for any defects physical or otherwise that may deem them unfit for our glorious society.
  26. As per moderation is not allowed it is absolutely necessary each citizen be implanted with a small device that will detect the adrenaline level of citizens during the hours which work is not being performed, this device will also be monitored by the appointed health guardian of their district during the weekly health check, who will report lower levels of adrenaline to The Sanitation.

Our dystopia, Our Great Society (OGS), is riddled with numerous laws created to govern society. The primary objective of the government, referred to as The Sanitation, and its laws is to ensure that each citizen lives entirely without moderation for a period of the day. After centuries of dissatisfaction with their mundane lives, The Sanitation rose in power over the nation. The government has now been created in order to prevent this same dissatisfaction and boredom that characterized daily life throughout the previous 21 centuries.

The community is divided into five districts: District Sadist, District Knowledge, District Authority, District Sin, and District Adrenaline. Each society has developed their own interpretation regarding how to live life to the extreme. Those who break any law are sent to District Sadist, where the sadistic followers use the criminals as a means to pursue their extreme desires. The punishment may be extreme, but that is the aim of the government. District Knowledge pursues intellectual studies and art to the extreme, while District Authority contains the rule-enforcing body, called The Professors. The Professors serve as middlemen between the other districts and OGS. They serve as the enforcers of the law and watchmen over the citizens. District Sin is a society of those who pursue their extreme life following the seven deadly sins: lust, greed, envy, gluttony, sloth, pride, and wrath. District Adrenaline is a society of thrill-seekers who pursue daredevil acts as a means of extremism. Citizens are required to keep within their district, associate amongst their district, live, sleep, and work only within their district.

Each community lives independently in harmony beneath one overarching authoritarian regime, referred to as The Sanitation. Each citizen works at a job determined best suited for them by OGS and performs these tasks from hours 800 to 1800. From hours 1800-400 each citizen is required to engage in extreme activity. This workday serves as a reminder to citizens of how life was before OGS took control and perpetuates their desire to release through extreme activity at the end of the day.

Laws and extreme activity are created and enforced by The Sanitation; with each patrolman called a “Professor”. Each citizen is obligated to observe his fellow citizen and report any suspected moderation to a Professor. The Sanitation reserves the right to relocate any citizen who is not good or is not right to District Sadism for behavior readjustment. Citizens must not speak of, or associate with, the sect of underground criminals known as “The Moderates.” Any knowledge of the whereabouts of any suspected member must be reported to a Professor immediately. Any moderation will be met with severe punishment. All citizens are bound to follow the laws and statues created by the OGS. There are no elections, and there is no system of private property. The society is a communist, totalitarian oligarchy run by The Sanitation. This does not mean, however, that the citizens are unhappy or dissatisfied with their government or lives.

Our Great Society exists many years into the future, and it funnels most of its resources into research and technological development in order to increase the efficiency of the manufacturing it heavily relies on for economic wealth. In addition to industrial innovations, Our Great Society uses new technology as a primary means of controlling its citizens.

One of the several scientific breakthroughs that has allowed for the success of Our Great Society is the ability to clone. There are complex facilities located in each district where humans are produced by the thousands every day. These clones do not necessarily all look alike or have the same personality; each clone inherits random genes from a master gene bank that is separate for each district. There are some traits that every person has in common, such as sterility and a penchant for excess. Humans in our society skip early stages of development and are cloned into ten year old children, with each person having basic language and life skills already programmed into their brains. They are born as empty shells; the school system they attend for the first six years of their lives will complete them with an assigned role and a passion for extremity, often through the use of propaganda.

Cloning is understood by all citizens as a huge benefit to OGS. An explanation lies in the fact that the society suffers from an extremely high rate of mortality. This is not because of disease, malnutrition, or killings, but actually comes as a result of OGS encouraging extreme lifestyles. Accidental deaths are a commonplace occurrence across all districts. Citizens of District Sin may drink in excess until their liver fails to function. Citizens of District Adrenaline may die in freak accidents. Suicide is also something that is not forbidden in OGS, it is seen as another extreme means to an end. These kinds of ethics inevitably lead to a shortened average life span in addition to a high rate of mortality. A sizable proportion of OGS citizens die everyday, and they all die young.

Thus it was at one point decided by the Sanitation that large-scale cloning was necessary for the constant replenishment of OGS’ population. The crucial block in cloning research before this was an argument over the ethics of the practice. Once OGS declared its necessity, the science was quickly developed and perfected. Cloning is now a vital aspect of the society as it allows its rulers to control the amount of citizens living in each district. With no need for reproduction, citizens are sterilized and have no need for any structured family.

Another facet of technology heavily relied upon in our society is the vitality chamber. All citizens are required to spend three hours every night inside of this device, which is present in every home across all districts. The user of a vitality chamber is placed in an extreme state of rest in which this short amount of time rejuvenates the body and mind with the same effectiveness as would eight hours of sleep. This machine allows a vast majority of a citizen’s hourly activity in the day to be spent working or occupying themselves in their respective district’s necessary activities.

The use of these vitality chambers was found to be of such benefit to OGS that its use was quickly mandated and written into the constitution. Since all citizens need only three hours for their sleep cycle, hourly activities in a day could be standardized throughout all districts. It was thus declared that the period between 400 hours and 700 hours should be spent in vitality chambers, and the period between 800 hours and 1800 hours is the designated work day for all citizens. All other hours are left for citizens to follow the rules of the constitution as they wish. This daily routine was developed by the Sanitation to maximize production while simultaneously allowing citizens free time in their districts.

Our Great Society places a heavy emphasis on their manufacturing industry. The focus of our society on large-scale production contributes to OGS enjoying a strong, constantly expanding economy. Most people work in huge factory complexes, where they manufacture goods for use in the districts and for trade amongst other countries outside of our society. Other, more competent citizens are trained from a young age to devote their work hours to science or engineering in order to continue the development of the technological advances that are crucial to maintaining order in OGS.

The working life of a manufacturing employee is not something to be envied. The work is incredibly labor intensive, there are long hours to be worked without breaks, and there is no possibility of advancement. Factory life is also very dull and monotonous, as the routine is the same for those ten hours of work every single day. The working lifestyle of most OGS citizens is extremely undesirable, and this is not by mistake. Herein lies one of the great secrets as to the economic success enjoyed by OGS: the laws demanding the exercise of extremity are designed to distract each citizen from their unsatisfying work lives. A good and just citizen of OGS is one who serves in his industry for ten hours every day and is too distracted with satisfying the extreme desires instilled in their minds by their government to notice the terrible conditions of their lives. Anybody who acts otherwise is found out and severely punished, and anybody who dies in the process is quickly replaced. Thus production is kept at the highest possible level at all times, and Our Great Society prospers thanks to the manipulation of its citizens.

Our Great Society owes much of its success and efficiency to the use of several controversial practices, such as cloning and harrowing work conditions. Another scientific breakthrough that allows OGS to prosper is the recycling of the human body. A high mortality rate inevitably leads to an abundance of corpses to dispose of. Instead of burying the dead in the ground or cremating them, their bodies are processed by the Sanitation, harvested of their proteins and nutrients, and repackaged to be sold as quality cuts of meat. This all ensures the nutrition of OGS citizens, eliminates the need for domestication, and takes advantage of a resource that is readily available. The possibility of citizens questioning the ethics of such recycling is what has lead Our Great Society to keeping this miracle of science a secret. The product is simply labeled as a certain cut of red or white meat and citizens of OGS may obliviously enjoy their hearty dinners. This is an example of how the Sanitation will set any rules to manipulate and control the citizens of OGS, even if it goes against the very same values of honesty that citizens are told to regard highly.

Human rights are convoluted in our great society. All citizens are created equal under the law and must be treated as such. All citizens have a duty to respect their neighbor and are obliged to do no harm to another citizen. No citizen’s life is worth more than the other, and the loss of a life is not consequential. Human life in our great society is disposable and the loss of a life is met with celebration, awe, or apathy, but never sadness. Actions that violate the liberty of another citizen is prohibited. Additionally, any action that physically harms another citizen is prohibited. Only citizens are guaranteed equal protection under the law and the benefits and securities the law provides. Violation of criminal law can and may result in the revocation of citizenship. Those who lose their citizenship are sent to District Sadist for rehabilitation. Those who are not citizens may be physically harmed or treated unequally under the law by citizens of Our Great Society, or by The Sanitation and Professors. Citizenship may potentially be reinstated after a sufficient period of correction within District Sadist, but it is not guaranteed.

Citizens within Our Great Society share a strong code of ethics and morality. All actions declared immoral by The Sanitation are hereby banned in the society and may be treated with punitive measures. Honesty is one of the most highly regarded moral standards within Our Great Society. Without a strong code of honesty, society would fall apart and citizens would not be able to trust one another in their daily life. In addition, honesty is required in order to continue the system of citizen’s watching one another as they ensure that each citizen is living to the extreme. Theft, murder, and all acts that violate the liberty of another citizen or physically harm another are regarded as morally apprehensible in this society. While The Sanitation maintains complete control over the population, no citizen is morally allowed to assert themselves in a position above another citizen.

Religion in Our Great Society is abolished. Before The Sanitation took control, religion served as a stratifying force in society and created a sense of superiority amongst certain groups. This stratification and feelings of superiority violate the strong system of equality created by OGS. Thus, living as a brotherhood with citizens sharing all goods and wealth in common, there is no room for religious beliefs. The only religion heard of in Our Great Society is that which belongs to the group of fugitives known as “The Moderates.” The Moderates seek to destroy all that we have created in trying to live fulfilling, extreme lives by doing all things through moderation. The Moderates hold that balance is the key to a fulfilling life. There is no place for them in our society and any knowledge of their activity or whereabouts must be divulged to Division Authority within 48 hours. Any citizen who fails to do so is liable for treason and will immediately be sent to District Sadist for rehabilitation without a trial.

Since there is cloning in OGS there is no need for health checks for the purpose of checking for presence of disease or other gene mutations that may occur with old age, during childbirth, or during conception between opposite sexes. However, it is imperative that the Sanitation is able to bring to justice any member of the society that does not engage in extreme duties every night. Although citizens are expected to be vigilant and report any signs of behavior that indicate another citizen is not participating in their extreme duties, the Sanitation cannot expect that citizens will always be aware of the lack of extreme behaviors in others, as they will be consumed with their own extreme activities.Therefore they employ the help of trusted Health Guardians- appointed by the Sanitation. The Sanitation monitors the Health Guardians work ongoingly but it the Health Guardians role to be proactive and diligent in their very trusted role. Subsequently, each student that successfully graduates out of the education system of Our Great Society is implanted with a special chip, the size of exactly 6 ½ rice grains, that monitors and stores the data about their adrenaline levels for the past 8 days.

The major role of the Health Guardian in each society is to check the levels of these chips referred to as “Membranes”, and report directly to a Professor any findings of a citizen who has had adrenaline levels lower than expected during times of expected extreme behavior. If caught with lower than expected levels the Health Guardian will contact a professor in their direct vicinity when the findings are discovered. Following this the Health Guardian must complete a full report outlining their findings that will be submitted to the Sanitation for usage during the prosecution of the citizen in question, before they are sent to the District Sadist as prescribed by the Great Constitution of OGS.

The Health Guardian in each district will work an additional two hours per day because of the overwhelming population in Our Great Society. However the Health Guardian will still be responsible for completing their extreme duties at the end of each shift. This causes Health Guardians themselves to perish at a quicker rate than the other citizens, and on average each district has a new Health Guardian every year because of the amounts of work they are completing each day to check all of the citizens on a weekly basis.

The citizens of OGS appreciate the work of the Health Guardian in their individual district and are thankful to the Sanitation for providing them free health care. They are unaware of the many checks that are happening during these visits but do understand the importance of attending the appointments each week. The citizens who are taken in by the Sanitation for lack of extreme behavior are not missed because people are always dying in OGS. This helps in the Sanitations efforts of covering up the true purpose of the frequent health checks, so citizens are not aware that this is an actual spot check for ensuring extreme behavior.

Another role of the Health Guardian is to ensure that the citizens who have passes for carnal activities don’t become infected with a virus called Revelations (RLS) that allows for reproduction. Although the citizens are cloned and unable to reproduce there was a rare case where a male citizen and one of his female partners were able to conceive. The cause was never determined and there have been no more cases, but, the Sanitation is convinced there was a sort of new growth of the reproductive organs. Of course this was a cause for great concern, causing the sanitation to do all that they can to proactively prevent and detect this regrowth phenomenon from reoccurring.

The education system in OGS is known as The Direction. All citizens, when created at the age of ten years old, are to be educated by the Direction for a period of no less than six years and no more than six years and six months. Students are called Lost Ones. Lost Ones who stay  in for the longer period of time may show potential in more than one area of passion and therefore need more time to be sorted. Otherwise the longer period may be for Lost Ones who have not assimilated well and are on course to being exiled from Our Great Society and sent to the Sadism District and later to be consumed by the remaining children.

During the six years in the education system children will be educated on matters concerning the extremist lifestyle. The children are to spend ten hours per day focusing on their education just as the adults in the society spend ten hours working. Two hours of each day will be used specifically for the training of life in a specific district. Year one the two hours will focus on the District Sadism. This is helpful because if a Lost One does not end up in the District Sadism more time has elapsed and it is easier to “help” them forget what has been learned about this area of the society. Year two is spent focusing on the District Sin, followed by the District Knowledge, which is followed by District Adrenaline, and lastly District Authority.

The other 8 hours of the day which the children are required to be engaged in educational activities are spent on different brainwashing activities that have been approved by the Sanitation. These activities help to shape the minds of the children around the many ideas of Our Great Society. The sanitation also requires that the Lost Ones spend three hours focused on the constitution every day for the entire six years they are in the education system. The Sanitation believes it is important for each member of the society to know their rights, and restrictions. In this light each citizen is born into the society with the laws ingrained in them. So there be no confusion down the line in case of some unfortunate event in the future where a citizen violates the laws.

The Direction is responsible for helping Lost Ones find a path to follow once in the society. Mentors who are known as Enemies are there for guidance and help with adjusting with the many ideas that the citizens of Our Great Society subscribe to. This is very useful in ensuring that the Lost Ones are being properly brainwashed and assimilated into the ways of the society as Enemies are required to report back to the Sanitation if they believe that a student will not be susceptible to the ways of Our Great Society. These Lost Ones which have been identified as potential non-followers are then put on watch and closely monitored in case it be necessary to eradicate the child.

The Direction plays a huge role in shaping the society and is closely monitored by the leaders of the Sanitation for issues and for quality and assurance purposes. The majority of the Lost Ones actually do enjoy the environment in The Direction as it is made to be otherwise a friendly place outside of the strict learning environment. The Lost Ones also know they could be separated at some point so they really do enjoy their time together.


The Giver- Lois Lowry

The Giver was written in 1994 by author Lois Lowry. She is an esteemed young adult/ children’s writer and has written over 40 books including the Giver. Her background is very important to the story of the Giver as it shows us where the inspiration for such a book would come from. Although it is often depicted as Utopian/Dystopian literature she wrote the book as an actual thought experiment after an episode dealing with her elder father who was at the time losing his memory. She quickly rejects the idea of the book being a Dystopian novel saying: “I didn’t think of it as futuristic or dystopian or science fiction or fantasy.”[1]  After realizing that her dad had no memory of her sister and her passing away at the age of 28 to cancer, she “…began to think about writing a book about people who had found a way to manipulate human memory, so they wouldn’t have to remember anything bad.”[2]

Lowry was born in March of 1937, making her well into her 50’s at the time of The Giver’s publication. She grew up changing schools constantly, because of her dad’s occupation as an Army Dentist. Lowry found herself having to deal with the many nuances of the different schools she spent time in. Only to figure it all out, and to have to move on to the next school where things were always undoubtedly different. She didn’t actually become an author until the age of 40.  After she was already married, had four children, and divorced in 1977, actually the same year her first book, A Summer to Die, was published. This book actually mirrored her own life as it is about a young girl who has to deal with the death of her sister to cancer. Lowry herself lost her sister to cancer when she was 25 and her sister was 28 as I mentioned briefly.  Lowry says of the books she writes that they are about “the same general theme: the importance of human connections.”[3] They center on “that of the role that we humans play in the lives of our fellow beings.” [4]

With that said, it is still easily understood why the book still falls under the genre of Dystopian Literature as the books many commenters would suggest- myself included although my personal thought is it seems at times more Utopian than Dystopian. Her explanations back it up actually, as Utopian and Dystopian literature is usually based out of the need or want for an alternative way of life. They are thought experiments, what ifs so to speak. That is exactly what writing The Giver was for Lois Lowry. It was a thought experiment; it was a want for an alternative way of living because the way of living we know may sometimes be too harsh.

In the society that Lowry describes in the Giver there is no hunger, no pain, no fear, no illnesses, or conflict. There is no money in the society and no class structure, every citizen is equal and there is the characteristic of “Sameness”, which eliminates any racism or discrimination. The citizens are led by the Committee of Elders and the Chief Elder (a position that is newly elected every 10 years), following strict rules that govern not just their language, occupation, roles in the society, but also the way their families are structured. The family unit as we know it is dissolved. In order to be chosen for a spouse a citizen must apply to The Committee and in the eyes of The Committee they must have the emotional capacity to connect to others in order to actually be assigned a partner.

Children are not conceived in the conventional way by the paired husband and wife, again they must submit an application and wait for approval from the committee before receiving a child. Fifty newborns are allowed each year and they are delivered through birthmothers and then given to a family that has been approved after 1 year of being nurtured by the Nurturers- a group of nursery workers essentially, who are responsible for the emotional and physical needs of all the children under the age of one in the society. If a child does not develop well in that first year they are released from the community and the child is not given a name or a family. However, most children are assimilated into the society well and the December after their birth the child takes part in the age ceremonies where they are given to a family approved for a child and given a name.

Each family is allowed at most one son and one daughter. Every December as the children age they complete another major milestone. The nines (9 year old children) are given their first haircuts and given their bicycle- which is the mode of transportation in the society used by every citizen over the age of nine. The ceremonies end for the children after they become twelves and are given their role in the society. This role is carefully selected for the child after being observed by the Elders and they decide in what ways their personalities and talents align to specific roles in the society. There are many roles or jobs such as Doctor, Laborer, Birthmothers (who conceive 1 child per year for three years and then spend the rest of their “careers” as Laborers), Nurturers, roles in the Department of Justice, Fish Hatchery Attendant, Assistant Director of Recreation, and many more roles that each play a part towards helping the society run smoothly.

We start out meeting the main character Jonas who is anxious about his upcoming age ceremony in December, as this year he will become a Twelve. We are also introduced to his father who is a Nurturer in the community, his mother who holds a role in the Department of Justice, and his younger sister Lily who is a Seven. This would be his last year of being a part of the age ceremonies and he would be given his role in the society. These ceremonies are very important in the society as they essentially decide the lives of all the members of the society in the Giver. The first few chapters are about Jonas and his apprehension for the upcoming ceremony. We learn about the rules in the society and we are painted a wonderful picture of what life is like in this Utopian Community that takes very good care of its members in return for their cooperation with the rules that are imposed on them by The Committee. The citizens do not lie and if they do act outside of the rules such as insensitive chatter- calling attention to the things that are different about others- they are chastised. After three infractions a citizen will be released from the community. “For a contributing citizen to be released [from the community] was a final decision, a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure.” The only time release was looked upon as a ceremony or time for celebration is for the release of an elder in the community, who had lived a full life that was well lived.

By the time Jonas is ready for his assignment we have learned much about the government (The Committee of Elders), the rules and the norms of the society, and the family structure. The family is constructed of a mother, father, brother and sister; however they are not biologically a family as they have all been placed together strategically by the Elders in the community. They are birthed by birthmothers who do not take care of or get to know their own children. It is quite the opposite actually as birthmothers do not become a part of family units. Other things also become evident, like the strong hold that the Elders have on the thinking and the behavior of the citizens. Through sometimes what I consider passive aggressive tactics they get citizens to do as they are told and the citizens seem to truly believe that to act outside of these rules and the norms put in place by the elders, is a crime of sorts; even a sin.

During the ceremony Jonas is anxiously waiting for his turn to be given an assignment but has to wait through the ceremonies of the 18 other children before him as he was the 19th child born the year he was born. He learns the roles of his two close friends and it is finally his turn to learn his role! Yet he is passed over and the Elders do not immediately give him his role. At the end of the ceremony the elders explain that Jonas has not been given a role but has been chosen for the highly respected role of the Receiver! This is an extraordinary event and causes for a speech by the Elder explaining the new appointment.

He is given the rules for his new role as the Receiver of the community and he is taken aback by their briefness (he had been given only 8 rules that fit on a single page to while others were give thick packets to go with their new jobs in the society), and he is shocked that he is told he is permitted to tell lies which is strictly forbidden in this community besides he has never told a lie in his life.

Jonas immediately begins to train with the current Receiver an elder of the community, who asks to be called the Giver from now on since Jonas is now the Receiver. The Giver has the memories of the past stored within him. He has the knowledge of the world before them- not just the world that the community knows of, but of the world that they are being deprived of. He houses within him the memories of all that has happened in the world up to that point. It is his role to use that knowledge to guide the elders of the community in their decision making and to shield the rest of the community from the knowledge as well. Through his training with the Giver, Jonas begins to receive the memories of the past.

Jonas is startled by the many things he learns about his community and his life. Jonas becomes aware that neither he nor the rest of the community is able to see in color, he begins to learn that they do not understand the true feelings of love, happiness, pain, and hurt. He begins to understand that his community is being deprived of the basic value of life because they are being shielded from reality by the extreme rules put in place by the elders. He also learns of the secrets that the Elders are keeping from the community and of the dark and sinister ways that were unapparent to him before his training with the Giver.

Jonas not only has seconds thoughts about his community because of what he is learning from the training with the Giver but he also starts to dislike his own father because of the truths he learns out about his role in the community. He learns that there is more going on than he first assumed about his community and when a small baby named Gabe, that his father has been caring for is set to be released because he has not adjusted well in the community Jonas decides to escape.

With the memories that the Giver has given him he hopes to survive his attempt to escape the community he once thought that he loved. Jonas will continue to reflect on the community from which he is trying to escape as he makes his journey out into the unknown world of Elsewhere. As in much dystopian/utopian literature the community is separated from the outside world with a forest that has not been ventured in to. The book ends with Jonas trying to escape and us hoping he makes it out and somehow finds a better place for himself and the small baby Gabe…

Class themes:

Similar themes to those discussed in class are the idea and the role of the family unit. Here the family unit is created through strategic placement by the elders after couples have been together for more than three years. The couples do not have sex and the feelings of sexuality are repressed through pills that are taken after the age of puberty. They must apply for children- and only 50 children are created a year.

Another class theme is the ideal role of the government. Here we see the Elders and the Committee in this society as the governing class that rules in this society. The use and the notion of the “great lie” that is told in order to create a sense of reasoning behind their actions. The expect that there citizens behave in a ethical way that constitutes everything from the way they speak, to the way they dress. These things are monitored through the watchful eye of the elders and because everyone in the community buys into the laws and the order set forth for them.

The relationship between the sexes is not that of love but one of necessity. There is no love involved physically or emotionally. There is no religion in the society and there seems to be no idea of God or a higher being.

Although not explicitly mentioned it seems that there is some technical advances they have been able to make in order to have women reproducing without having sex (the birthmothers). It seems technology is also responsible for the fact that they are unable to see in color and the suppression of certain feelings.






V is For Vendetta

The movie V is for Vendetta was released in movie theaters on March 17, 2006. Directed by James McTeigue and produced by Joel Silver, Lana (formerly Lawrence) Wachowski , and Andy Wachowski, the film is based on a comic book of the same name by David Lloyd and Alan Moore, although both asked not to be credited. The movie takes place in the future and is set in the United Kingdom which is the last surviving country as the rest of the world is in turmoil including what in the movie is called the former US, the United States.

Immediately you can tell that the society is a dystopian one where the government, known as the “party”, is a fascist one that rules under strict orders and curfews for the citizens. There are not only these rules that the society must follow, there is also the British Television Network that is run by the government and is used to instill fear and to outright lie in order to control the citizens. Citizens who disobey the orders of the government risk being arrested by the Fingermen (a separate government run police), and sent to concentration camps.

Another way the “party” controls the society is by using listening devices to spy on people’s conversations and figure out if they are actually believing the lies that they are being told.  This fear and the cruel nature of the “party” keep the citizens in order. There are loudspeakers on every corner of the town, that frequently remind citizens of their curfew and the other laws that are imposed on them as a country.

When the movie comes on we can hear a voiceover of the main character Evey- played by Natalie Portman saying:

“Remember, remember, the fifth of

November, the gunpowder treason and

Plot.  I know of no reason why the

Gunpowder treason should ever be


She continues to speak in the background while we are shown the story of Guy Fawkes, a man who threatened to blow up the House of Parliament in 1605 but failed. Instead he was caught and killed.

Evey continues to speak:

“He was caught in the cellars with enough gunpowder to level most of London.”

“Sometimes I wonder where we would be if he hadn’t failed.  I wonder if it would have mattered.  I suppose the answer is in the rhyme.  More than the man, what we must remember is the plot itself.  For in the plot we find more than just a man, we find the idea of that man, the spirit of that man, and that is what we must never forget. This, then, is the story of that idea, of that spirit that began with an anarchist’s plot four hundred years ago.”

At this point the scene changes and she continues to speak in the background now speaking of her childhood and when things in the world changed. She speaks of how the society in the United Kingdom got to where it is “They offered such a simple deal; give up control and we will restore order.”…

After we are given the full background we meet Evey,( Natalie Portman) who is in her house watching the British Network Television station (where she also works), and getting prepared to go outside. We learn from the broadcaster “FATE” the date is November 4th in the year 2019 and it seems Evey is getting ready for an important date perhaps. Simultaneously, who we later find out to be V, is in his house getting prepared for what also seems to be an important date and is also watching the British Network Television while he gets ready.

Evey then leaves her house and while going to her destination is targeted by the Fingermen for being outside after her curfew. She gets into a fight with them and they are just about to rape her when “V” played by the actor Hugo Weaving, comes into the scene and kills the Fingermen. At this point he asks her to join him as he is a performer and wants her to hear his music. :

Fast forward and the next day V is able to break into the British News Network where Evey works and he broadcasts a message to the society over the emergency channels:

His goal throughout the movie is to kill off as many corrupt political officials and leaders to not only seek out his own revenge but in order to help rile up the citizens in London. He keeps Evey locked up in his home as he fears they may try to capture her in order to find him. She is later captured and sent to a concentration camp where she is tortured in order to hopefully obtain information about V. She becomes a different person during this time and not only transforms physically but also emotionally and mentally.

V’s pursuit is simple he hopes to succeed where Guy Hawkes failed. The film follows the events that take place over the year and is filled with suspense as Evey is catapulted into the events of V’s journey and is desperately trying to understand if this man who saved her when they first met is actually a friend or enemy. She struggles with who he is and who she is, while we see V is always determined and strong.

We are lead through the story of a corrupted government and the potential overturning of that government. It all depends on V and if he can go through with his plans.  The dystopian society is based on many of the themes we have discussed in the course. Fear and Government are the main ones that come through as the citizens are in fear of the government and are ruled by that fear.

The notion of the great lie also is evident as the government has lied about many of the events that have taken place in history and events currently taken place in their lives. They lie not only about their country but other countries as well. Devising chaos and turmoil is another way that they try to convince citizens of their need for the “Party”.  The end of the movie brings all of these themes together and we learn the final fate of Evey, V, the “Party”, and the dystopian society they live in.

Fahrenheit 451

The film Fahrenheit 451, directed by François Truffaut and distributed by Universal Pictures is an adaption of the dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953. The film depicts the life in the world of a dystopian society that is ruled primarily by the Firemen- who exists to ensure that there are no books in the society. Those caught with books are sent to jail. Any books that are found in searches or during raids are publicly destroyed and burned by the Firemen in order to show the rest of the society what will happen if they are caught. The Firemen rely heavily on random searches and the citizens to report if someone is known to be in possession of the forbidden fruit in this society- books!

We learn early on and throughout the film from the main character Montag and the Fire Captain- Captain, that books are the source of unhappiness for people and leave them longing for things that are impossible to achieve in their own lives. The society instead relies on the news and other television programs which are broadcasted in their homes over wall screens (modern day flat screen televisions mounted on the wall). The newspapers are not news at all but instead are comic strips filled with pictures but no words.

Throughout the film we learn more about the cause of the destruction of any and all books primarily from the things that the Captain says in conversation with the main character Montag. We learn the following about the harsh nature of books and the societies view on them:

  • They make people unhappy about their own lives
  • They make people want their lives to be something they cannot be
  • There is nothing good in books and we can expect to gain nothing from them
  • He criticizes the philosophers and the fact that the work of philosophers is all contradictory
  • The Captain criticizes biographies and autobiographies- saying the authors only want to satisfy their own vanity- they are looking to stand out from the crowd
  • Reading is a form of separating people and a way of creating inequality

The main character slowly begins to have second thoughts about the society he is living in and does the unthinkable- he reads a book! After this he is faced with many internal challenges and comes to realize he is very unhappy with his own life and his wife Linda, who is very much immersed in the dystopian culture of the society. As he continues to read he no longer relates to the world he lives in. He also no longer fears the tactics of that are used by the Firemen and the Captain who are the source of government in this society. The way that they are able to control the other citizens with fear of the knowledge in books, Montag  instead is able to embrace the unknown and yearns for another way of life. Once he found knowledge in the words of the books he read he was able to break away from the fear.

In the end Montag is found out by his co-workers and is forced to escape the society he lives in. He ventures out to another town far from his own home. He heads to the town of the book people. In the new society he arrives in, which can also be seen as a dystopia, each member has committed to memory one book which they can recite from memory. This is a way to preserve the books in the world without risks of being caught or risk of the books being taken away from them. Instead they learn and memorize each book and burn the books as to not be caught. The irony is that in one society they are afraid and scared of the books and the power/knowledge within them on the other hand you have this separate alternate society where the members are slaves to books and do nothing but spend time trying to preserve them.  (Link to full film)


Charles Fourier: 1772-1837

Charles Fourier was born in 1772 and lived until 1837. He was the influencer of many utopian societies that emerged in the US around mid-1800. He influenced the likes of Karl Marx and also Albert Brisbane, who influenced the Brook Farm utopian society in Massachusetts.

During Fourier’s lifetime he did not witness any of the societies or communities that that followed his teachings, which were called associations, but he did die trying to acquire funding to build one of his very own and was in the process of doing so when he died. The communities he inspired were called associations and followed what was known as associationism.


Charles Fourier was born in Besancon, France to parents Charles and Marie Fourier.  His dad was a wealthy cloth merchant. When he died in Paris in 1837 he was regarded as “Near illiterate”.

Throughout his life Fourier resented the intellects of his time, because they ignored his ideas. Some of his more fantastic ideas about the future of society were people would grow to a height of 7 ft., live to be 144 years old, have powerful tails, and lastly he believed that inevitably there would be a communal association of people who worked and lived together- all a part of the human future.

He had strong beliefs about women and the rights of women. In 1837 he coined the term Feminisme. He also disagreed heavily with the treatment of European women and the family structure (perhaps why in his ideas and theories he later suggested women would have 4 husbands and have a different family role).  As early as 1808 he was quoted saying “level of development of any civilization could be determined by the extent to which women are liberated”



Fourier’s governing philosophy comes out of his books which start with the book Theory of Four Movements. Fourier believed that the structure of economics, politics, and the social system, – prohibited the pursuit of God-given passions. This prevented people from achieving a state of universal harmony. He believed that through an understanding of the process Fourier called “social science” new economic and social formations called associations could be formed.

Fourier believed there were 32 stages of society. He believed he was living in the 5th stage Modern Society. Modern society was based on capital and labor- the era of the salesman- selling goods through the work of the middleman – he called this civilization and blamed it on the cause of fraud, waste, human unhappiness. The stage Modern society would be followed by Stage 6 when Modern Society vanishes and Guarantism follows. It is based upon principles of “universal insurance” guarantee of employment, labor, and security of capital. Stage 7 Simple Association was based on the cooperative enterprise of like bodies of farmers, artisans, etc. as distinct groups. Stage 8 Compound Association/ Harmonism was the stage where all pursuits would join in large associations shattering economic lines

Charles Fourier believed there were scientific laws which governed social interactions. The natural passions of man would, if properly channeled, result in social harmony- the Phalanx.  For these ideas and beliefs he created Fourier believed he was as important as Isaac Newton for his discovery of the fundamental source that drives social development.

12 Basic Passions of humanity– grouped around three branches of a passional tree (luxurious passions, affective passions, and distributive passions) Fourier believed that this is how the future world would be shaped

Passional attraction/ System of Passions

12 passions:

5 passions of the senses- (sight, hearing, touch, scent, taste)

4 passions of the soul (friendship, love, ambition, parenthood)

3 passions that related to work (love of variety, rivalry, conspiracy)

Fourierism Structure based on class themes: Economics/ Family and Reproduction/ Political and Government/ Ecology

Economics – economic output in a Fourier community comprised of:

    • Labor
    • Capital
    • Talent

Each of these parts was important to production and needed to be compensated for prosperity of the association. Compensation would be based on the time of labor, difficulty of task, desirability of the task, and level of skill needed for completing the job.

Family and Reproduction (Social Life) – Phalanxes would be made up of 1620 people of various social classes. They would be arranged in occupational series with major division between industries.  Producers and agrarians separate from each other. Divided first by job, then divided in smaller groups to conduct various aspects of work. There would however be the ability for mobility between groups according to personal wants.

Political / Government– Fourier never suggest any government and suggested voluntary participation for the phalanxes to work. Emulation of the initial community would be inspired by the first community and spread because of the benefits that the community would have and produce.

Ecology– because of the eventual international spread of Fourierism, Charles believed war would be eliminated in our society and armies would arise only for large scale projects that would engage in mainly ecological projects such as climate transformation.

WHY FOURIERISM- Charles Fourier’s ideas for Fourierism arise from a need for a better work environment and liberty for all. Although he felt industry could produce wealth he thought its methods were alienating. The Phalanx would be a type of work unit in which work was distributed on a rational and rotating basis. Fourier thought that the phalanx would produce triple the products of industry because of the industrial attraction and concord of the passions in the Phalanx communities. Fourier thought that his ideas would produce liberty for all. He felt liberty if not enjoyed by all is unreal and with Fourierism we would be able to secure liberty.

Fourierism  – PowerPoint with photos.

Deceit in the New Atlantis

” Therefore in regard of our Deliverance , and our danger present, and to come, let us looke up to God, and every man reforme his own wayes. Besides we are come here amongst a Christian People, full of piety and Humanity: Let us not bring that Confusion of face upon our selves, as to show our vices, or unworthiness before them. Yet there is more. For they have been Commamement, (though in forme of Courtesie) Cloistered us within these walls, for three days: who knoweth, whether it be not, to take some tast of our manners and conditions? And if they find them bad, to banish us strait-wayes; if good to give us further time. for these Men, that they have given us for Attendance, may withall have an eye upon us. Therefore for Gods love, and as we love the weale of our Soules and Bodies, let us so behave our selves; as wee may be at peace with God, and may finde grace in the Eyes of this People.”

I know this is a long quote, however I wanted to capture what I found to be deceit by the men arriving in this new land. For them it was very important to behave in a manner that they thought would be accepted not because they wanted to show their thanks but because they felt they were somehow being deceived or maybe even being watched after in expectation of finding flaws in their character and personality. For them it was important to hopefully gain the acceptance of the Christian people as to hopefully be later on accepted by God. Their thinking was very deceitful not just in thinking that they could deceive the people who were helping them but to think that this would somehow help them gain acceptance of God- did they think they could deceive God as well?

I thought this was very interesting as I read because I never assumed the purpose of the Christian people was to deceive the men but to be cautious of their land and of their people. However, their kind, although cautious gestures, were looked at as a ploy to watch over the men and uncover their true personality and character by the men who arrived.

Domanique Borges

Sunny Day- Sesame Street

I think the simplicity of the song definitely speaks to its Utopian nature. The lyrics ask us to imagine we are on our way to where the “air is sweet”.  I think it describes a place that is based on the Utopian impulse, that is, for us to imagine a place that is better than the one we now live in. The composer of the song is Joe Raposo. He wrote the lyrics with two other men, Jon Stone and Bruce Hart.   “Stone considered the song a musical masterpiece and a lyrical embarrassment” [Michael Davis (2008). Street gang: The complete history of Sesame Street. Viking Penguin. pp. 159–160.] 

When I think of Sesame  Street I think the entire idea is bases on a Utopian society based on education, fun, singing, friendship, and learning among children, adults, and animals and creatures unknown. In this society problems are solved together and the theme song for Sesame is a great representation of Utopian music in contemporary society. It is based on “utopianism”,  as described in the Utopian Reader as “social dreaming”.  The words of the song describes the search for the place- a magical one. The listener understands that Sesame Street is a happier place, a better place than the one they are in now. 

Domanique Borges