Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Pillars of Society

            Books like Divergent and Hunger Games have been ruling the Young Adult book scene lately (and by lately, I mean before John Green), and, from what I've seen, they're very traditionally Dystopian with a Twilight(-ian) twist to them*. These Dystopian worlds they've created are...well, they're different, and seem miserable to us who aren't used to it, but for people living in the Hunger Games/ Divergent/ The Giver dystopia, it must be quite normal and what they're used to. Maybe if people from the 50s (supposedly the Golden Age of American Government) or even the 70s read a book describing our society, they'd be a bit upset themselves.
           If anyone were to write this hypothetical book about American Society in the early 21st century, what would be the main theme?
1984, by George Orville, had a theme of government spying on society all the time while Hunger Games had a theme of working class people (Districts 1 - 12) being forced to live amongst themselves with no prospect of raising their standard of living. What kept society in the book 1984 was the lack of connection between people which was created by the paranoia of always being spied on. In Hunger Games, the pillar keeping their society up was the absolute belief that one could only do for a living what one's father used to do; the belief that things must, and can, never change.


What keeps our society going? What is the never ending cycle of our society? What are some beliefs that can never be broken?


I mean, in comparison, our world seems perfect right? Yeah, there are some orthodox, homophobic people, but change can be brought about by protesting and court rulings....I mean Gay Rights became a thing recently right? We have a lot of change.
But what is one thing that can never ever change? What has always been a part of society, what is one thing that, coming to think of it, we don't need at all but we still have?


Trends in society...Trends in society...What are they?


In a world of change there can be no trends. But that's the answer to my question.
In a world of change.
Change is a trend in our world. Everyone is looking to change, to upgrade to the next level; everyone is ambitious.


        It's the need to succeed. Yes, that is what keeps society the way it is today.
           Our society today is defined by a manic rush for jobs; you are your job in this world. If you don't have, what society deems, a respectable job, then you have nothing. (Along with riches and fame,) job-glory/the image of prosperity is what drives the typical 2014 person the way he/she does (and I said typical).
              It consumes us: this need to prove ourselves as better, the best. Sometimes we forget to look at what we really want to do, because, maybe, what we want to do isn't accepted in society as “better” or “the best”.
This glory and idea of success are the pillars of our society. We're all hardwired to want glory and prosperity. The moment we stop listening to this preconceived idea of success, and start making our own plans, we break the cycle.

*Okay...whoo am I kidding? I read Hunger Games, and really wanted to read Divergent for a while.