A Dystopian Society: The Chrysalids and V for Vendetta
After viewing the film V for Vendetta and reading the novel The Chrysalids, it is evident that these two pieces are perfect examples of a dystopian society. This type of society could be defined as a futuristic imagined universe in which oppressive social control and the illusion of a perfect society is maintained through many different ways. Ways such as propaganda, appalling treatment of thoughts who are different, and a controlling government that puts its people under constant surveillance, and uses social fear to maintain its grip on society.
Propaganda is a main controlling factor within these societies. In the chrysalides, at a young age children are embedded with stories about people with four legs, arms, or eyes, or perhaps covered in hair. In this society anyone who does not fit the definition of what is a perfect man found in Nicolsons repentances (Wyndham 69) is considered a thing accursed in the sight of God and man(Wyndham 29). Thus at a young age children are figuratively moulded to hate anything unique. In V for Vendetta propaganda is used to give the illusion of freedom, and it is used to make you turn to the one thing that is supposed to be the rock within a utopian society; the Government. Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression, and where once [people] had the freedom to object, to think and speak as [they] [see] fit, [people] now have censors and surveillance coercing[ their] conformity (McTeigue) and all because the government brainwashed their people with the use of propaganda. Propaganda is used to
corrupt your reason, to rob you of your common sense, fear [gets] the best of you, and in your panic you [turn] to the now high chancellor Adam Sutler. He [promises] peace, and all he [demands] in return is your silent obedient consent (McTeigue). The government makes you believe that doubt will plunge this county into chaos and [they] will not let that happen (McTeigue). They use the words strength through unity, unity through faith (McTeigue), as their main propaganda prose. And no one disagrees with the news networks reporting the news because it is their job to report the news not fabricate it, thats the Governments job (McTeigue).
Secondly in both these societies anything that is different, anything that is not medium sized, white, straight, catholic, and a British subject are considered wrong. In the Chrysalids peoples lives revolve around the words only the image of God is man. Keep pure the stock of the lord (Wyndham) and watch thou for the mutant, for blessed is the norm (Wyndham). Anything different is cast out into the realms of society even children are abandoned. People pray to God to send charity into [their] hideous world, sympathy for the weak, and love for the unhappy and unfortunate (Wyndham). Some cant help but wonder if it is indeed gods will that a child should suffer and its soul be dammed for a little blemish of the body (Wyndham). But none of them see that nobody, nobody, really knows what is the true image (Wyndham). In V for Vendetta people are also killed for their physical appearances but also are denied every freedom that could be found in a normal society. They take your parents, they take your brother from you, they take everything they can, accept your life (McTeigue). Political activists are killed, anyone who attempts freedom or has an idea is killed or they die defending [it] (McTeigue). When a controlling government comes into power they get rid of anyone who does not conform to their idea of a master race. Immigrants, Muslims, homosexuals, terrorist, disease ridden
degenerates, they all [have] to go. (McTeigue) They are used as test subjects (McTeigue) to create fear. Thus different becomes dangerous.
Lastly both these governments keep their people under constant surveillance, and use social fear to control them. In the Chrysalids they have the inspector, a man who has the governments power behind him to denounce deviations, and the power to kill or abandon them. Also the inspector has spies working for him; people such as Joe Darley (Wyndham) who is a fellow that the inspector [uses] when he wants a few inquiries made on the quiet (Wyndham 119). Plainly, within this society anyone could be a spy and anyone at any time could denounce you for hiding anything. In V for Vendetta there are also inspectors and detectives. Everyone has an ID and the government knows everything about you. They know where you work, they know where you live (McTeigue); they know every little thing about you. Also, there are secret agents called finger men who go undercover and look for anything suspicious. Then if you are caught, you are under constant surveillance. Even people who have high positions within the government are under surveillance, and when Sutler no longer trust you, it is the reason why your being watched right now, why there [are] eyes and ears in every room of [your] house and a tap on every phone (McTeigue). Plainly, People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. But sadly in these articles this is not the case.
All in all V for Vendetta and the chrysalides are perfect examples of an imagined universe in which oppressive social control and fear, and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through the use of propaganda, treating others wrongly to unite a nation, surveillance, and simply social fear. So I ask of you to go out into our society and see if we are really living in a society that could be defined as a utopian, or a dystopian one.