dystopian literature

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

Revolution and Regression

"Times have changed. It's not the nineties anymore." So says a TV commercial for a brokerage firm. Presumably, the lesson is that investment strategies that worked then won't work now: the market has changed and so should you. Times have changed in other respects also. The assumptions that one could safely make about the world [...]

Eucharistic Symbolism in the Hunger Games

When we go to the cinema or rent a DVD, our motives are usually fairly simplistic: we seek to be entertained, and most likely we choose a movie because we are specifically in the mood for passive entertainment which requires little or no mental effort on our part. If you are like me, though, you [...]

The True Gift of The Giver

More than two decades ago—long before we all were transfixed by the rebelliousness demonstrated by Katniss Everdeen in the dystopian society presented in the Hunger Games, or Tris Prior in the dystopian Divergent—Newberry Medal-winning novelist, Lois Lowry published The Giver, a novel designed for a young-adult audience, which described a totalitarian society in which no [...]

Orwell’s 1984: Are We There Yet?

The second most terrifying thing about George Orwell’s 1984 is the supposition that it is possible to destroy humanity without destroying humankind. The first is how many aspects of our democratic nation resemble his dystopian nightmare. George Orwell wrote 1984 in 1948 as a political satire of a totalitarian state and a denunciation of Stalinism. [...]

Not-So Brave New World

 “This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang but a whimper.” These lines from T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” are often quoted, but seldom taken to heart.  Even those of us who consider ourselves students of Eliot’s work on civilizational decline tend to overdramatize what is really a quite tawdry cultural age. [...]

MENU