Once, these books were a horrifying portrayal of a far off dystopian future, but now they seem to carry too many warning signs. These books are trying to tell us something, and in our modern America we should try to listen. Here are some books to help fuel the resistance.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The core of the novel is built around the idea of women living as objects instead of as human beings. Perhaps the most terrifying element of this dystopian novel is its slow timeline depicting the loss of women’s rights and their subjugation as second class citizens. The newly developed TV show highlights the slow descent in scenes eerily similar to today. Women marching in the streets is a powerful image but horribly disheartening when you see how the women of The Handmaid’s Tale end up. The slow loss of rights that would take years to happen in real time are sped up. This allows the viewer to see each right being taken one by one and though they are met with indignation, there is no strong resistance until it’s too late.
1984 by George Orwell
Fake news before the term was even invented. The government screens all news before it is released and there is no such thing as truth. Whenever the nation changes enemies in the neverending war they are fighting, they destroy all evidence that anything but the current “truth” ever existed. In layperson's terms, they lie. These lies also help to build the xenophobia on which the nation relies for keeping their citizens angry at the specific target and therefore complacent with their governing institution. The abbreviations of words are even used to discourage people from using language to form their own ideas and think for themselves. Using your mind is a federal crime and any person you know could be watching and waiting to report you to the government. There is no transparency, no truth, no logic, and no heroes within the government who dare to stand up for what’s right.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
The future in Parable of the Sower consists of small walled-in communities trying to survive against all odds. The land is lawless and those who don’t live inside a community have to fight the rapists, murderers, and thieves that roam the streets. Drugs that give you pleasure while watching fire have caused a large addiction problem across the country; now addicts destroy communities and take lives. The price of water is more expensive than food and it is a hard commodity for a lot of people to come by. The environment has turned against the people. The newly elected President and government won’t do anything to help because they are focused on helping businesses enslave people to make profit. Corporations own towns and the people who work for them make so little money they will never be independant from their employers. No one is safe outside a community, and nobody is free inside of one.