Delirium by Lauren Oliver is a dark and alluring novel that wanders back and forth between the blurred lines of truth and lie. The main character--Lena, falls in love in a dystopian society where love is seen as a disease, amor deliria nervosa. “On your eighteenth birthday...you will get cured and will be happy forever...” “it is the deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t...”(pg.4) While the hallucinated world in Lauren Oliver’s Delirium seems vacuous and impractical, Xizhou is a mirror-image of the concealed brutality behind both government systems.
Young adults in both Xizhou and Delirium are nurtured under a totalitarian government smothered by falsification. Growing up in a broken society where love is publicized as a deadly disease, Lena was taught by her family, her teachers and the government that the cure for love will make her happy and safe forever. As a little girl, Lena lost her mother and her father because of the disease. Therefore, she was convinced that the cure was the only way to erase her cavernous scars. “Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe”(pg.4) thought Lena with passion running through her spine. She had always believed them, always believed in the government until she met Alex. Now, everything have changed, she was introduced to love, the real meaning of love. Now, a sense of rebellion toward the government arrises inside her, the one who killed her parents and the one who lied about the meaning of life. Government controls which extinguish lies to keep orders may seems like a typical dystopian world, though several of the similar scenarios are found in reality.
In Xizhou, a rural village in Yunnan province, nature is the alarm. Villagers awakens in an art-like scenery, a chain of forceful mountains, a lively and stunning lake. The invincible call of nature and the smell of fresh air authorizes Xizhou to be flawless, though life is somewhat a lie passed down by their government. Young adults in Xizhou are often taught to rely on their parents for long-lasting decisions such as marriage. “Choosing a spouse can be the single most important decision in life. Therefore, as a parent I have to make the decision for my child” said Mrs Yang an antique shop owner. However, it is all a lie. Parents in Xizhou often pair their child with a neighbor or friend to keep their child by their sides. According to the local residents, 90% of the young adults today resist to be paired. They often cry and scream for days and night. Youngsters in Xizhou often acknowledge that parents lay out the future of young adults for selfish purposes, yet also understand that the parents are the “governments”.
Despite the determined sensation of rebellion burning inside young adults in both Xizhou and Delirium, virtual and physical borders established through government controls restrains the number of escapes undertaken by young adults. Portland is the home of Lena, or at least once the...