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Utopia The Flawed Pursuit For Perfection

1107 words - 5 pages

Perfect societies have long been discussed and debated, prominent in the works of many great philosophers such as Plato and Thomas More. It wasn’t until the 16th century however, that a formal name was to be attributed to this unattainable perfection - a utopia. As a result, utopias and their opposite, dystopias have become prominent in modern works and form the basis for this analysis in William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies and Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games. Through their most recognised pieces, Golding and Collins demonstrate that free will and control cannot be moderated effectively to sustain a utopian society. Demonstrating that human greed and corruption dismantle these ideals, effectively creating a dystopia.

Through The Lord of the Flies, Golding demonstrates the degradation of a potentially utopic society, into one that’s heavily characteristic of a dystopia. The downfall of the potentially perfect society within The Lord of the Flies is resultant of the greed and powerlust embodied by the antagonist Jack. Freed from social constructs and an overarching power, the boys are given an opportunity to live freely. Ralph’s government allows for individualism and free will, resulting in the failure of many systems which he tries to implement, such as the signal fire, however his predominant concern with physiological needs including safety and wellbeing creates a positive state on the island. Jack, envious of Ralph's leadership, begins to preoccupy himself with superficial preoccupations such as slaughtering a pig for the dominance and control. Jack then separates from the clan to form his own tribe, promising meat to anyone who joins. Towards the end of the novel, a great disparity is present between Jack and his followers. Through his greed and corruption, he positions himself as a superior being, a god, which is explicitly referred to in the novel “... Jack, painted and garlanded, sat there like an idol. There were piles of meat on green leaves near him, and fruit, and coconut shells full of drink.” (pg 124). Ralph’s leadership, although heavily flawed, aimed to please the masses, and for the most part could be considered utopic. Jack and his totalitarian regime were implemented for his benefit, and although the tribe economically prospered, due to his greed and egocentric personality, the island degenerated into a dystopia for everyone but him.

The Hunger Games presents a nation with two great divides. The Capitol, a plutocratic state, filled with riches and luxuries, and the satellite states that obediently serve it. Governed by President Snow, the citizens of The Capitol for the most part are ignorant, but they are content due to their high living standards and blind ignorance which is recurringly highlighted through Iffy Trinket and her recognisable saying ‘’May the odds be ever in your favour!’. In order to prevent uprising, the districts are segregated, poor and living in fear, barring them both physically and...

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