Why When Memories Are Forgotten or Emphasized, Will Result in a Community Becoming a Dystopia?

In: English and Literature

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Topic: In both The Giver and The Chrysalids, the communities strive to create utopias in their own ways. Discuss how memories are forgotten and/or emphasized to achieve this.

In the novels The Chrysalids by John Wyndham and The Giver by Lois Lowry, both authors illustrate how, when communities emphasize or forget memories from the past, it will result in a dystopia. Further, it will also affect our future generations and the way people choose to live.

In the Waknuk community of The Chrysalids, memories are recalled, emphasized, and then used to threaten and control the society. The leaders rule the community using fear as a weapon, forcing the people to believe what they want them to believe. The Waknuk community’s idea of a utopia is to have the people obey the rules, and to live under the will of God. A citizen of another community criticized the Old People, “If they had not brought down Tribulation which all but destroyed them” (Wyndham 157). The memory of Tribulation is constantly discussed, repeated and emphasized throughout the novel. The community believes that if they break the laws and rules of The Bible and Nicholson’s Repentances, their two only and sacred books, they will be faced with consequences like how the “Old People” of the past did. Tribulation is believed to be a period of time where the people of earth made too many mistakes, broke too many rules, that angered God, causing Him to destroy all of earth to give people a chance to start a new life. Another time is when David’s father, a very strict man with a strong sense of righteousness said about the Fringes land (an unfamiliar and unknown land), “The Devil struts his wide estates, and the laws of God are mocked.” (Wyndham 20). The people of the Waknuk community are so fixated and obsessed with the rules, that they lose their own sense of righteousness. They will point out…...

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