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Dystopia or Utopia

13 Feb 2017Personal Essays

Technological advancement has indeed reached its peak, entering the new millennium. Infinite sources of information can be obtained with just a click of a button. The communication barrier is fading away, with the creation of the internet and cell phones. It does not really matter today, who you are, where you are, and how old you are. 

Everything is connected to each other. More and more discoveries and inventions are appearing our very eyes. It is possible that even our very identity can be cloned in the nearby future. The question that we have to ask ourselves now; do we really need all of these? We are indeed obtaining technological advancement, and fast approaching the state of being a God, but at what price? All I see today when I open the television set is suffering, arguments, protestors, and people getting interviewed, claiming that the end is near. Do we really need all these?

The dystopia which Margaret Atwood places in front of us, through her book "Oryx and Crake" may be a little exaggerated, but can be so close to the future that may be headed for us. I see Margaret Atwood as a visionary. Her point of view is in a pessimistic way, but I think we should expect the worst out of things, in order to bring out the best. Atwood, according to my research bases everything on something, and mixes it with her imagination. This fictional book can be our story, our reality. I agree with Margaret Atwood’s fear, that our world is facing dystopia instead of utopia. With the events that are happening today in our world, it is truly frightening. Our world is changing, it is dying. If we do not do anything about or recent condition, Homo sapiens, in about fifty to sixty years can very well be classified into the long list of extinct species. The earth’s ozone is disappearing due to the greenhouse effect that we humans are pumping up. The temperature is changing, and slowly everything is suffering. This is only one of the thousand reasons why we should start changing. It is for our own good.
If it is true that technological advancement improves our way of living, than how come we are slowly deteriorating? I think we are confused. We try over and over again to make things easier for us, but in doing so threaten everything else around us. We must find a way to research, create, and promote inventions or systems without the expense of a priceless asset.

There is no doubt that all these things that where created, are for own good. The government, a currency, physical sciences, and even cloning have their own purpose for existence, and our mistake is the lack of mastery. We do not seem to think about the big picture, we do not think about the consequences of our actions. We are the masters of the universe, and it is our responsibility to take care of these gifts that were given to us.
In her book, Atwood sees the growth of multinational companies, and our never ending thirst for knowledge to be threatening. She sees us living inside company compounds, and eating manufactured food, and keeps on asking "what if?" This is a question we must ask ourselves before we start doing something. We must think about the consequences of our actions, and accept it. I am not sure if our attitude of never being contented is a good thing or not. Search for supreme power has done more harm than good. The craving to control everything is wrong. We are the masters of the universe, but not God’s. Can it be possible that all these things are a little bit too much? All these studies, systems, and experiments are depriving us of happiness. It is depriving us of being contented. When will we reach the point of satisfaction?

I have so many questions going around my head as I write this essay. It is quite depressing that this has become of our world, a world full of greed, hatred, war, hunger, and pain. Nevertheless I can see the endless potentials that our earth and we have. All this knowledge and power can become a good thing. The human race has to go back to its morals and values, and stop all these sorrow that we are implementing to ourselves.
I can imagine a world of utopia. Wherein all these intellectual capacity we have are used to solve the problem of world hunger, and where people’s age can reach up to a hundred due to medicine, and biological discoveries, and wherein a wide range of flora and fauna can be seen just by looking out of ones window. All these seem like a dream right now, but can be obtained. But until nothing is done, utopia shall be replaced by dystopia.
Margaret Atwood gives us a joyless view of the future through her book "Oryx and Crake". A world wherein the world is infested by a virus, genetic engineering is popular, companies are powerful, and children view pornographic sites, and suicides. It is a science fiction that is happening today. All these events are slowly taking place, right before our eyes.

The dystopia which Atwood places in front of me is mind blowing, and really does have a point. But I must look at things at another way. Voyages have been made, viruses have been cured, more and more children are becoming literate, and I get to sleep safe and quiet at night. The assumption of Atwood that anything new is destructive is a little bit far fetched. I believe that change can be for the better. Everything is not yet too late. Yes I feel that at the rate that we are going at, we are headed for dystopia, but not Atwood’s dystopia.

My idea of our dystopia is like this; Due to our environmental arrogance, the ozone layer will be shattered, and the greenhouse effect shall take place. Because of this, a chain of events shall take place, just like when you push a domino, to a stack of dominos and everything falls down. Animals and plants will all slowly die, and the human race along with it, due to climate change. But that is if we don’t all drown right away because of the melting of the polar ice caps. These are what I see of what can happen to us, because it is already happening.

Another idea that comes to my mind, when I think of our Dystopia, is that the continents of this earth, shall gain supreme power in artillery and war, and will blow us all up through nuclear powered bombs, just like the superhero or Looney tunes shows that we watch, where the whole planet disappears in a blink of an eye.

It is also possible that the time may come, wherein we shall be ultimately dependent to technology. That a system or machine will be created to monitor or guide our every move, that every breath we take may come from a machine, and that every part of our body is genetically modified, or that a cell phone serves like a birth certificate, and if you don’t have one, you are not recognized to be a human being. If it so happens that this really happens, and a glitch happens to the system, and does not function, apocalypse shall take place it is really sad to imagine these events as I sit down and type this essay. No human being is born to be evil, but like I mentioned before, our greed, hatred, and thirst for power shall be the soul purpose of our destruction. We are influenced by the society to strive for the best, and never be contented. A nine year old child can obtain enough information to access a gun, and learn how to use it, just by surfing the net for about fifteen minutes.

All these knowledge we possess is scary. Self destruction is possible because of the power that we have worked so hard for. I do not think that "Oryx and Crake" was meant to bring joy and hope to its readers, I think it was made to serve as a warning of what may happen to us if we don’t start doing anything. 

It’s weird that this research has given me a different perception of the world today, Even though it was not its goal to do so, this book or quote has given me faith in the human race, and it capabilities. That everything is not yet too late. I wish a technique can be constructed wherein we can improve our lifestyle, without giving up another thing. That each man and women can see eye to eye, and work together to help save our dying earth, and race. Satisfaction can be obtained; we just have to start with ourselves. Dystopia is possible, but so is utopia. It is really our choice of what to pick among the two.

Reference Page:

  • Dashevsky, Evan. "Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood."(2007).
  • Freeman, John. "Biology Is Destiny." 2003. Vol. Volume 24.
  • Greer, W. R. "Book Review - Oryx and Crake."(2003).

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