How is the devil being represented in Ape and Essence?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the post-apocalyptic dystopia depicted in Ape and Essence, the Devil is represented as Belial, a Satanic figure worshiped and adored by a cult of eunuch priests. These fawning acolytes occupy the very highest position in this caste-based social system, lording it over the lower orders, a population of ape-like humans little better than slaves.

The moral values of this society—if one can call them that—are determined by Devil-worship. Inevitably, this means that acts considered abnormal and evil in most civilized societies are very much the norm. Mass orgies, the burning of books, and the killing of newborn infants on the grounds of genetic purity are just some of the loathsome activities in which this race of Satan-loving apes routinely indulges. Belial sets the standards of behavior in this society, and society blindly follows.

What is particularly disturbing about all this is that it is supposed to represent some kind of progress for humanity. This Satan-worshiping society supposes itself to be on the high road to utopia. In order to achieve this earthly Jerusalem it is considered necessary to perform all manner of sinful misdeeds, all of which are supposed to bring society just that one step nearer to a perfect society.

In the words of Karl Marx "Force is the midwife of Progress." In other words, progress cannot come about except through some kind of force. In practice, this means violence, the kind of violence used by the acolytes of Belial to keep the population of this dystopian society firmly in check. Wherever one looks in this society, as indeed throughout history as a whole, one sees the guiding hand of Belial at work, making progress, especially technological progress, but at the cost of enslaving humanity.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team