Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 483
- Bradbury's 1950 collection of linked stories, The Martian Chronicles, uses the conventional settings of science fiction to address issues such as racism, censorship, technology, and nuclear war. The framework of the collection is the human colonization of Mars, and the individual stories look at how individuals try to build and fit into a new society. The collection is marked by Bradbury's distinctive poetic style, and is widely considered a classic.
- Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel, The Handmaid's Tale, depicts a future American society where behavior is strictly controlled. People are given specific tasks to perform and must conform to assigned behavior. This futuristic society is one in which men dominate women, who are restricted to domestic roles. The handmaid's job is to bear children, which will be turned over to the privileged class of women who are the wives of the governing men. As in Fahrenheit 451, the central character is ultimately able to escape through an underground network. A manuscript is found several centuries later and is presented at a scholarly convention, which tries to identify some of the characters in the story. This final section satirizes scholarly inquiry.
- In Looking Backward, 2000-1887, Edward Bellamy criticizes American capitalism as he saw it in 1888. His novel depicts an American society in the year 2000 that has become a cooperative commonwealth where there is no longer any competition. Bellamy advocated the nationalization of public services in his "brave new world." Bellamy's book helped stimulate the socialist movement in America.
- A Clockwork Orange was written by Anthony Burgess in 1962. It is a futuristic novel that centers on thought control and the methods used by a totalitarian regime to brainwash people.
- Aldous Huxley's Utopian novel, Brave New World, was written in 1932. Huxley depicts a world in which genetically specialized test tube babies are developed to perform specific jobs. Recreation is done on a group basis only. Any form of individualism is fully discouraged. Those who do not conform or are too old are sent to live on reservations. The book is a satire of the modern world, which is depicted as an anti-feeling, anti-human, and anti-emotional place.
- Animal Farm, George Orwell's 1945 novel, is an allegory of the dictatorship of Josef Stalin in Russia. The characters are all farm animals, with the pigs taking power since they are the most intelligent creatures.
- Orwell's novel 1984 was published in 1949. It presents a stark picture of the world in 1984, a time when thought control fully regulates every aspect of life. The world is divided into three spheres of power that try to maintain that balance through police state methods. Two-way television enables those in control to monitor the activities of the populace. History is rewritten, computer data banks keep track of everyone, and a new language, "newspeak," reverses truth to accommodate the political structure.
- Free Speech for Me—But Not for Thee is noted free-speech scholar and young adult novelist Nat Hentoff's 1992 study of censorship.
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