Final Essay for English

Final Essay for English - 1 Mata Kranakis 260276379 Prof...

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Mata Kranakis 260276379 Prof. Monique Morgan February 1, 2008 Topic 2 The Use of Technology in Children of Men: The Impact of Sterility on Society The film Children of Men , directed by Alfonso Cuaron, takes place in England, in a near future (2027). In this fictional dystopia specific to late capitalism, (Morgan) sterility has crushed humanity's hope for children, leaving morality collapsing and civilization unraveling. The film juxtaposes the harsh reality of the ‘fugees’ in Bexhill with the delusions of a dysfunctional State and its privileged class that they can remain in control of a society whose only prospect is decline and extinction. The fictitious world created in Children of Men is one that is, in certain respects, only slightly estranged from the present: the cars on the streets in the opening scene are identical to contemporary cars at first glance, and the holographic billboards seem plausible. As well, the nondescript coffee shop that Theo enters is similar to those found in every major city. Reduced estrangement allows the viewer to gain a heightened awareness of the similarities between the two worlds and provokes a more intimate and empathetic engagement with the issues of infertility, technology, communication, and societal politics that the film addresses. Through Children of Men, Cuaron explores the possibility of a sterile world and its impact on society, although without directly revealing the causes of this situation. We are not told explicitly why all the women have become sterile, but only that that gradually women started having miscarriages until there were no more pregnancies, and that many babies died due to a flu pandemic. There are, however, indirect indications that pollution is a cause for the lack of pregnancies. Everywhere throughout the film, public spaces are abandoned and filled with 1 1
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uncollected garbage and animals; the railway and bus systems are in squalor; there are piles of burning cattle in the countryside (presumably diseased); and the sky is perpetually a hazy grey color, with the presence of smog. This leads to the interpretation that a warring, technologically careless, and polluting humanity has brought about its own infertility—an undeniable testimony to its failure and inability to achieve “progress,” (or even sustainability.) The impacts of this
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