334 - Absolute Power does not proceed to the last extremes...

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Daniel Pearson Ms. Shackelford Journal Entry Mrs. Hanson, in Room 7 Thomas Disch, in 334 , creates a plausible future for the United States which parallels the decline of the Roman Empire. In this dystopian setting, the average person leads an uneventful existence and compensates with reality-altering drugs. Disch recognizes and demonstrates the way in which governmental dominance leads people to passive existence and stagnating lifestyles. The government portrayed in 334 revolves around a complex bureaucracy that operates in ways that, for the most part, elude public understanding. Due to this fundamental confusion, people cannot influence political decision-making or policy and, consequently, submit to a passive acceptance of governmental procedure. Disch explains this citing Spartacus, “A Nation of Slaves is always prepared to applaud the clemency of their Master, who, in the abuse of
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Unformatted text preview: Absolute Power, does not proceed to the last extremes of Injustice and Oppression” (p. 228). Disch further demonstrates that as these people completely lose interest in their government, they turn to reality-altering activities such as watching “teevee” and taking drugs that change one’s environment. In the concluding paragraph, Mrs. Hanson describes her monotonous lifestyle and her desire for death. Explicating that her desire for death is not a passive acceptance but an active yearning, she provides the analogy: “The way some people want sex, that’s how I want death” (p. 258). The reader, however, recognizes that her daily life has not changed considerably from before arriving at the “Terminal Clinic;” and thus, Disch shows that living under an authoritative governmental bureaucracy hardly suffices for a life at all....
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2008 for the course ENGL 191 taught by Professor Shackelford,laura during the Fall '04 term at Penn State.

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334 - Absolute Power does not proceed to the last extremes...

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