I came across an article in my Facebook feed today and had to write about it.
Banning books is something that has always been associated with Nazis and Communists. The picture of armed soldiers and brain-washed citizens standing round a pyre of burning books is something straight from a dystopian novel. Or is it?
In Portland, OR the Public Schools board voted to eliminate the use of any textbooks or other materials that are “found to express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities.”
Whether you believe in man-made global warming or not, this is incredibly wrong. To keep information out of the hands of children (or anyone for that matter) simply because it does not fit one’s world view is pure Nazism.
A school should be a place where children are taught to think critically for themselves. Not a place where they are force-fed the ideology of a school board or teacher. Where are we headed or to where have we already come if the opportunity to think and argue and discover truth is taken from us?
A dystopian society is not just some fantasy world in the YA section at Barnes and Noble. It is a reality waiting to happen and all it needs is for people to stop thinking.
“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
― George Orwell, 1984
M.A. Foxworthy, author of The Village Green.
- Why did you choose to write a dystopian novel?
The story that came to mind was dystopian in nature. And the dystopian genre seems to reflect my personality a bit.
- Do you have any favorite dystopian literature? Authors?
Two of my favorite dystopian novels are Brave New World and Animal Farm. My favorite dystopian author is Orwell.
- Do you foresee any part of your book becoming reality?
I wrote my book using real facts and so yes, I do see parts of it coming to pass right now and in the future.
- Was there a particular event or idea in the real world that inspired your writing?
There was not one particular event or idea, but many that brought the story to mind.
- When writing your book, did you seek to only tell a good story or to get across a specific message?
I certainly tried to do both. I think that all dystopian novels have a moral and my does, but also I hope that the story is good.
- What other genres do you read?
I love British mystery novels and I also read a lot of nonfiction.
- Have you or would you like to write in another genre? Which one?
I would like very much to write a series of mysteries.
- Are you particularly fond of any one of you characters?
I would say that Derek is my favorite character. He’s intelligent, loyal, humble, and self-sacrificing.
- Is there one book, in any genre, that has had a lasting impact on your life? Title. How did it affect you?
Orwell’s 1984 had a real effect on how I view the world. Whenever I see an example of group-think (aka political correctness) I am reminded of this book, and I shudder.