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Dystopia AP



After analyzing the first chapters of George Orwell’s 1984, students from AP Literature & Composition wrote creative passages and poems inspired by dystopian fiction. A sense of freedom -and let us not forget hope- suddenly captivated their imagination to write on their “diaries” as in 1984. However, it is the honesty that marks the essence of a good writer.


II. “Who Is My Big Brother?”

Máximo Blondet


In theory, there is no tyrannical force on me

I have the freedom to do what I want

The resources to go any way in life and the

support from great friends and family,

but something is still off

Something is still suppressing me.


Who is my big brother?

Is it the people with more power than me?... I don’t think so

Is it societal standards? … no that’s not it either

Maybe it’s just me… yeah, maybe

It’s not like anyone is imposing a certain life on me

And the people around me are very accepting and open

So, the one who puts me down is me?


Freedom is slavery

I am free, yet I shackle myself

I don’t let out what’s inside,

Even when no is trying to stop me

Even when others would appreciate it

I keep it to myself.


III. “IT’S MY SENIOR YEAR”

066


Earlies are over…My stress has been relieved…Sure I still have a bunch of tasks and homework, but that easily beats having to agonize over college applications. Now I am free, only momentarily, but I am free! Now I have to make the most of this time I earned. In fact, I made a rule, a law even, as it is meant for my wellbeing; I must go to each and every party I am invited to, no more excuses, I need to live for me and mustn’t allow my duties to divert or obstruct my happiness. I can’t even focus on this assignment because I am inundated with thoughts about what I should do with this newfound free time. I want to experience more things, take advantage of opportunities and live in the moment. IT’S MY SENIOR YEAR. Forget about those who don’t appreciate you; forget about those who infuriate you; forget about those who lack consideration towards you; forget about those self-important, pretentious, condescending, narcissistic, obnoxious, and fraudulent people, who should grow plants (to make up for the oxygen they waste). Just be happy and focus on yourself because those people are like flies. They will constantly bug you (pun intended) for eternity, even after you die. It may even seem that that person’s entire being is dedicated to just pushing your buttons, because they have an otherworldly talent at doing so, but I encourage you to rise above and vibrate higher.


IV. “Dystopia Is Hiding in Plain Sight”

Arturo Cruz



“Dystopia; dehumanization as a result of fearful lives,”

said my English teacher, Kamil.


After a brief overview of the definitions of this word, it is easily conflated with what we’re exposed to in canonic literature of this genre: The Giver, for example, with its monotonous “dwellings” and emotion-preventing pills, Animal Farm’s “some are more equal than others,” or 1984’s “two minutes hate” and “thoughtcrimes” are all samples of what we’ve come to distinguish as dystopic. However, paying close attention to the seams and layers of these works, you come to identify they are all stretched versions of our present reality. Take the cameras that have come to overspread around the world; are they really here to “protect us,” “for our safety,” or are they society’s adaptation of “Big Brother is watching you?” The grades we’re assigned every day; are they a measure of our academic performance or a herald of a future where figures and statistics surpass our metaphysical value? Taken into scrutiny, there is a justification for these somewhat dystopic aspects of the modern world. Surveillance indeed serves the purpose of protecting us by deterring delinquency or used as evidence of crime in order to restrict the liberty of those who harm. Also, grades give us empirical facts as to our strengths and weaknesses in certain subjects that are beneficial in determining future academic endeavors. Nonetheless, to what extent? To what extent will we allow the world to keep developing similarly to those novels we’re taught in high school? To what extent will we justify loss of privacy, choice, and humanity for a questionable “greater good?” After this, my teacher’s definition of dystopia seems to resonate more with the world we live in. We could soon start to feel dehumanized by our society’s constant focus on numbers. And we could soon start to live in fear of those omnipresent surveillance cameras if future laws (or lack thereof as in 1984) instead of safeguarding liberty, provoke tyranny. All this might sound farfetched and out of touch, but I invite you to look around your environment: classrooms, GPA, 9-to-5 jobs, hierarchy, phones, figureheads, intercoms…and you’ll notice dystopia is hiding in plain sight.


V. “Blind Optimism”

Joaquín Baerga


I lifted my head up from my wooden desk and the clock struck 2:30 p.m. I noticed that it meant lunchtime. The only sound I could distinguish in my office was the persistent humming of the air conditioning system. Apart from that, all that could be heard was an unsettlingly oppressive silence. I looked outside and observed the panoramic view of the

bustling city before me. I say “bustling” when I really mean “deteriorating,” but I do it in the name of preserving my blind optimism. Sometimes I find it hard to visualize the difference between a dead dog on the side of the road and a man who was shot and killed due to a gang rivalry. They are both victims of carelessness. And the most careless people of all are the ones upstairs. They pretend to glorify order and justice when all they worship is power; it allows them to bend the wills of the people to theirs. To them, there is no difference between man and dog. Moreover, they treat us as if we were asking to have leashes wrapped around our necks.


Meanwhile, I sit here trying to make sense of the inexorable monotony that plagues my mind and soul. I seldom experience something exciting that sheds light on my existence, but if I do so much as think of ways to fight against the monotony, they will come after me. Of course, they are too busy to come after me themselves, but they will surely send someone. I’m not really sure who though, because they have managed to take control of so many people and institutions that they surely have close to 95 percent of the country in the palm of their hand. I refer only to one hand because they all work as one collective, almost invisible, evil force. That 5 percent, that small and undeniably brave group of people has not yet managed to make a name for themselves in the eyes of the ones upstairs, but the general public is aware of their existence and rebellious sentiments.


VI. “Prison of Humankind”

Anonymous


Stagnant, bound, confined, imprisoned

In the extremities of your own mind.

Still, soundless, static, shackled,

In the prison of humankind


Wake up, work, work, and work once more,

Work so you become the most dumb

Work so you can go to the store

Work until everything goes numb


Look at our extensive food,

Have a burger, pizza, and fry

Available for every mood

Because nutrition is a lie


Enjoy our movies and shows

From Star Wars to Marvel

Just not things we do not know

Especially not a novel


Go look at our phone

Play seven seconds of recording

Infinitely many times more

They are the most mesmerizing


Oh? You want to be free?

Then you stand alone

Everyone here is happy

You must be wrong


Incarcerated by a rhyme

Not even this poem is truly free

For being free is a crime

And this is Dystopia AP

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