Monday, May 23, 2016

Review: Cloud Atlas

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness we birth our future,” said by Sonmi-451, a revolutionary ‘fabricant’ from the future. Cloud Atlas, a novel by David Mitchel, is about multiple characters, whose lives interact in six epochs in time. Each characters experience their own dystopia depending on who they are on a certain period of time. Their experiences with each other intertwine, making their lives ever more seamless and synchronized. There is definitely some truth to the doing of a generation could affect the distant, or not-so distant future.
The parallel that was drawn to our reality is hard to ingest the truth about our society. Cloud Atlas show themes of deception, truth, dominance and slavery. With assertion of “order”, many people in the society are unaware of the deception the government has placed upon them.

            Sonmi-451 is a fabricant, a clone, created to serve at Papa Song’s dinner taken place in Neo So Korea, in the year 2144. The world was overpopulated and has a problem on feeding the population. Later revealed by the rebels to Sonmi-451, fabricants – such as Sonmi-451 – were chosen to get initiations to claim their freedom, and live normal lives. However, little did they know, they were turn into source of food for the unknowingly population of the world. Neo Corpos, a totalitarian government, must attempt to provide for the society. A dystopian government whose exploiting a second-class citizens to pick up a slack, rather than providing much better alternatives to attempt creating a better lifestyle that could help the society as a whole, rather than individual interest or what makes it easier. Somni-451 was knowledge was sparked by a fellow fabricant who got killed while attempting to escape. A graduate student named Hae-Joo Chang, who educates Sonmi-451 about the governmental affairs and about the brutal initiation. She reaches martyrdom. It does not make it any unique, it contrast with the works like “Brave New World” and “the Giver.”

            Mitchel definitely attempts to draw parallels between our world and obsession with technological advancement to provide basic services for us. It portrays the efficacy and what too much reliance on technology could do to us, especially on how it’ll impact our society. For Somni-451, it was a personal affair with the government – much similar to slavery and exploitation of workers. They were deprived of getting much more what they deserve. While for Hae-Joo, he was trying to overthrow the existing government due to their practices.

            Somni-451’s martyrdom draw some parallels between “Harrison Bergeron” and John the Savage in Brave New World. All these characters had a personal mission, for Harrison, it was to gain personal freedom and uniqueness, and John the Savage wants to educate people about “love, modesty, religion and literature” – much to Somni-451’s mission. David Mitchel’s life definitely contributes, he is a modern writer and is an eye-witness on the rapid changes in our societal standards and technological advancement. Throughout the film, the character development of Sonmi-451 provides an insight on what kind of world we could live in if we are all not ignorant. We should care due to the serious repercussions that could take place in the near future. The present makes up for the future, such as Adolf Hitler’s Holocaust. Many of us were ignorant enough to attempt to save many Jews, until it was already too late and the damage in our history has been done, same with the enslavement of African-Americans, massacre of indigenous people throughout the world. We should care because we do not know that we are voting on the next dictator that could ruin the world.


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