Thursday, May 19, 2016

The 100 Review

The 100 by Kass Morgan is a trilogy about a future community with many dystopian aspects incorporated into it. The setting takes place hundreds of years after a global nuclear war consumed the planet and made it inhabitable. Right from the beginning we get a sense of a dystopian story. The only human survivors that remained lived inside a huge spaceship call the Ark. Inside the Ark all crimes were punishable by death with the one exception. The exception was if you were under eighteen years old and you commit a crime, you would go to the prison system instead. Considering the limited resources, keeping perpetrators was useless. The deaths, which they called “floating”, were horrific. They would trap the criminal in a certain section of the Ark where they were sandwiched between two doors. After any final words, one of the doors would open and they'd be sucked out of the Ark and float into space, hence the name. The Ark is a prime example of a utopia. The people aboard the ship were handpicked because of their specialization, everything from engineers to doctors were essential in maintaining the safe preservation of human life. Since it was one big community, everyone had their role, worked together and played their necessary part. Although as utopian as it sounds killing anyone who commits a crime, no matter the degree is a dystopian ideal. Getting rid of the problem without trying to fix it, is not a permanent solution.
Gradually building up suspense we find out that secretly the Chancellor of the Ark, along with his constituents, had gotten word from the science division that oxygen would soon run out in three months time. The chancellor held a meeting and told the people the truth about the oxygen which resulted in a massive state of panic. Three hundred people volunteered to be floated to increase the oxygen lifespan. Many of which were parents who gladly gave the ultimate sacrifice for their children. By unanimous decision to deal with the everlasting oxygen problem and without anyone else on the Ark knowing,  the government sent the one hundred children in prison down to the planet to see if it was habitable. The turn of dystopian events really starts to take off. In this world where everyone cooperates together and is able to survive is depleting its most valuable resource a little too quickly. A utopian world has no sacrifice. In this world having people pay the ultimate sacrifice let alone any sacrifice at all to ensure the safety of their children makes it dystopian. Not only is there sacrifice, but lies as well. By lying to the parents of children, who were basically experiments and using them to see if they could survive on the planet, created a dystopian turn of events.
Landing on Earth is where all of those kid’s world’s made a turn for the worst. Finding out that they were able to live on this planet made the kids overzealous. Little did they know upon landing, they were not alone. Infact, they were considered to be threats by those who had already inhabited the planet. Allowing multiple juveniles to travel down to an unknown planet with no supervision wasn't the greatest idea, which we see when they start fighting with each other. Shortly after landing, all hell breaks loose and there is no control. Not only do they start to kill each other, but they also faced recurring attacks from unknown inhibitors. War and chaos are key components in a dystopia. Not only is their war between the kids and the inhibitors, but amongst the kids themselves. There is war all around, people dying, fires being set and absolutely no control which is a key component in any utopia.
The trilogy was full of chaos, war, sacrifice, and resource scarcity which made it a great dystopian story. The setting was perfect. By starting off with a global thermonuclear war and continuing with the fight against limited oxygen up on the space station there was never a lack of suspense.  Willing to explore any option, the drastic decision to test whether or not the Earth was habitable was a dramatic and dystopian one at that. The government officials were so desperate they were willing to sacrifice people’s children on a whim behind their parent’s backs. This inevitably lead to a chaotic turn of events. The fight for the people of the Ark’s survival was in full effect. As suspense builds, it leads up to the kid’s finding out that they are actually not alone on the Earth. They find themselves facing a war that most definitely does not look promising. With limited resources, total chaos the kids most certainly face extinction.

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