The Last Book in the Universe
Imagine a world where daily living was so painful that society members needed to cope with pain and suffering to escape the harsh reality of their world “The Urb”. In the novel's dystopian world, violence, gangs, and disease corrupt society. The protagonist perseveres through circumstances to save a family member from disease. These mind probes people from the Urb use to transport them to another world so they could cover up the harsh reality. “We pass into the shadows of the tall steel bones of buildings high against the sky, for a while it’s as dark as night (87).” The Urb is dark and dreary were everyone is barely alive with no food or “edibles” as they call them. The needles or “mind probes” symbolize carelessness, death, and fear. People probe all the time because they feel as though that is the only key to happiness where they live. Spaz cannot probe because if he does, he’ll with eventually have a seizure and die. Even the normal person’s brain will rot and die. People still don’t care though. They could go anywhere at any time; that's all that matters. These people don’t care that are being cowards and taking the easy way out of disaster itself. This place is already in ruins and they don’t need more people doing bad. However, Ryter finds happiness in books, and this book represents the last bit of knowledge or the last bit of hope for survival. However, people don’t read books because they think they are a waste of time. Even spaz as the main character thinks that books are for old timers and are just a waste of time. Spaz must fight against all odds to save his little sister Bean from leukemia. The proovs forgot the disease for that blood sickness and must have her genes modified to have her get over it. The proovs live in a place called Eden. Eden is the Utopia of this book and everybody wants to be there. Mind probes are banned in Eden because they show carelessness, lack of self-control, or weakness. Spaz persists through the corrupt society where nobody cares what they do to themselves, and overcomes the carelessness, death, and fear through so many ways.
Long Write: Divergent
Imagine living in a world where one choice determines your whole life. "Divergent", Veronica Roth provides a riveting, surreal text set in dystopian Chicago where Tris, the protagonist, is forced to choose between her family and her heart. Throughout the text, many symbols emerge. A prominent symbol is the black dress that Tris buys once arriving in her new faction, Dauntless. In the exposition phase of the story, the dress is a symbol of Tris shedding her former self and becoming a new person, embracing her new life and forgetting the people she left behind in Abnegation. She doesn’t know if she will never be able to fully let go of her Abnegation side, but she does know that she can try – and she feels that the best way to do that is within changing herself. “It will be difficult to break the habit of thinking Abnegation...But I will become something else” (87). Tris wants to shed her old self so she can embrace her new values as a person and as a new initiate. She wants to prove herself to her instructors and peers, and she feels that the only way to do so is to disregard her old way of life. Tris struggled with being weaker than all the other initiates and being put in a box because she came from Abnegation. She wants to leave her old self behind and she does so by wearing new clothes and becoming a new person. The theme that comes through with this symbol in the text: sometimes changing one’s self is the best way to move on.