As I mentioned earlier, over spring break I became a Hunger Games manic and also watched the Lorax with my baby brother. Given that I had a lot more time and freedom to think during my class free break, I noticed that both movies/books alluded to a paradox of eras, so to speak.
In The Hunger Games, the citizens of The Capitol live glorious lives in which their every outrageous whim is catered to by technology. They have moved beyond the point of basic communication technology, and have advanced fictionally much further than we can even begin to imagine in the real world. Food materializes from thin air with not even a touch of a button, but the sound of your voice, and one never has to worry about being beautiful due to the extensive amount of surgeries, realistic or superficial, you can have. The citizens of the Capitol have mastered the idea of a technological era on a whole different level. However, this seemingly perfect state of time ends alongside the end of the city line. The remaining citizen’s of the country aren’t so fortunate however; the rest of the Districts seem to live in pre-modern era who’s ideologies and technologies precede even our own current ones. Each district is assigned a pre-modern theme: including coal mining, fabric making and agriculture. The main characters of the novel even rely heavily on the “Hunters and Gatherers'” method and black-marketing to survive. Not to also mention, the monarchy styled government and the caste system are also long outdated. The dramatic difference between the lifestyles of the Capitol and the Districts directly provide to enforce this paradox.
In The Lorax, there isn’t a dramatic allusion to past verses present in the plot but I still noticed a mental paradox. I was a big Dr. Seuss fan as a child. Keyword: child, as in that period of my life that was still living in the 90’s: a time before even the computer was ubiquitous. Considering I read his works then, he must have written them much before that. So to see the fictional Thneedville come to life on screen as a town also far more advanced than our own current era, and realize that Dr. Seuss thought our world would one day become so technology dependent before we even understood what technology was. . . well that’s very paradoxical. Also, the generation the Once-ler grew up in is vastly pre-modern (even with his big tree-cutting machine), when compared to the electronic trees and bottled air. Although I realize that yes, the actual book it self was a lot more simplistic, it’s still hard to swallow; his simplistic words and ideas somehow gave leeway for others to see it as high-tech as it’s displayed in the movie.
Paradoxes aside, neither of the story’s post-technological eras/states seemed very appeasing or comforting to live in to me. Yet both were written to provide insight as to what our futures could look like. I don’t know how the rest of you feel, but I’m content with the amount of technology we have now. Our world and society is already deteriorating fast and I do not think I am ready to see how much further we can fall, especially not if it could result in a cruelly designed monarchy or having to bottle what’s left of our most important natural resource.