American Education: Dystopia in the Making

            The purpose of this course is to reveal the similarities between fictional dystopian worlds and our own constantly evolving society. It is always frightening to discover that the foundations of a dystopian society already find their homes in the basis of our societal structures without much notice from the public. A perfect example of this is the American educational system. Students are told what the path of their lives should look like. Ironically, is it identical to the ones their peers should have – graduate high school, apply for college and get a degree, then start a family and work until retirement. Individuality and creativity are suppressed early on in their academic careers, and by the time students reach universities, they are nearly perfectly tailored to perform mindless tasks without much argument as long as they make the proper grade. This then lends itself well to doing the same later on when graduates enter the workforce where they exchange grades out for a paycheck. Structuring people’s lives for them is dystopian in itself, but that is not the only example of this. When choosing a career, it is not the things that people are passionate about that they are encouraged to pursue; it is what will make them the most money. Why be a writer or philosopher when you can enter the medical field and make a six-figure salary? This then fosters an environment where leisurely activities and self-development take a backseat to self-preservation. In George Orwell’s 1984, this is what makes Oceania work so well. Citizens perform the roles they were given, and they stay within the parameters made. There is no room for personal development, hobbies, or interests. Your purpose is to fulfill a task. The format of the American education system does adhere to these principles, and in a strange turn of events, we accept it as it is even if we do not like it. From the definition of dystopia that we have been provided with and altering since the course began, it is fair to say that the current system of education in America is oppressive, limiting, and at times detrimental to the students it was created to help – a common starting point for the fictional dystopias we have been presented with thus far.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.