– How does freedom of being able to do whatever we want relate to there being consequences of our choices?
– When is it appropriate for the government to intervene in moral issues?
– How should the government enforce rules? What is acceptable/not acceptable for enforcement?
– When does “research” cross the line? Is it ever OK to have test groups, when subjects don’t know they are a part of the research? Does our government ‘use’ certain segments of our population to press their agendas?
– Can altruistic purposes get so skewed they are no longer altruistic? The SCI claims to be giving people a second chance at life. Despite this being true and seemingly noble, is it ok if they are only do it to further their own agenda, and not to truly benefit the Second Chancers? Are there parallel situations in our own society (for instance, we go to war to defend democracy; companies claim to do good while harming the environment)?
– Is there ever an appropriate time for a government to play Big Brother (as in 1984)? Does our government do this to us? Where’s the line between societal protection and personal violation?
Cleaving & Teenage Behavior
Extremes are extreme by nature and intended to shed very bright light on societal parallels and make the reader think, feel uncomfortable even. In the case of Cleaving in daynight, I purposefully made the teenage behavior related to Cleaving extreme. I wanted the reader to think about several things (note that the idea is to get people thinking…not to get everyone to come to the same conclusion):
– Given the dystopian concept of Cleaving, are these teens a bunch of “hormonal” nightmares or are they reacting as they would? In Brave New World “everyone belongs to everyone.” People are expected to have sex with anyone and everyone, and ostracized if they don’t. Those who have feelings for and want to pursue a relationship with “one person” are ridiculed. Author Aldous Huxley dialed the societal morality meter to “extreme” on the promiscuous front to shed light on our increasingly promiscuous society.
– How would behavior change for us if the equivalent of Cleaving was introduced (if there were extreme consequences for commonplace actions)? What would the impact be on marriage and divorce rates?
– All actions have consequences. On Thera, if two people have sex, they are Cleaved for life. How is this different from making the same decision, getting pregnant, and being responsible for a child for life?
– How does the use of mind-altering substances affect judgment?
– How prevalently is sex discussed amongst teens today? Is the level appropriate? The level of “Cleaving” talk in daynight seems ridiculous, but does our own society discuss sex equally as much?
– How does our current societal focus on sex (whether by action, books, pornography, music, TV, movies) affect our perceptions?
– Is there a cautionary tale here?
In addition to the dystopia itself, daynight explores a lot of personal behavioral extremes intended to have readers think about what they would do if placed in a similar situation. As I wrote daynight, here are some of the things I thought about:
– At what point is it appropriate to forgive?
– If a person has no memory of an action, can you still hold them accountable?
– How would we personally react when in difficult circumstances or around people making bad decisions?
– Kira is extremely loyal. Loyalty is an admirable quality, but how does her loyalty affect her negatively?
– Is revenge ever appropriate?
– How does a child maintain respect for and obey their parents while still making their own choices? What if their parents expect them to do things inconsistent with their own moral compass?
– When should we toe the line versus make a stand?
– Are second chances truly a second chance if we can’t learn from our mistakes?