Are WE oppressed?

To what extent is oppression necessary to maintain order in society? Compare the Onestate to one real oppressive state. Compare and contrast (Venn?) The following tasks will guide you to a response to this question.

Oppression as “prolonged cruel and unjust treatment” (Oxford Dictionary of English) is quite a weighty definition. Given D’s narration of the Onestate, could we argue that it is cruel? Lets unpack the idea of oppression first.

Task: Which states/societies are commonly described as oppressive?  Make a list. What characterises them as oppressive? We’ll come back to this a little later.

Task: Brainstorm – how is the Onestate oppressive? Which aspects of the society are more oppressive? Rank them? Where is the cutoff point to “acceptable oppression?

Now consider our focus question: How valid is the assertion that literature is the voice for the oppressed? 

Lets focus on Zamyatin for a moment. Task: what might Zamyatin have identified as oppressive within the emerging Soviet regime? Investigate. 

Now connect the dots between the Onestate and the Soviet regime. Does this help you answer the focus question?

Finally, look back at your perfect society? What level oppression is evident in your decisions? Comment on them.




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