Explore the Role of Religion in Dystopian Fiction with Regards to the Children of Men and Brave New World.

2044 Words Apr 9th, 2012 9 Pages
“Religion plays a key role in dystopian fiction.” With reference to The Children of Men and Brave New World, how far do you agree with this statement?

Sixty years separate the publication of the dystopias The Children of Men and Brave New World, but both authors express their depictions of a future world in which religion is drastically changed, and not for the better. Religion and spirituality serve a number of purposes in the two novels, most notably to illustrate the difference between our society and their dystopian society, and also to show the importance of faith in overcoming the difficulties which human beings face.
The plot of The Children of Men centres around the struggle of a dissident group to help one of their number give
…show more content…
Given that the aim of a dystopia is to provide a nightmare scenario for the readers, religion is one of the aspects which a civilized society holds most dear and is therefore an aspect that the authors would obviously choose to corrupt in order to create a more shocking presentation.
Religion also plays an important function in allowing the authors to comment on society and faith’s role in it. For example, both authors seem to be suggesting that our religion is only compatible in society as we know it, that is to say that it is not compatible with other situations. In The Children of Men a major disruption to the working of society, mass infertility, has led to a total destruction of the Christian faith. In Brave New World, an unstoppable surge of machinery and technology has led to the disregard of religious moral and the introduction of a new set of hedonist attitudes, both scenarios being deplored by the reader. This could also be seen as the authors’ asserting that a civilized society desperately needs stable religion and morals, given that the utter breakdown in The Children of Men is arguably as shocking as the superficial worship of machinery and pleasure in Brave New World.
Both novels contain very subtle religious references too, including two figures that could be compared to Christ-like characters. This is more obvious in The Children of Men