The Historical And Cultural Context Of The Novels

2020 Words Dec 7th, 2016 9 Pages
The historical and cultural context of the novels cannot be fully understood unless we deal first with the events leading up to the 1920s and the 1950s.
The end of the nineteenth century saw the emergence of life-changing technological advances such as the steam-engine, the mechanized factory, as well as gas and electricity (James 1994: 25). Humanity became aware of the possibilities made available by the technical progress. But instead of using science and technology to improve and simplify people’s way of life, humans created weapons of mass destruction. The increasingly deadly wars fought with alienating technology had various effects. On the one hand, the people affected longed for peace and were still conscious of the fact that technology could be used for good purposes and to bring about the tranquillity and worldly brotherhood they wished for. On the other hand, after witnessing the horrors of war, after being made aware what humans could do to one another, the positivism linked to the belief that utopia was possible began to vanish. Two very contradicting stances on this issue demonstrate the conflict that arouse after World War I: while some believed that technology still meant progress, others condemned their use. It is with great unease that readers of dystopian novels realize that the imperfect society is not about technology gone wrong, but man and human ambition going wrong (Golder 2015: XX).
While utopias up to the 1850s were more concerned with the…
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