Critical Appreciation of Dystopian Themes in The Children of Men

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

The ‘Children of Men’ presents the various dystopian tropes through the use of the linguistic techniques in order to question society’s troubles and create a parable to our own reality. PD James introduces the dystopian trope of the uncanny through this setting. By using similar places “Magdalen” it involves uneasiness as the reader starts to imagine such an event happening. The oxymoronic description of the women scream, “inhuman yet all Too Human.” creates a sense of meaning behind his scream. Those emotions of a mother have now become unrecognisable to the society as they are now rendered childless so a women’s role as a mother has now been stripped away from them. The unnatural description of the doll also creates an uncanny emotion. The lashes of the doll “lay like spiders” which only alienates the doll through the zoomorphic undertones of fear and disgust. James Bowman suggested that “without the ability to bear children…we also lose the ability to care about anything but our own comfort and safety.” which is supported by the reaction of the protagonist who does not feel as much sympathy towards the women as he and society have become hedonistic. Therefore the women is normalising the unnatural (that the society does not view as acceptable), thus creating a mysterious yet disturbing atmosphere.

PD James explores the dystopian trope of capitalism through the use of jargon. “six-Monthlies’ is an advanced version of a doll that helps grieving potent woman. It shows companies are exploiting the infertility pandemic just like companies in the World War II were producing materials and propaganda in order. Third person narrative indirectly presents the prejudicial perspective the protagonist, when referring to the woman’s ‘idiot smile’. It mirrors the 1984’s protagonist who is also lacking in empathy towards woman and continues to show his hatred for them. This suggests that dystopian literature do show a lack of sympathy for the women through the exploitation and dismissive attitude towards them.

She also presents the dystopian future of violence do linguistic techniques such as semantic field. It shows the decrease in population reaction to a ‘threat’, is by ‘harshly… Seizing… Hurling… Thumping’, even though this reaction is towards a docile creature. This illustrates humanity’s urge to resort to violence when outnumbered. This could allude to the contemporary era’s issue towards the AID’s pandemic as many people were questioning whether humans would cease to exist because of this. By blaming a minority group at the time, homosexuals, for AID’s it caused more rises in homophobia even though there is clear evidence that it’s false. Thus PD James intentionally presents the absurdity of society’s reaction to act aggressively when faced with a dystrophic future. To conclude, PD James has used past pandemics and issues and created a dystopia future in order to create the uncanny feeling of resemblance. She also remarks on the use of capitalism and how it had fundamentally is flawed over exploiting the emotionally vulnerable and how humanity is flawed for resulting into the means of violence as a resolution.


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