The books I chose for the book jackets covers are Fahrenheit 451, The Giver, and Daniel's story. I chose these three since the follow the topic of police states and utopian societies. Enjoy.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury is an American mystery, science fiction, and horror author. He was born Waukegan, Illinois on August 22, 1920 and is still living. He began publishing science fiction stories in 1938 and started his own “fanzine” in 1939. His first paid story was Pendulum written with Henry Hasse in which was published in the magazine Super Science Stories in 1942 and he was paid $15. Bradbuy was married to his late wife Marguerite McClure from 1947 to her death in 2003 in which they had four daughters.
Other books include:
The Martian Chronicles
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Plot of Fahrenheit 451:
Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian fiction novel. It takes place in “the future” in which some dialogue hints after the 1990s. The population at this time is, what some may describe, hedonistic, with constant chaos in the streets. As a solution, the government makes certain books illegal to keep order. The story follows the main character Guy Montag who is employed as a “fireman,” which is a book burner, since illegal books at this time are burned with the owner sent to a mental hospital. Illegal books include all historical texts, including the Bible. Guy Montag’s life is changed when he meets his new neighbor, Clarisse McClellan, who is a free thinker and makes him question his beliefs, ideas, morals, and his thought of happiness.
The message of this novel is illustrating what happens when people forfeit freedom for safety and order.
The protagonist goes on a quest for knowledge and questioning, while the antagonist tries to suppress education and knowledge of the protagonist and everyone else in order to have control and order.
“You're not like the others. I've seen a few; I know. When I talk, you look at me.” (23)
“She's nothing to me; she shouldn't have had books. It was her responsibility, she should have thought of that. I hate her. She's got you going and next thing you know we'll be out, no house, no job, nothing.” (6)
“We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against.” (58)
I picked this book to redesign due to the symbolism of the temperature, objects such as the mechanical hounds, and the idea of a dystopian society and wanted to try to convey that through the cover.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry is an American author of children’s literature. She was born March 20, 1937 in Honolulu, Hawaii and is still living. She has written over 30 books with subject matter that tackles racism, terminal illness, and murder, catered to a younger audience. Lowry came from a military family, causing her to travel throughout her childhood. Lowry completed her degree in English literature from the University of Southern Maine in Portland in 1972. Lowry published her first children’s book, A Summer To Die, in 1977, which is based off of the tragic death of Lowry’s older sister in 1968.
Other books include:
The One Hundredth Thing About Caroline
Plot of The Giver:
The setting of The Giver is what appears to be a utopian futuristic society but gradually grows to be dystopian. The novel follows the main character, Jonas, in his twelfth year of life. In Jonas’ society, people are assigned jobs by evaluating their skills from birth on. Husbands and wives are matched up to each other by personality and are only allowed two children per household, one male and one female. Although this is a futuristic society, technologies such as televisions and radios do not exist. Cars and airplanes exist, however in small numbers and are usually only used to transport food and other material goods to their community. At first in the novel, it appears that this community is without crime, poverty, violence and injustice, however throughout the novel we find that the people are rid of certain feelings, mainly love, compassion, and the idea of family. When the children of the community turn 12, the council of elders (government) assigns them the jobs that they will continue for the rest of their lives. Throughout the novel, we go through Jonas’ journey as he becomes a “Twelve” and as he realizes that the life presented to him is not the only means of reality.
The message of this novel is that what appears to be utopian could be a lie, as the means of making a utopian society can be cruel.
The protagonist discovers his unique ability within the community, which is to feel emotion and remember the past and is assigned to store that information from everyone else. The antagonist is the whole society, which reinforces the idea of emotional distance and forgetting the past.
"There's much more. There's all that goes beyond – all that is Elsewhere – and all that goes back, and back, and back. I received all of those, when I was selected. And here in this room, all alone, I re-experience them again and again. It is how wisdom comes. And how we shape our future." (10.56)
"It hurt a lot, but I'm glad you gave it to me. It was interesting. And now I understand better. What it meant, that there would be pain." (11.60)
"The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared." (20.33)I picked this book to redesign as it would go well with the series, as it is similar to Fahrenheit 451 in which a government tries to make a utopian society by controlling knowledge and emotions.
Daniel’s Story by Carol Matas
Carol Matas was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on November 14, 1949. She has written over 35 books for children and young adults. She writes historical fiction, as well as science fiction and fantasy. Her inspiration to write historical fiction came when her Danish husband’s family would talk about their experiences with the Holocaust, which would inspire her to write Daniel’s Story.
Other books include:
The Burning Time
The Primrose Path
Plot of Daniel’s Story:
Daniel’s Story follows the life of a boy throughout the struggles of the Holocaust. His family is forced from their home in Frankfurt to the ghettos in Poland and eventually to Auschwitz where he witnesses the horrors that the Nazi’s are capable of to his people.
The message of this book is that the cruelness in the world is present and that humans are capable of unspeakable acts. However, we are shown throughout these ordeals that courage is still possible.
The protagonist goes through his life of persecution while finding the courage to stay alive, while the antagonist tries to rid people like Daniel from the world.
"Even a new country needs music. And the Jews need a country of their own." Part 1, Chapter 1, pg. 5
"Hitler wants someone to blame all of Germany's troubles on and he has decided it will be the Jews. And anyone else that isn't 'pure' Germans of the 'Aryan' or 'master' race. I've heard they have opened up camps - where they're putting all his enemies - communists, socialists, Gypsies, Jews, anyone who disagrees with him and anyone he doesn't like." Part 1, Chapter 1, pg. 9-10.
"The authorities have instructed us to illustrate the inferiority of this race to you students in this way." He then quickly measured Daniel's head and announced, "You see! Inferior species. Head too small, no room for brains, a close relative to the vermin in our gutters." Part 1, Chapter 2
I chose to to redesign Daniel's Story book cover as it may be historical fiction, but it is based on what people went through in the Holocaust. I thought this would be a nice contrast, as the Holocaust is a real life example of people trying to create a utopian society and the horrors that become of it.