Throughout history, writers have attempted to mirror reality in their literature. Sometimes, an author may attempt this feat using the tool of realism, trying desperately to replicate the world that surrounds them everyday. They make only subtle changes, perhaps inventing characters, maybe even a location or two. In other stories, the creator will attempt to parallel life using exaggeration and some rather complex warping of reality and time. This method of well placed hyperbole, and inventive worlds could be considered the foundations of movies such as The Matrix and novels such as Snow Crash In many ways, the motion picture and the book resemble our society. In other ways, they demonstrate what we may become, or extremes of what we are. Either way, they are both thought provoking, albeit sometimes frightening glimpses into the darkness of humanity. The future is a desolate place. The United States as we know it has collapsed, shriveling up into little more than a vague notion of the great nation that once was. From the ashes of this distraught realm has risen a system of countries within a country. Individual neighborhoods have broken down to become their own independent nations. In this wasteland of a society, laws no longer exist. Such absence of authority has allowed the mafia to grow, or rather morph into what would appear to be a legitimate pizza franchise. This is the future as predicted by Neal Stephenson in Snow Crash.
On the other hand The Matrix, written and directed by the Wachowski brothers, shows an alternate outcome of human existence. With the rise of artificial intelligence, man and machine wage war against each other. The society of men think that without the sun, the machines will not survive. T...
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... find our world today more chaotic than we, in the modern world, find the future civilizations portrayed in these modern works of literature. The authors may have intentionally made life more complex in the future, to make it seem as overwhelming to us as our world may seem to someone living a hundred years ago.
Throughout time societies have changed greatly, and if all goes well, it will continue to do so. But one thing that has not changed very much is the desire of writers to write what they see. Often writers will take what is around them, and distort it into some sort of setting that is more pleasing to the storyline. But one their characters and situations still mirror the current life. This is true most great literature.
Stephenson, Neal. Snow Crash. New York: Bantam Dell, 1992.
Wachowski, Larry & Andy. The Matrix. DVD. Warner B
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