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We Are Living in a Corporate Dystopia

A Corporate Dystopia

Our children are being brainwashed. Not overtly, mind you, and not in any way that would be so violent as to cause alarm with most parents, but subtly and persistently, powerful entities are programming and transforming the next generation of American citizens into obedient attendants and mindless drones. Without the necessary steps taken to prevent it, our future will lie in the hands of men and women who, instead of using a well-cultivated intellect, will feign attack on the problems of their day with the “Just do it.” and “Why ask why?” knee-jerk responses of their wasted childhood, leaving real power to reside with their programmers: Coca-Cola, Nike, Disney, et al. By allowing corporations free access to the minds of our children (as many of us do), we take the first bold steps down the road to the Brave New World. Ignoring this threat and treating it as either non-existent or only minimally significant is tantamount to inviting Huxley’s dystopian vision into our own world. In so doing, we set ourselves up for a decidedly dark tomorrow.

To the uninitiated, the society of Huxley’s Brave New World at first seems to be only pure science fiction with no visible ties to reality. After all, we have no government-controlled genetic engineering of human beings in our world. We do not center our children’s education around pleasure and the maintenance of happiness. We have no drug, or soma, to keep us in a state of physical bliss and emotional contentedness. Yet, for all its fantasy, there are several uncomfortably close connections with our own world in Huxley’s ominous vision.

For instance, while there is currently no centralized system of large-scale genetic engineering, recent…

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…ty to apathy and, more importantly, teach our children to do the same.

[In] Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. -From Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Works Cited

Coca-Cola Company. 1997 Annual Report. Atlanta: Coca-Cola Company. 1998. Available online at:

Hays, Constance L. “Math Textbook Salted With Brand Names Raises New Alarm”. New York Times 21 Mar. 1999. Available online at:

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Time, Inc. 1963.

Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show-Business. New York: Viking. 1985.

George Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant as an Attack on Colonialism and Imperialism

George Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant as an Attack on Colonialism and Imperialism

The glorious days of the imperial giants have passed, marking the death of the infamous and grandiose era of imperialism. George Orwell’s essay, Shooting an Elephant, deals with the evils of imperialism. The unjust shooting of an elephant in Orwell’s story is the central focus from which Orwell builds his argument through the two dominant characters, the elephant and its executioner. The British officer, the executioner, acts as a symbol of the imperial country, while the elephant symbolizes the victim of imperialism. Together, the solider and the elephant turns this tragic anecdote into an attack on the institution of imperialism.

The importance in the shooting of the elephant lies in how the incident depicts the different aspects of imperialism. In this essay, the elephant and the British officer help prove that imperialism is a double-edge sword. The shooting of the elephant is the incident that reveals that imperialism inflicts damage on both parties in a imperialistic relationship. The British officer, Orwell, displays many aspects of the being the “absurd puppet” under the institution of imperialism.(3) He is the evidence that “every white man’s life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at.”(3) His experience with the natives conveys how imperialism harms the imperialistic countries as well as their colonies. To give reason to their forceful colonization, the imperialists must strip themselves of their own freedom as they constantly try to “impress the natives” to prove the superiority of the white man.(3) Colonists find the need to become racist against the natives because it is convenient for the colonists to patr…

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…he elephant, and the elephant, who painfully dies, focuses the reader’s attention on the suffering that imperialism causes for both parties. If the shooting was justified, Orwell’s argument would have been immensely weakened.

The symbolic story in the Shooting an Elephant is an attack towards imperialism. Orwell presents the ironic truth that imperialism benefits neither the imperialist nor the countries they colonize. It is perhaps sad to see that men were once willing to buy in to the fraudulent and ephemeral glory that imperialism have offered. Hopefully, men have learned their lessons and no other animal will be sacrificed for men’s greed.

Works Cited:

Orwell, George. “Shooting An Elephant.” An Age Like This, 1920-1940, vol. 1 of The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell. ed. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus. New York: Harcourt, 1968.

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