The Darker Side of Humanity
as told by Novels and Movies
By Kyzia Maramara
We’re fast approaching 2018 and my, what a time to be alive! A time where technology seems to have reached its peak with facial recognition smartphones, digital maps to guide drivers, cure to most of the world’s diseases, and my personal favorite, ride-sharing apps. Technology isn’t the only thing we humans are fascinated with, there’s also winning the next international pageant, the Oscars, the VMAs, keeping up with the lives of celebrities, and dogs and cats of the internet, airing political opinions on social media, and the list could go on! Everything is for our entertainment and our leisure.
But what if, like pigs at a farm, we’re just being fattened for slaughter? Made comfortable to hide the fact that we’re in for something cruel at the end? That was a morbid example, but tell me honestly, isn’t that what it feels like? All the glitz and the glamor of the world is to distract us from the fact that there is a darker side to humanity, one we can’t even comprehend.
Sometimes the darkness, like a gash on the skin, breaks through before the good people could clot it: reports of shootings at a bar killing hundreds of people, hijacked planes, wars and rumors of wars. And although we’re working to prevent more from occurring, people are now emboldened and in a bad way. After all, the phrase “Come on guys, it’s 2017!” doesn’t only apply to being liberal. It could mean anything.
We’ve listed 8 books and movies with fictional stories of what it would be like if humanity is left alone without leaders, or sanity, or deprived of their social privileges.
Lord of the Flies
A classic novel by William Golding tells about the fate of a group of boys who survived a plane crash on a deserted tropic island. At first they attempted to build leadership but soon, far away from civilization, society, and with rules of their own, they slowly descend to savagery. The boys claim that there’s a beast on the island, but one boy realizes that the beast is internal, in each individual boy. Unfortunately not all could see the truth. The Lord of the Flies explores the idea of the evil in humans, and how they respond to tension, unfamiliarity, and stress.
This novel also has a movie adaptation.
Under the Dome
This science fiction novel by Stephen King tells the unusual story of Chester’s Mill, a town that was suddenly cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible dome-like barrier. King’s idea was to explore how people would react when they’re away from civilization and are cut off from society. Although mixed with the supernatural, this novel has an eerie possible ring to it.
This novel also has a TV series.
J.G. Ballard writes a dystopian novel very close to our daily way of life. The setting is in a 40-storey high rise where the residents have developed a hierarchy by dividing the floors, the closer you are to the top, the more privileges you can have. Things go terribly wrong when the building experiences power outage, malfunctioning elevators, and other inconveniences. Residents from different floors form groups, murders occur; people are forced to do unimaginable things, and everything becomes surreal. What’s more eerie is that fact that any resident could’ve walked out or called the police but nobody did. Speak about the primal need of humans!
The movie adaptation of High Rise stars Tom Hiddleston and was released in 2015.
This Japanese dystopian book tells the story of a class of junior high school students chosen by the Japanese government to participate in the annual Battle Royale. The goal is to fight each other to the death with only one remaining survivor in the end. The survival instinct of humanity is emphasized in this novel. Most of the students choose to save themselves rather than teaming up to destroy the government.
Battle Royale also has a thrilling movie adaptation of the same name. Check it out here.
The Belko Experiment
Your average office meets Battle Royale and The Hunger Games. Workers of the Belko Industries find themselves locked in the building with only a voice coming from the intercom guiding them. The voice orders them to kill a number of people or else twice the number will be killed at random. A movie about survival, betrayal, and coming to terms with the instincts of humans when under pressure, it will leave you with mixed feelings.
The Stanford Prison Experiment
The Stanford Prison Experiment is a psychological experiment conducted at Stanford University under the supervision of a professor. The participating students are divided into playing the role of a prisoner or a prison guard. It is believed that the personality traits of both ate the cause of violent behavior between them. The experiment was supposed to run for 14 days but was stopped after the 6th day due to the extreme abusive behavior that the students adapted.
A Clockwork Orange
The violence in A Clockwork Orange will sit differently with you throughout the years as you read it. You’ll soon realize that human nature will always have that part of evil in it. Alex, the protagonist/antagonist, lets his violent impulses loose, letting him go on a crime spree with his gang. He ultimately gets arrested and forced to undergo psychological conditioning.
Black Mirror is a Netflix series with different episodes of dark and satirical takes on modern technology and society. Each stand-alone episode is thrilling and will intentionally let you question today’s world. Watch it to know what we mean.
Does all that make you lose hope? Don’t fret, the good always wins in the end, whether it be in a book or in a movie.
What do you think about these books and movies? Share it with us!