Compare and Contrast Essay

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Compare and Contrast Essay

The idea of living in a perfect society is one of the most appealing ideas to us, but the idea of living in a dystopia is something that we all fear. Today, the theme of dystopian societies is very popular in books and movies, and as a class we recently read a dystopian novel and watched a dystopian movie; “All the Troubles of the World” and “Minority Report”. These are two prime examples of a dystopian society and have one main concept in common; the idea of being able to predict a crime before it happens, referred to as pre-crime. “All the Troubles of the World” and “Minority Report” both have a main concept in common, but they also vary quite a lot in their details. The three main ideas that these two stories have in common are that the source of pre-crime is unhappy with knowing so much, one person is selected by the pre-crime source to put an end to pre-crime, and that society’s obsession with perfection is what caused a dystopian society. While these two pieces of literature have very common main ideas, there is also details that are very different in these ideas.

Imagine, knowing everything about every single person. It sounds pretty interesting and exciting, right? At first it would be, but eventually the stress of knowing so much would build up and leave you feeling scared, helpless, and frantically looking for an escape. That’s exactly how the sources of pre-crime felt. In “All the Troubles of the World”, MultiVac started to develop feelings and became depressed from knowing everyone's secrets and worries, and in “Minority Report” the precogs, mainly Agatha, were frightened by all the visions that they were having and felt troubled by seeing so many people’s deaths. The stress that these all-knowing sources were put under was immense; they knew everything, plus they were looked up to as almost God-like figures. They felt as though they had to please everyone, that everyones problems were there problems; not a very nice way for them to live. In both the story and the movie, the pre-crime sources are treated by everyone as though they do not have feelings, that they can easily take on all of this immense responsibility, even though this is most definitely not the case. Although both pre-crime sources know a lot, in the book, “All the Troubles of the World”, MultiVac knows a lot more about everyone than the pre-cogs do in “Minority Report”. The reason that MultiVac knows more than the pre-cogs is because the citizens submit a questionnaire about themselves, and MultiVac uses this to get an idea of who they are as people and can determine what they are going to do, also people can ask MultiVac for advice about their problems. In “Minority Report” the pre-cogs can only see brief vision and know the names of the people about to commit the crime. While these all knowing things are much alike, both put under immense stress, they also vary in what they know.

In both “All the Troubles of the World” and “Minority Report” one person is selected by either MultiVac and Agatha and put through a series of steps to try and corrupt the system to free themselves from their torture. In “All the Troubles of the World” MultiVac chooses a young boy and convicts his father of potential murder, when the young boy comes to MultiVac asking for advice about his father, MultiVac gives the boy a set of instructions. Little does the young boy know that this set of instructions is actually to kill MultiVac, making him the murderer, not his father. In this story, MultiVac is not killed, instead people learn that MultiVac has actually developed feelings, and everyone becomes conflicted about what to do. In “Minority Report”, the precogs do not wish to die, but rather they wish to be free. This is one of the main differences between “All the Troubles of the World” and “Minority Report.” In “Minority Report”, after John, the Pre-Crime captain, is said to be killing someone within the next day or so, Agatha keeps showing the him images that he uses as clues to find out who the real bad-guy is. She is showing him these images and clues because she fears what will happen to her and what other terrifying images she will see when pre-crime becomes national, which helps him solve the puzzle and determine what evil hides inside of this ‘perfect’ world of theirs. In both the story and the movie, it is proven that these sources are a lot more intelligent that what they are given credit for, and have more power and control than even the highest official, which causes a problem for everyone else.

In both of these pieces of literature, the prominent reason that this distress is caused is because of the obsession with having a flawless and perfect society. The idea of predicting a crime before it happens so it can be stopped is something that is very appealing to everyone, but that’s just not the way that it works. In the beginning of “Minority Report”, everything looks flawless. Everyone works in sleek offices, lives in perfectly kept homes, advanced technology, everything appears to be flawless; a utopia. But as we dive deeper into the movie we see the darker sides of this society, that there is still homelessness, drug dealing, people trying to trick the system; we see the impending dystopian society. In “All the Troubles of the World”, the beginning of the book shows us nothing but a perfect world, everyone is content and nothing bad ever happens. But when things start to go for the worse, people are frantic because they do not know how to deal with things themselves, they are completely dependant on MultiVac for all their problems. The idea that people have to fight for themselves and not depend on something to do all the dirty work for them is frightening for them. In the end of “Minority Report”, their society goes back to how it was before, crimes can no longer be predicted before they happen and the precogs are free to live normal lives. While in “All the Troubles of the World”, we do not know what happens to MultiVac in the end, all we know is that the officials are conflicted and stressed about what to do. This story lets us choose the ending that we think is best. “All the Troubles of the World” and “Minority Report” both prove to us that it is impossible for a society to be completely flawless.
After reading “All the Troubles of the World” and watching “Minority Report”, it is obvious that it is impossible to live in a perfect world, that perfection itself is absolutely impossible. A lot can be learned from these stories, and it really is a warning for us to not become too obsessed with having a perfect world, because that goal is absolutely unattainable. In these two pieces of literature, we learn that the main source of this ‘perfect society’ is unhappy with knowing so much about everything, they both choose someone to try and corrupt themselves because they are so unhappy, and the most important lesson that we learn is that an obsession with having a perfect world is very unhealthy because we will never live in a world that is perfect.

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