Dystopian Genre: Andrew Niccol's In Time

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Spoken Essay - Dystopian Genre
The dystopian film In Time (2011) directed by Andrew Niccol, portrays a world where quite literally time is money. Once you run out of time - you die. Due to scientific advances people stop aging at 25, but after 25 a person is genetically-engineered to live only one more year. With a glowing, green clock counting down from one year on their forearm. You can earn more time at work but must sell if for goods and services for example a cup of coffee costs 4 minutes. The strict power structure of “time zones” allow the wealthy, who live in New Greenwich, to live forever while the poor, who live in ghettos; are forced to beg, borrow, or steal enough hours to stay alive. The context of the text is the 21st Century, with rapidly rising populations and technology advancing every day. In Time is a Dystopic text because; it is a mechanism for social critique and meets Malak’s conventions of the Dystopian genre. Conflict in In Time is represented between the individual and society. In a traditional Dystopia, personal choice is replaced by uniform decisions made by impersonal bureaucratic machinery, this is reflected throughout In Time by the heavily controlling timekeepers and constant surveillance. The ghetto is juxtaposed with rich, green New Greenwich, which at first glance acts as a binary opposite to the ghetto, but with deeper analysis, is as much of a Dystopia as the ghetto. This is because the rich stay alive due to their easy accumulation of time, but are too consumed with not “dying by accident” that they do not truly live life. “The clock is good for no one, the poor die and the rich don’t live”, the pun of ‘live’ suggests that in this Dystopian society nobody benefits. The ignorance and limited understanding of upper class society gives them a false sense of power.// The ideologies embodied in Dystopic texts represent the values being critiqued by the composer. The main ideology represented, is that ‘time is money’, the extended...
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