The Wanting Seed

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In Anthony Burgess’ The Wanting Seed, the story starts off, in what is known to the main character, Tristram, as the Pelphase. Tristram is a history teacher and knows mostly all there is to know about history. According to Tristram, governments go through three phases: the Pelphase, the Interphase, and the Gusphase. Tristram believes that like almost everything else, government is cyclical. The Pelphase is a time in the government and society where the people are working to better themselves, their surroundings and their country. The people don’t just work for themselves; they work together. Overpopulation has always been a problem in the futuristic London that Burgess portrays. God has become a myth even though some still practice their religion. God has turned into some sort of Santa Clause because everyone is working to better the problems that they and the government are having. The government suggests that homosexuality could help the population troubles, but they don’t enforce it or make it law. People have the choice to have children or be homosexual. The government hands out rations of food every week because the crops aren’t growing and overpopulation is so prevalent. The rations are just enough to keep the people full and content. When the government realizes that nothing is working out and the crops still wont grow and overpopulation is still a giant problem, they give up the current ways and move on to new ways of governing. This brings the Interphase along. The Interphase is black and white compared to the Pelphase. It is a transition phase where things must be broken in order to fix them. When the government realized that giving people the choice to have children or be homosexual isn’t working in everyone’s favor and the crops are still aren’t growing, they made it mandatory to either be gay or have only one child and in addition to that the food rations have gotten smaller. Police (Greyboys) walked the beat in large groups...
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