The Wanting Seed

Topics: Police, Anthony Burgess, War Pages: 2 (730 words) Published: September 23, 2007
The Wanting Seed

The Wanting Seed, a novel written by Anthony Burgess, shows that nothing of undeniable control merely imposes on the best intentions of the rational mind. Tristram is a history teacher in a future reality where the liberal government rules with a shaking finger, the population has exploded and drastically reduced the quality of life. As his community changes due to the cycle of sociological thought, in which his government revolves about, he is thrust in to a new chaotic, cannibalistic, transformed world where his only thoughts are regaining himself and the life he used to live. The three phases of the cycle are the Pelphase, the Interphase, and the Gusphase. Each phase tries to understand its community but when broken down each is leading the community into the inescapable combination of sex and violence. The message gathered from The Wanting Seed is that the majority of people will accept rational notions in the form of moral codes or neighborly wisdom, but cold logic will never excite them or inspire the addictive passion awakened by the combination of sex and death. Palphase, the first of the three phases, named after Pelagius, who believed in the natural goodness of mankind. Governments operating within a Pelagian view see man as essentially good or reasonable. The belief is that, given the proper encouragement and led in the correct direction, men will act within a moral structure that benefits the entire community. Law enforcement is casual, "each floor that rose before Tristam's eyes showed boys not yet in their new classrooms, some not even scurrying. The Pelphase. Nobody tried to enforce the rules. The work got done. More or less." (24). With this lack of law enforcement in the Pelphase, the people are bound to start to take advantage of it. The people will cut corners and get away with more. Whether it is acts of violence, stealing, or any other crime.

This leads into the Interphase, respect for the ideas of the Pelphase has...
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