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The Wanting Seed is a dystopian novel written by Anthony Burgess in 1962. The novel addresses many social issues; the key subject is overpopulation and its relation to culture

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Mayowa Hannah Osinowo October 22, 2012 English: Book Report & Analysisï The Wanting Seed The Wanting Seed is a dystopian novel written by Anthony Burgess in 1962. The novel addresses many social issues; the key subject is overpopulation and its relation to culture. Religion, government and history are also discussed, and a large quantity of the book is about the condemnation of war. The novel takes place in England, although other countries around the world are mentioned when similar events occur. The book begins by introducing two protagonists, Tistram Foxe (a history teacher) and his wife, Beatrice-Joanna (a homemaker). When we are first introduced to them the have recently suffered through their young son’s death. In the first part of the novel, overpopulation is represented thorough the restricted and reuse of materials, and extremely cramped living environment. The book also includes active discrimination against heterosexuals, homosexuality being encourages as a way to stop overpopulation, and in addition self-sterilization is also encouraged. ...read more.


She resides there until she delivers her twin sons, when a government agent arrives to take her and her children to the city. With the help of his cellmate, Tistram escapes to find his wife. He travels across England to his sister-in-law?s farm. He is so desperate for food, like everyone else he briefly joins a ?dining club? which is a chaotic affair, which provides food for him (human meat). His journey eventually takes him to a sort of soup kitchen, where he is tricked into enrolling for the army. In the army, he is shipped to an unknown location to fight in the war, though the he later discovers that he is in Ireland. In his first battle he discovers that there is no real enemy; and the reason of the ?war? is population control. Battalions are sent to a made-up battlefield to kill each other, and the dead bodies are sold for food. ...read more.


?Brutality!' cried Tristram. 'Beatings-up. Secret police. Torture in brightly lighted cellars. Condemnation without trial. Fingernails pulled out with pincers. The rack. The cold-water treatment. The gouging out of eyes. The firing squad in the cold dawn. And all this because of disappointment. The Interphase.'" The last phase is Gusphase, which involves the lifting of the Interphase. The leaders begin to realize how terrible they have become therefore; the government relaxes its rules. Tistram describes the Gusphase as "The orthodox view presents man as a sinful creature from whom no good at all may be expected... It eventually appears that human social behavior is rather better than any Augustinian pessimist has any right to expect, and so a sort of optimism begins to emerge. And so Pelagianism is reinstated." I personally enjoy dystopian novels, and books that require extra research and are challenging. This novel met all of those criteria making it a very enjoyable, and interesting read. I found the book both funny and grimly serious, because of certain aspects that seemed very linked and in sync with out world today. ...read more.

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