Gemma Malley's dystopian novel, The Declaration, is a futuristic science fiction story set in the year 2140. The protagoist, Anna, lies in a surplus hall, an orphanage of sorts for those born into world where they are unwanted.
As a result, a major theme is indoctrination as all the she surpluses living at Grange Hall are forced to believe lies about their existence. Grange Hall is a place that physically and emotionally imprisons its residents, the house matron, Mrs. Pincent, perpetuates this indoctrination and even the new rebel surplus, Peter, has extreme difficulty convincing Anna of the truth about her life. This theme is important because it helps the reader to understand how Anna became so brainwashed, and how we might become brainwashed as well.
Primarily, Grange Hall serves as a prison, a prison that propels the theme of indoctrination. Grange Hall is physically isolated from the rest of ...view middle of the document...
Furthermore, the theme of indoctrination is expressed through the values and beliefs of the house matron at Grange Hall, Mrs. Pincent. She convinces surpluses that they are a burden on the Earth and to society. In her opinion, surpluses waste the little remaining resources as they are not legally permitted to exist, adding to the global strain on resources. They're taught to hate their parents, told that they "should be angry at their parents... for bringing them into a world where they are unwanted". This indoctrinations ensures that the truth is hidden from surpluses; they grow up in an environment where they believe they are worthless as that is all they have been told. Malley is encouraging readers to understand how severe indoctrination is at Grange Hall, to the point where even human life is devalued.
Moreover, this theme can be explored through the secondary character, Peter. He grew up on the outside and therefore serves as someone in juxtaposition to Anna, someone who has not been brainwashed into turning aeay from freedom of thought or self worth. When Peter is sent to Grange Hall, he refuses to all victim to the indoctrination that takes place there. He instead rebells against Mrs. Pincent and tries to open Anna's eyes and mind. He tells her "your parents love you more than anything... they want you back more than anything". This shows the reader that Peter knows of the world outside Grange Hall, knows how humans are supposed to be treated. He frees Anna of her indoctrination, liberating her from her mental and emotional prison. Malley is challenging readers to see that even the most horrendous of evil can be broken through the strength of the human spirit.
Therefore, it is evident that Gemma Malley's novel, The Declaration, explores the theme of indoctrination. She uses both the setting and the characters to show the extent of her ideas through the physical imprisonment and the emotional brainwashing. Until someone is able to challenge this indoctrination, we can never break free of the chains that hold us. She is encouraging us to understand how strong the human spirit is.
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