Wednesday, 3 July 2013
Logan's Light Morning Stroll [Review: The Unit]
The story is told by Dorrit Weger who was brought up to be independent – not to become dependent on any man, not to derail her career plans with childbirth. She reaches age 50 with very little to show for it. Meanwhile, her country has been sleepwalking into a very dark place, and financial and political pressures are making unthinkable solutions thinkable.
The Unit has several themes. It’s about the way we view the elderly: creating a sort of sinister care home with an opt-in organ donation scheme, and institutionalising the way that elderly people can be abandoned by their families and left to die or to be abused, their lives unvalued.
There’s also a strange challenge to feminist ideas – it seems that Dorrit would have been fine if only she had found a man to love her and father her children. Instead the silly woman put her career and independence first, running the risk of being left on the shelf. Misguided? Perhaps.
However the strongest message is the call to political activism. Dorrit and her generation have been apathic, and have completely missed gradual but relentless societal changes. Even when arriving in the Unit Dorrit remains stoic and non-science-fictional about the whole thing, and ultimately it is selfishness, plus an unlikely change in her personal circumstances, that “activates” her. Like Aldous Huxley, this author wants her readers to wake up and take action to avert a dystopian future, and it’s hard to argue with that.