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ENG237 November 7 - The End is Coming part 5

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Michael Johnstone

ENG237 – November 7, 2012 1 The Windup Girl cont'd Dystopian Setting: The Rubble of the Past  The past still has a role and presence in the future  There is almost a bit of retrograde technology  Global trade is just beginning to pick up again, their lack of quick and efficient transportation  The world is also radically different from our own geopolitically o Primarily because of the environmental catastrophes that have made this world turn back the clock on technology  Recent history: old expansion --> contraction --> new expansion o Old expansion = our world  Viewed as a time of excess characterised by waste and profit, there's a disregard for the consequences that actions create  Anderson talks about the 'foolish confidence of the past' o Contraction = time of environmental crisis o New expansion = slow progression forward  Things are starting to change particularly in global trade  One of the political crises of Bangkok is that it was isolated for so long and therefore there is an ideological battle as they decide whether to stay isolationist or to move forward and interact with the rest of the world  The architecture of the old expansion is still there but it's rubble, it's steadily breaking down and disintegrating o The breakdown of the old expansion tower buildings is a constant visual representation of the breakdown of the past even as it asserts itself into the narrative and the present day  The old expansion towers are so prevalent as a constant indication of the hubris of the past o Shows that the very achievements of the past, embodied by the towers, are impermanent, they are intransient and ultimately damaged and unstable o Presents a stark physical reminder of the mistakes of the past and the false confidence of the great things  The constant reminder of the old expansion displays that the present is a building up of the past  There is a lingering presence of the past that has nothing to do with the reminder, they are there to create a link between the past and the present  The more recent past of the contraction lingers, not through towers, but through ghosts o Suggests that trauma links the contraction to the new expansion o The very trauma of the contraction is present in the ghosts that are always visible because they are unable to achieve peace, rest and relaxation o The cycle of death and reincarnation is being interrupted by the trauma that the world has gone through  Earth and humanity have not healed enough for these ghosts to reincarnate  With both the towers and the ghosts, the past has a link to trauma and the new expansion's task is to heal both the earth and humanity  This setting is dystopian in the way that the new expansion is haunted by the past Gibbons and Evolution  Particularly Gibbons understanding of evolution, Darwinian evolution in the
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