When it was clear Trump would be the next President of the US, a friend emailed me that in a local bookstore near her they’d put a sign up in the Dystopian Novel section that said “Now Non-Fiction.” At the time I laughed. Now, I can’t help but wonder if that little joke is not so little. Many people see shades of dystopian books like George Orwell’s 1984 in the current rhetoric and actions of the US government. So much so that it hit the best seller list and amazon actually sold out of the book yesterday.

So let’s see how right that bookstore might be…

Take the following test and see if you can tell which of these quotes are real and which are from a work of fiction about fascist groups/regimes that oppress or terrorize people.

Dystopian Novel Game: Can You Tell Fact from Fiction?

Count the ones you think are actual quotes from people who have a role or potential role today’s US government. Keep track! Check out the answers after the picture at the end.

  1. “I can make bad things happen to people who annoy me.”
  2. “I will give you everything. … I’m the only one.”
  3. “I think that putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing.”
  4. “… a wife should be always a reasonable and agreeable companion, because she can’t always be young.”
  5. “Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s Kingdom.”
  6. “Which is better–to have laws and agree, or to hunt and kill?”
  7. “Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.”
  8. “I’d like to see the government get out of war altogether and leave the whole field to private industry.”
  9. “I would imagine that there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.”
  10. “Fear is a good thing. Fear is going to lead you to take action.”
  11. “Great is truth, but still greater…is silence about truth.”
  12. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
  13. “We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.”
  14. “We don’t pay judges to think; we pay judges to rule on the law.”
  15. “Let the grassroots turn on the hate because that’s the only thing that will make them do their duty.”
  16. “I’m a leader, I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it.”
  17. “Darkness is good…Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power.”
  18. “How do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable?”
  19. “Hunting animals is just like golf.”
  20. “A book is a loaded gun in the house next door.”
 
 Answer key below the picture

Answer Key

50% of the quotes listed are by actual people, not works of literary fiction. See which ones below. Did you get them all right?

  1. “I can make bad things happen to people who annoy me.” Voldemort (of Harry Potter fame, fiction book)
  2. “I will give you everything. … I’m the only one.” Real person – Trump
  3. “I think that putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing,” Real person – Trump
  4. “… a wife should be always a reasonable and agreeable companion, because she can’t always be young.” Gulliver’s Travels (fiction book)
  5. “Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s Kingdom.” Real person – Devos, Trump’s pick for Education Secretary, on how she wants to build public schools. (So much for separation of Church and State…)
  6. “Which is better–to have laws and agree, or to hunt and kill?” Lord of the flies (fiction book)
  7. “Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.” Real person – Pence
  8. “I’d like to see the government get out of war altogether and leave the whole field to private industry.” Catch 22 (fiction book)
  9. “I would imagine that there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.” Real person – DeVos, Trump’s pick for Education Secretary, on why guns should be allowed in schools. (I mean seriously people? Come on. Supporting guns in schools? Is there no line we won’t cross now?)
  10. “Fear is a good thing. Fear is going to lead you to take action.” Real person – Bannon, Trump’s Chief Strategist
  11. “Great is truth, but still greater…is silence about truth.” Brave New World (fiction book)
  12. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery.  Ignorance is strength.” 1984 (fiction book)
  13. “We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.” The Giver (fiction book)
  14. “We don’t pay judges to think; we pay judges to rule on the law.” Real person – Sessions, Trump’s pick for Attorney General (aka, the head lawyer of the country.)
  15. “Let the grassroots turn on the hate because that’s the only thing that will make them do their duty.”  Real person – Bannon, Trump’s Chief Strategist (aka, the guy essentially setting the policy of the administration)
  16. “I’m a leader, I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it.” Real person – Trump
  17. “Darkness is good…Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power.”  Real person – Bannon, Trump’s Chief Strategist (DISCLAIMER: I left part of this quote out. I just found it too offensive to repeat a comparison of certain people to Satan. But you can look it up if you want the full quote.)
  18. “How do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable?” 1984 (fiction book)
  19. “Hunting animals is just like golf.” Real person – Trump
  20.  “A book is a loaded gun in the house next door.” Fahrenheit 451 (fiction book)

“Since mankind’s dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We’ve seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.”
Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

 

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