- Series: Twentieth Century Classics
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (May 21, 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192820575
- ISBN-13: 978-0192820570
- Package Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,516,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Facial Justice (Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback – May 21, 1987
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In the dystopia, this philosophy is taken to its logical extreme. For example, persons who are ugly are coerced to have a neutral face. Persons who are beautiful are coerced to have the same neutral face. That way, aesthetically, everyone is equal. In the novel, a beautiful woman rebels against the rule of mediocrity
Jael lives in a nanny state that divides citizens into alphas, betas and gammas according to one's looks; and goes to absurd lengths to make everyone feel equal. Perfection is anti-social and individual initiative stifled; so that no one should feel superior to anyone else. Mediocrity is the norm; no progress is progress; and `courage at a discount' is summoned in the face of adversity.
All risk to life and limb is to be avoided except for an occasional `ritual assassination.' But the human desire for risk is manifested when the Dictator orders bus crashes on country expeditions to avoid the envy of less fortunate individuals who are not privileged enough to go on them. But, this fails to discourage travelers and even has the reverse effect; finally resulting in `No risk, no ride'.
The theme of Facial Justice is faintly echoed in one episode of "The Twilight Zone" TV program, "The Eye of the Beholder," in which beauty, in the classical sense, is suspect. I enjoyed the journey through this unenviable world and discovered another world of human pride and passion not far beneath the surface of the one in which we live.
Jael is a somewhat antipodean rebel, who doesn't want her face to be "Beta'd", which is plastic surgery that makes all women the same. She forms a rebel group and initiates attacks on the regime, etc.
I found the denouement a bit far-fetched and absurd, but still, the novel is well-written and presents some common themes found in dystopian novels.
"Darling Dictator, Darling Dictator".
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