A World Without Beds Essay Research Paper

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A World Without Beds Essay, Research Paper A World Without Beds: stories lacking sex and shut eye by: Allison Magpayo Despite surface differences in Jeanettes Winterson?s Disappearance, and Welcome To The Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut, both authors have created stories with pointed commentary at the worlds progression into the future.. Both stories are set in a futuristic society that has abandoned human ?needs? ( sex and sleep) in order to benefit what the mass thinks of as ?the greater good?. Through the plot sequences and characters used both authors have established a common theme with a simple, but multi-faceted message: Human nature will and must prevail. This theme is demonstrated through the demise of both main characters, the style in which sleep and sex are

described throughout the stories, and the way in which the author has attempted to create disdain for the characters? oppressors ( the government/society). Vonnegut?s story spans the untimely kidnapping of a women named Nancy McLuhan, a civil servant working for the Ethical Suicide Service. In the society Nancyis a part of, there is severe overpopulation and people are encouraged not to reproduce. It was made compulsory for each person to take ethical birth control pills, drugs which didn?t interfere with one?s ability to reproduce, rather just numbed all feeling from the waist down; rendering sex unpleasurable. Nancy strongly supports this ideal and had contempt for those who did not abide by the law. In the story?s closing however, Nancy is slowly but surely moving towards an

epiphany of sorts that allows her to realise the relevance of human sexuality. Winterson?s story take the opposite route for it?s bed torn demise. In the world created by Winterson, people are deprived of sleep and beds themselves are slowly becoming obsolete and illegal. The story is told from the viewpoint of the main character -who remains unnamed. I will continue to refer to the character as a male, but in retrospect have realised there is no direct mention of a gender- Winterson also happens to be a lesbian so the references to the character?s girlfriends are quite possibly a reflection of her personal lifestyle, though it remains open ended for interpretation. It is about his life as one of the few remaining ?sleepers? and the difficulties involved with his struggle to

stick to his instinctual love for sleep when faced with a world that think of sleep as ?dirty, unhygienic, wasteful, and disrespectful to others? ( quote taken from Disappearance). The plot closes softly toward the end with the character searching for the women he had slept with that night before awakening to find his bed, and her having been in it, gone. The intent of both writers is to show the reader that human nature cannot be compromised. The stories create blatant statements so as to clearly inform the reader who the ?good guys? and the ?bad guys? are by the way things are described. This is well illustrated by passages which romanticize either sex or sleep. Often figurative language is used and it is much more poetic than when the author is describing an aspect or action

of the opressor. The following excerpts from Disappearance delicately convey the beauty of sleep and dreaming which the author wished to extend to the reader: Under the night rug, the star rug, moon as lantern, man in the moon watching over us, dog star at heels, we lay. The planets are bodies in the solar system and so are we. You and I in elliptical orbs circling life……. When I hold you in this night soaked bed it is courage for the day I seek. Courage that when the light comes I will turn towards it. It couldn?t be simpler, it couldn?t be harder…. Head to head, she and I, ordinary receivers of dreams. But the dreams are not ordinary. The coded lunar language is only half heard. The Aztecs believed the moon would tell the way to the sun god. The way of darkness to the way