Modern young adult literary adventure films such as The Hunger Games, The Divergent series, The Maze Runner, and Lord of the Flies have a recurring influence from a dystopian post-apocalyptic society set in a futuristic age. The society that is ‘panoptic’ in certain aspects is a totalitarian society that forces adolescent boys and girls to participate in a deadly game (The Hunger Games, 2008) that is broadcast for the entertainment of the inhabitants of the panoptic society, or to map the maze puzzle to carry out an “experiment” (The Maze Runner, 2009), or by forcing young people to choose a particular faction and become part of the fight for “survival of the fittest” or to become in faction-less (The Divergent Series, 2011).
The recurring philosophical themes in these films can be read as the hedonistic culture of the media-obsessed society or as an extension of the religious existential ideological consciousness. Science fiction for children, “The City of Embers (2003)”, written by Jeanne DuPrau, “The City Under Ground (1963), written by Suzanne Martel and” The Time of Darkness (1980) “by Helen Mary Hoover, They are stories that have a similar type of post-apocalyptic society in which citizens lead lives completely unaware of the outside world, and in their state of ignorance accept their world as the ultimate reality and the only form of survival.
Sartre and Nietzsche were the pioneers in the conception of the philosophy of existentialism (although they themselves did not use the term “existentialism”). Nietzsche was the one who coined the term “God is dead”, understanding the implication of a world where God does not exist, or when describing a type of society where the reality of God’s existence is undervalued from a cultural perspective. Although he was an atheist and did not believe in the existence of God, this term is an indication that the “Idea of God” is necessary in a society for it to function morally. And erasing the “idea” of God from the whole picture would make the existence of Man meaningless. Ridden constantly by the questions of ‘Existence’ and Man’s futile search to find some meaning, clarity and unity in the midst of a dark and chaotic world, which requires God’s ‘Idea’ to lead a meaningful life, they are the reasons why the movement was called “existentialism”.
However, with the advent of the idea of a “Panoptic Society” in current science fiction literature and film culture, where inmates are constantly aware that they are being watched, it indicates the evolution of a social conscience from the before ideology. from “God is dead” and “Life has no meaning”, to the awareness that “We are not alone” or that “there is something beyond” the ‘Walls’.
In the movie “The Hunger Games”, based on the book written by Suzanne Collins, this existential philosophy is vividly manifested. The protagonist of the story (Katniss) is chosen as one of the 2 “Tributes” to represent her district in the annual hunger games, where each of the tributes has to fight to survive and kill the others in order to win the play and come. get out alive. At the games, two tributes from the 12 districts are offered and sent to the “Capital” for training. Each of the tributes is offered the best provisions and lodging, in stark contrast to the meager livelihood in the district. The torture and slaughter of tributes becomes a mode of entertainment for the inhabitants of the cities of the capital, indicative of a mentality devoid of piety or morality. A kind of society that is a replica of Nietzsche’s ‘atheist world’, regardless of moral reality, where people are massacred for fun, without fear of heaven or hell, and the only power that exists is in the hands of those. who controls the resources.
Veronica Roth’s “The Divergent Series” and James Dashner’s “The Maze Runner” portray a similar type of walled city or “Panopticon.” The inhabitants of the walled city ignore the “experiment” of which they are part. They accept and believe that closed space is the only way to survive. However, the protagonists do not accept this and despite knowing that “they would upset the peace (of ignorance)” of the existence of each inhabitant of society by looking for what is beyond the “imposing Wall”, taking a leap of faith they ‘fearlessly triumph over the obstacles directed at them and reach the other symbolic side of the ascension process from the mortal realm to the spirit realm, only to realize that what lies beyond the wall is perhaps their arch enemy.
The idea of the ‘Panopticon’ is metaphorical with our existence ‘closed and monitored’ in the world. And in contrast to the earlier ideology of a “world without God”, perhaps we are drifting towards a “homogenized” social consciousness that there is “something beyond” and that we are not confined in this “earthly panopticon.” However, being the people “the product of society” that it is, perhaps it formulates what is beyond, as something that is not a friend but an enemy.