Modern young adult literary adventure films such as The Hunger Games, the Divergent series, Maze Runner and Lord of the Flies have a recurring influence of a post-apocalyptic dystopian society set in a futuristic time. The society that is ‘panoptic’ in a way 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 mapping the maze puzzle to carry out an “experiment” (The Maze Runner, 2009), or forcing young people to choose a particular faction and become part of the “survival of the fittest” fight or become faction-less (The Divergent Series, 2011).

The recurring philosophical themes in these films can be read as either the hedonistic culture of media-obsessed society or an extension of religious existential ideological consciousness. Children’s science fiction, “The city of embers (2003)” by Jeanne DuPrau, “The underground city (1963) by Suzanne Martel and “The time of darkness (1980)” by Helen Mary Hoover, 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 way of survival.

Sartre and Nietzsche were the pioneers in devising the philosophy of existentialism (although they did not use the term ‘existentialism’ themselves). Nietzsche was the one who coined the term “God is dead”, understanding the implication of a world where God does not exist, or describing a type of society where the reality of God’s existence is disparaged 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 required in a society for it to function morally. And erasing the “idea” of God from the whole picture would make Man’s existence meaningless. Constantly harassed by questions of ‘Existence’ and Man’s futile search to find some meaning, clarity and unity in the midst of a chaotic and dark world, which requires the ‘Idea’ of God to lead a meaningful life , are the reasons why the movement was called “existentialism”.

However, with the advent of the idea of ​​a “Panoptic Society” in today’s culture of science fiction literature and film, where inmates are constantly aware that they are being watched, indicates the evolution of a social consciousness from the the previous ideology of “God is dead” and “Life is meaningless”, 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 tribute has to fight to survive and kill the others to win the game and return. get out alive Two tributes from the 12 districts are offered at the games and sent to the “Capital” for training. Each of the tributes is offered the best of provisions and lodging, in stark contrast to the meager livelihood in the district. Torturing and killing the tributes becomes a form of entertainment for the city dwellers of the Capital, indicative of a mentality devoid of piety or morals. A kind of society that is a replica of Nietzsche’s ‘world without God’, untouched by 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?

‘The Divergent series’, written by Veronica Roth and ‘Maze Runner’ by James Dashner, represent a similar type of walled city or ‘Panopticon’. The inhabitants of the walled city are unaware of the “experiment” of which they are a 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 “disturb the peace (of ignorance)” of the existence of each inhabitant of society by seeking what lies beyond the “imposing Wall”, giving an act of faith they fearlessly triumph over the obstacles thrown at them and reach the other side, symbolic of the ascension process from the mortal realm to the spirit realm, only to realize that what lies beyond the wall is perhaps their archenemy.

The idea of ​​the ‘Panopticon’ is metaphorical with our ‘closed and monitored’ existence in the world. And in contrast to the previous ideology of a “World without God”, perhaps we are drifting towards a ‘homogenized’ social awareness that there is “something beyond” and that we are not confined to this “Earth Panopticon”. However, people being “the product of society” that they are, they may formulate what is beyond, as something that is not a friend but an enemy.

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