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Lockdown: Escape From Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith

A presentation for AP English based on the novel Lockdown.
by

Edgar Montoya

on 27 October 2012

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Transcript of Lockdown: Escape From Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith

By Alexander Gordon Smith Lockdown:
Escape from Furnace Jadyn.Flowers
Joshua.Holler
Connor.Beck Dystopian Controls:
The dystopian controls are
technological and bureaucratic.
The technological control is the
kids transforming into
blacksuits. The bureaucratic
control is the Warden ruling
the prison and the Skulls
taking over the kids when the
Warden and his crew aren't
around. Furnace is an underground prison designed to torture young offenders beyond imagination. Many young teenagers that end up in this hell are actually framed to appear as if though they truly committed a horrific crime, but many are innocent, and these Blacksuits are to blame. Alex is one of those kids, and he has been planning his escape since day 1, but in order to be freed from this treacherous hell, he must first encounter the Hellhounds, Gasmasks, and Blacksuits, and surpass all of them. "I heard the door close, followed by a short while later by the siren as the men in black retreated. "He's okay," I muttered. "We're okay." But Donovan simply laughed that chilling laugh. "No, Alex. You're dead, you just don't know it yet." The theme: Recommendation: The dystopian characteristics present in the novel are:
~ Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and dissent are bad.
~ Information is independent and freedom is restricted.
~ A figurehead is worshipped by the citizens of the society.
~ Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.
~ Citizens live in a dehumanized state.
~ The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world.
~ Citizens have a fear of the outside world.
The Dystopian characteristics NOT present in the novel are:
~ The natural world is banished and distrusted.
~ Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society. Propaganda is not used in the novel because the citizens are not given false information and are fully aware of the events that occur in Furnace Penitentiary. We as a group do not recommend this book to other pre-ap students. We think this because its story is really predictable. We also think this because the story itself is not very exciting, it lacked exciting events and was very slow through the normal days through the prison (which is no joke half the book.) The only good parts were towards the end when things start to happen( I can't tell because it will ruin the book.) Information, independent thought, and freedom is restricted because all of the prisoners aren't allowed to do anything outside of the warden's rules. A good example of this is on page 173, towards the top, "He brought that kid back down to the yard and tied him up good. Then he let three of his dogs loose." This happened because the kid tried to escape. The theme of this book is that the world isn't fair. We say this is the theme because this book really shows that right when you think the worlds perfect it will turn around kick you in the butt and bring you back to reality. For example Alex and his friend Toby were about to be set for a long time after they robbed the house (not the most logical way to make a living) but the Blacksuits showed up at the house. They shot his friend Toby and framed Alex for the crime and sent him to the furnace for life and ruined all his hopes and dreams for the future and made him loose his family for something he never did. A figurehead is worshipped by the citizens of the society because the young prisoners at Furnace are forced against their own will to follow the orders of the Warden, and if they choose to resist, they are severely punished in ways one could not imagine. A quote from the book is: "Obedience is the difference between life, death, and the other varieties of existence on offer here in Furnace." The man stepped foward, his dogs trotting by his heels. "Obey my rules and you'll do just fine. Disobey them and you'll soon learn that here your nightmares exist on the same plane as you, and they stalk the same corridors and haunt your cells." Citizens are percieved to be under constant surveillance because the Blacksuits and Guards keep watch and examine each and every inmate to make sure they are on their best behavior and are following the rules precisely. If they saw even the smallest of errors committed, then the hellhounds are summoned and the prisoner who made the fatal mistake is devoured instantly by the ferocious beasts. Citizens have a fear of the outside world. This means they would be stuck in a place where people are scared to leave or escape. In Lockdown, the prisoners are scared to leave because they would be chased by "dogs" or "blacksuits" that would kill you without even thinking twice. Even if one of the inmates do escape, they then have to deal with being on the run. Once on the run they would be constantly looking over their shoulder and they wouldn't be living the life that a free kid should. Citizens live in a dehumanized state because they
are treated like meaningless garbage, now that they are considered to be worthless and useless in life. Because Alex was accused of such a grave crime, the entire society, including his own parents and family, see him as a cold, heartless monster filled with hatrid and evil, but that is not the case. In Furnace, the inmates are forced to participate in hard labor that even the most muscular of men would find extremely difficult. They are also given the same, stale meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day. The living quarters are filthy, very uncomfortable, and carry an unbearable stench. Edgar.Montoya The natural world being banished and distrusted is not a Dystopian characteristic in Lockdown because nature is not abandoned and is used throughout the book. Furnace is built beneath the Earth's crust and nature can be a deadly factor in the book. Many die due to the desert-like conditions of the prison. The prison is also built near several underground rivers and consists of mainly rock. Often, there are cave-ins, in which many inmates die to the tons of rock instantly crushing them to pieces. The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world because the citizens on the outside truly believe that the accused suspects are being punished appropriately, but in reality, they are being tormented beyond imagination. The worst part is, some have to suffer excruciating pain due to the heartless Blacksuits who frame them to look as if they had committed a crime. Also, even though the prison is covered in the media and the internet and other places, not one single person truly knows the real dangers of this nightmare. They have absolutely no idea just how deadly the conditions in there can be. Citizens conform to uniform expectations and individuality and dissent are bad is a characteristic present in the book. Prisoners who are sentenced to life in Furnace are forced to all dress in baggy orange clothes and shoes made of sandpaper. Also, no friends are made in Furnace and every single inmate is expected to survive and defend themselves. Even if one is more talented than another in some form, it wouldn't matter, because every one in Furnace is seen the same; useless and hated in society. No one has self-worth and everyone is meaningless in life.
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