Dystopia In Stephen King's The Running Man

709 Words3 Pages
Stephen King’s novel, “The Running Man”, describes a science fiction dystopia where capitalism and game shows have swirled out of control. Stephen King wrote this novel in the early 80s under the pseudonym name, Richard Bachman. King wanted to advance his way of writing and attempt a different style that required him to take a fictitious name. King wanted his new writing style to be in a different voice, and wanted to avoid criticism. Stephen King portrays “The Running Man” as a valiant dystopia with a strong streak of the 70s social radicalism. It is 2025, Television is the opium of the people. In a world where corruption erupts, people are divided into class structures, the poor and rich. Poor people live in Co-Op City, while rich people live in Uptown. Ben Richards is a 26 years old man, who is out of luck and has no job to support his family. Meanwhile, his daughter who is 18 months old, is infected with influenza and has respiratory problems. His wife resorts to prostitution to pay the bills and buy medicine for her ill daughter. Hopeless, Ben decides to participate in one of the Network’s Games, shows where the contestant can win extra money, or die trying. He is about to become a prey…show more content…
The majority of the players are there because of the government that has made it impossible for people to obtain the necessities needed to survive virtually. Nevertheless, the players voluntarily participate and voluntarily take the exams to qualify for the games. For instance, the people in Co-Op did not have a lot of jobs which resulted in participating on the Network’s Games. Another major point is that “The Running Man” criticizes the american educational system and standardized testing. In the novel, Ben is required to take several exams like the Verbal Comprehension, Visual Logic, and Math Diagnostic. In today’s world, students are required to take the SAT and ACT, which open doors for some people and exclude
Open Document