Random Acts of Senseless Violence

Categories: AdolescenceViolence
About this essay

In today’s modern American society, unemployment rates soar at an all time high. America faces a recession the likes of which haven’t been seen since the early 1930’s during a little stint known as the Great Depression. There are many who feel that the current recession will have a huge impact on the success of the future for America as a world super power, that the potential America once had to be an everlasting force is coming to a close.

Jack Womack illustrates in the novel Random Acts of Senseless Violence the possible dystopian outcome America is headed for.

Womack uses the novel as a platform to express what he feels is the impending fate of major cities in America by making strong correlations between the futuristic society and the current one, showing the negative changes happening within the inner city and their effect on a young girl, and the dilemma facing the characters as they struggle to survive while maintaining their humanity.

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At this point in time, America is in a downward spiral that could very well lead to a similar dystopia as described in the novel.

The society in futuristic America is crumbling under the weight of an undisclosed depression, much like today, although Womack never cites a specific incidence as a cause for the deterioration. In the novel, Lola, a 12-year-old girl of a successful family, is forced to move into the inner city when her parents cannot find work. Then, like now, unemployment is proving to be a growing problem, even for those in society who are intellectual and educated, like Lola’s parents.

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Whereas today’s government is getting back on its feet from an eight-year hiatus during the beginning of the 21st century, the government in the novel, much like the society itself, is starting to wane. Furthermore, Womack paints a vivid image of the inner city as a rundown, shantytown of sorts, something that could be imminent for America’s current inner cities should the government decide not to help revitalize what are becoming worse and worse ghettos.

It is a pretty well known fact by now that the inner cities of many major American metropolises are rundown, impoverished neighborhoods where the hopeful struggle to survive. Womack chooses to reflect on the state of future inner cities and current ones by exploring their impact on the youth, specifically an adolescent girl. As Lola begins to assimilate into the culture of the poverty stricken inner city, her narrative dialect changes too. What Womack does here is show that with the depreciation of society, so comes the loss of innocence and youth.

In order to survive her new surroundings, Lola must abandon childhood naivete for subsistence. The loss of structure within society in turn leads to the loss of purity and adolescence, replaced by adrenaline and fear. An interesting point is spotlighted in the novel as Lola continues to write in her diary. Faced with the possibility of homelessness and death, the characters come to realize that, in order to survive, they might need to have flexible morals and a loose representation of the humanity that used to be the norm in a society long gone.

Humanity does not always translate into survival, as many subjects of novels past have discovered, and sometimes a person needs to stoop low just take make it through. Lola falls in with a few street kids who steal and rob to get by, and is ensnared by their devious lifestyle, which is barely suited for hardened adults, let alone kids. As the story proceeds, the characters’ humanity slowly starts to be replaced by the fire of endurance, their once warm and open hearts have become cold, hard places that contain only enough hope to see through to the next day.

In the end, Womack seems to simply being describing a world he sees in our near future if Americans don’t change their priorities. America has seen its reign as a world super power, but it will see that reign fall should the citizens not change. Through a vivid portrayal of a twelve-year-old girl, Womack is able to display the dark side of humanity and also the survival skills all humans have. The dystopian future exhibited in Random Acts of Senseless Violence was a future for Jack Womack when he wrote it, but the time he was speaking of is now, and the nation in crisis he described is the America of today.

Cite this page

Random Acts of Senseless Violence. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/random-acts-senseless-violence-new-essay

Random Acts of Senseless Violence
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