Escape from Punishment

This story is written in a specific way so the reader is not fully aware of what is going on in the beginning. There is talk about drugs, and euphoric sensations as a result, but the writer does not fully explain what is going on and why this is all happening. A couple of pages in, Saunders gives us a little information to why Jeff is going through what he is. The text states, “…as if trying to remind me that I was not here by choice but because I had done my crime and I was in the process of doing me crime.” (55) This is very interesting because the reader realizes that Jeff is stuck there and being administered drugs because he committed a crime. This crime is referred to as “the fateful night” in the story and it is later on revealed that Jeff is in Spiderhead because he killed a guy in a fight. I thought his was a very important part of the story because the reader is able to see that each character does not actually have the consent we thought they had before. Because they have to say “acknowledge before being given the drug, I thought they were in control, but this quote shows that they are not. This point is emphasized when Heather is given Darkenfloxx. While Heather says “acknowledge,” she ends up dying from this drug in less than 5 minutes, proving that she has no control. This terrible system, guilting Jeff and the others into believing they are terrible people and deserve to be given these drugs in exchange for their past faults, reminds me of the present day debate on whether or not prisoners should be tested on for different products or drugs. These are very similar situations, where there is a power hold from one side, and the other has little to no control. This power struggle is a very dangerous one and can lead to scary things, as shown in Spiderhead.

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