In the novel, The Belles, Dhonielle Clayton explored the way that people viewed themselves through the world of the belles. Since the world needed the belles to help correct their physical flaws, the belles were constantly covered in the news. The news in this world, however, was not factual news. The news was all gossip and rumors. “Lady Francesca Carnigan, of House Helie, rumored to have a beauty addiction. Queen might lift sailing restrictions, opening kingdom to trade. Some hair textures don’t catch the beauty- lantern light” (44). This newspaper is very similar to the way that social media works today. Many times, social and beauty standards are assumed from what famous people post online. This newspaper is exposing that about our society with these rumors and trends that nobody could ever keep up with. So the underlying message of the story is to just be yourself, and do what makes you feel beautiful, not what others think.
In the short story, “Escape From Spiderhead” George Saunders creates a different point of view in punishment. While the prisoners are being experimented on with different drugs by Abnesti, the prisoners are supposed to give consent for the drug to be administered. Every time that a different drug was administered, Abnesti would ask “Drip on?” and the prisoner would need to give consent by responding with “Acknowledge”.
The word “Acknowledge” should be seen as the prisoners only power or freedom, because they must consent to the experiments being done. However, as the story goes on we see that the word “Acknowledge” is being much more forced and controlled by Abnesti than by the prisoners. When Rachel was about to receive the Darkenfloxx, Jeff “did not say “Acknowledge” ….. Abnesti said. “Verlaine, what’s the name of that one? The one where I give him an order and he obeys it?”(75). Since Abnesti is taking away the one piece of power that Jeff had during his punishment, this experiment is more of torture and cruelty. So Abnesti is not a kind person being forced to punish and experiment through the system, he is using the system as justification for torture.