Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Myth of “The Man in the High Castle” by Jane Clark Scharl

the man in the high castle
Ridley Scott’s TV adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle came to Amazon in November, and bluntly put, it’s a horrifying ten hours. The premise says it all: What if the Allies had lost World War II? We see America divided between a Nazi regime in the east and a Japanese empire in the west, and must discover what resistance to totalitarianism looks like in a world where American police wear swastikas on their sleeves and Hitler is führer of half the globe.
Despite the fascist iconography in nearly every frame, the setting is more reminiscent of Stalinist Russia than Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. The show is set in 1962; there is no war to “justify” atrocity. Instead, atrocity is simply part of survival. It’s more The Lives of Others than Army of ShadowsThe only ray of hope is not a weapon or a revolutionary political leader: It’s a myth.
A myth is not a falsehood or a fairy story, as people often think, it’s a narrative that offers, however obscurely, an explanation of the relationship among God, oneself, and the world. The myth in The Man in the High Castle is so powerful than anyone exposed to it is changed: either they become obsessed with destroying it, or they find in it the strength to resist evil.
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