authornwolf (authornwolf) wrote in fictionwriters,

Book Review: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Originally posted by authornwolf at Book Review: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
This book is a science fiction novel about what might have happened if the Axis Powers won WWII.  According to Dick, the world would have been governed by those whose “egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off.”  Germany and Japan would control half the United States.  Japan would govern the western portion.  Slavery would be legal.  Jews and Africans would be exterminated.  Americans would be subservient to the Japanese.  Artifacts of American history would be mere curiosities to the Japanese collectors.  Unsatisfied with ruling Earth, Germany would seek to conquer outer space.

Yet, even the most oppressive regimes cannot force everyone into permanent submission.  There will always be the brave souls who challenge authority.  Those who believe in righteousness successfully act upon their conviction that the yoke of oppression is intolerable.  They are the ones in whom a flame of hope in achieving what seems impossible keeps rising and propels their rebellion by burning through all self-imposed barriers.  Through Rudolf Wegener, who tries to prevent the unbridled German egotism; through Nobusuke Tagomi, a Japanese government official who never compromises his Buddhist upbringing to value life above all else; through Juliana Frink, who had her epiphany while reading a banned book describing a world in which the United States and England won WWII; and, through Frank Frink, who longed to win back his ex-wife by becoming a successful businessman, Dick shows that this enlightenment occurs at all levels in various ways.  But, first, one must have faith in oneself.  Second, one must be honest in identifying that impetus to act for righteousness.     

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