People tell me their secrets. My friends and family; they all have secrets to share. The secrets are often about them doing bad things or people they dislike. Whatever the secret is, it requires privacy. According to the Macquarie English Concise Dictionary 5th Edition, privacy means: “the state of being confined to or intended only for the person or persons immediately concerned; confidentiality” This means the secret must only be known to one or a few people. But what if the secret gets spilled, and is open for everyone to see? This has unfortunately happened a lot to me and during the course of history.
For example: I once told my brother a secret to keep away from my sister, but it turned out that he was just about as unreliable as a jelly pickaxe, he told my sister, and this led to my siblings and I getting into trouble with my parents, also; the secret method of how to break the enigma code was spilled during World War II and this lead to many deaths.
If secrets are not well guarded, it can lead to a lot of danger and distress. Claire Carmichael saw all of this in the world and has decided to write a novel in the genre of science fiction to respond to the past in terms of understanding the future: Incognito.
In the novel, it raises the issues and concerns of society like privacy, power and corruption and teaches us about it using a variety of literature techniques The first chapter of Claire Carmichael’s novel presents the setting of the book and raises the issue of power and how it can corrupt.
She characterises the people as intimidating and menacing and uses clear language and imagery to help give a picturesque scene of the area. The quote” ‘Are you questioning my instructions? ’ the data lord asked…… Her face pale, she took a step backwards.
No of course not’ ” shows that a person in a position of power has the ability to get what they want with just by being threatening. In contrast to oblits; people who have lost their identity and have no power at all, data lords are like gods. And with power, comes corruption. We can learn something from looking at dictatorship countries. They have leaders who have absolute control over their countries and they are prone to corruption. They can do as they please, terrorise as they please. Through use of descriptive text and foils, Carmichael writes about corruption and how it can have negative impacts on other people.
The data lord in the novel is portrayed as an extremely powerful man, with total control over the lives of people, while Karr, an oblit is portrayed as a weak, vulnerable and ineffectual boy. From this foil, we can see that Carmichael deliberately made this contrast to make the data lord seem more evil and corrupted. ” ‘These two individuals, they are to lose their identities. ’ ”From this quote, we can conclude that people with power are prone to corruption and can do as they please. Does privacy still exist? Of course, that is, if you’re a senator or a very wealthy person.
Privacy is pretty much non-existent in the lives of average people. Through many different techniques of writing Carmichael has shown in the novel how privacy is no longer enforced in society, in which very little is protected by privacy. With privacy gone, people are vulnerable and easy targets for power hungry data lords. Incognito is a rebel group that want privacy back. The setting of Carmichael’s story is important for our understanding of Incognito’s decision to let Karr go to the data lord’s home to confront him.
Using many advanced literacy techniques, Carmichael has taught us well about the issues and concerns. After all these issues we should start trying to keep secrets better, protect privacy and not give too much power to one person. If the novel had any redeeming qualities, they would have been being useful to teaching us about our issues and concerns in our society. Carmichael’s emphasis on the issue of privacy makes it seem that she is teaching us about how privacy should be valued. Our opinion of the power hungry data lord is not a favourable one, it is clear that Carmichael intended us to feel that way.