Utopia by Ahmed Khaled is a story set in 2023. The book offers an interesting plot due to the fact that there is a wall between two distinct groups of people. The Utopians are the rich people who live these lavish lives yet are stricken by boredom on a daily basis. Then we have the “others” who are poor and have to fend for themselves. The dynamics of between both groups of peopleis very interesting due to the fact that the “others” are often seen as animalistic and are dehumanized throughout the entire book
To me, the main character is very bizarre. From the beginning we have the main character who dresses up and puts on white contact lenses and fake wounds to impress the ladies. He is living this lavish lifestyle but yet he is still miserable on the inside. He is not my favorite character due to the fact that he is spoiled rotten, has no value for his own life and is quite frankly an asshole. When he wakes up he talks about how he follows this monotonous routine Ahmed writes “”Eat some more. In one hour, I’ve done everything, and there’s nothing left in life that interests me or that I want” (Khaled). He is ungrateful about the fact that he has access to food unlike the “others” who are literally starving to death. He does whatever he wants and has no regard for others. He has no respect for women and often says disgusting things about them. On page 41 he talks about his encounter with a prostitute, Ahmed writes “She was a hideous girl the only thing that separated her from a man were trivial anatomical difference:wide haunches and big bones” (41). He then proceeds to insult her (in his head) yet still buys her services.
One theme that I found interesting was the idea of death. Suicide is made lightly and the idea of death is romanticized when it is quite the opposite. The self destructive behavior that he exhibits is also concerning. He tries different drugs knowing that drugs are potentially lethal “I’ve tried lots of drugs… but the problem with drugs is that they lose their excitement when they become readily available. An important part of the game is that they should be forbidden and hard to get a hold of” (8). He has no regard for the value of human life let alone his own. What is frustrating to me is that due to the fact that he does not value his own life let alone other peoples lives, he does not have the emotional ability to help the “others” instead he puts them down and describes them as cockroaches. I am interested to see how he progresses throughout the novel and I hope to see his character progress.