. In Ecotopia, there are environmental issues that are already solved in the book when William goes to investigate. For instance, the food system. " All food wastes, sewage, and garbage were to be turned into organic fertilizer and applied to the land where it would be again enter into the food production cycle"(page 18). By having this done, food is accessible to all citizens in Ecotopia and there is no reason for people to suffer from hunger. This is an issue that is mentioned briefly because to the people who live in Ecotopia, it is not seen as something major since they have always lived that way
.Another issue that is already solved is pollution by eliminating the use of cars." These zones at first covered only downtown areas where pollution and congestion were most severe. As minibus service was extended, these zones expanded and now cover all densely settled city areas"(page 26). Eliminating the use of cars helps the environment because cars run on fuel and gas which creates pollution. It allows the people to use other methods of transportation without hurting the environment such as walking, bicycling, and hiking. To the Ecotopians, these issues are not seen as issues instead it is seen as normal.
. The problem of race is mentioned in the book briefly. “Many Ecotopians sentimental about Indians and there's some sense in which they envy the Indians, their lost natural place in the American wilderness"(page 31). In this quote, Indians are mentioned by they are never shown in the novel probably because the majority of the characters in the novel are white Americans. In Ecotopia, there is no other race being shown except for when it is convenient." The black population whose economic deprivation under white control had made it increasingly nationalist and separatist even before the Independence"(page 107). It's implied that there is still some level of segregation even in a supposed utopian society. Given that the book was written in the 70s, there was still racism surrounding not only African Americans but Indian and Arab Americans as well. The problem of race is not solved in the book because it was not seen as important by the people who lived in Ecotopia.
. The people of Ecotopia want to live a pollutant environment. The problem is how plastic is sold. The solution: “One was to produce the plastics, at low cost and in a wide range of types: light, heavy, rigid, flexible, clear, opaque, and so on to produce them with a technology that was not itself a pollutant” (page 83). The problem was solved by the solution because it provided a foundation for a stable system that works for the people of the city
. Some of the future research the author Ernest Callenbach points to are things that we have now in modern day such “picture phones” (page 15) and “recycle chutes” (page 22), both are used throughout the book. The picture phones refer to cellphones and the recycle chutes refer to the recycle bins that are used constantly today. Also, baths (page 168) were used towards the end of the book when William is taken by members of the camp to relax. The baths reference the hot springs that many people go to relax and get rid of any stress that they may be feelings that day.
.The world building is vivid because it is seen as a city that is surrounded by trees and water. It is clearly shown that most of the city has many forests, rivers, and buildings around the highways that have trains. While the city is clear to visualize, I had trouble picturing the part where the family camps were set up and the way the hospitals looked.
William is the main narrator of the book. In the beginning of the book, he is bias to everything that he encounters in Ecotopia. He starts off hostile, judgmental, and patronizing towards everyone that he meets in the city.
(page 24)”Find myself worrying if I get sick or have an accident”. He thinks that by even trying their food, he will get sick from it or bleed to death.
( page 25) “You can’t argue with these people”. William has a patronizing attitude with a clerk worker because he wants him to read his work to make them feel bad for laughing at him.
- After a while, he meets Marissa, who he starts a relationship with and introduces him to the wars game and the way their society works. On page 89, Will and Marissa are having an argument because she told her family at the camp all of the intimate details about her relationship with him. While, Will feels that she violated a sense of privacy. This scene was interesting to see because it’s the first time that they have a disagreement besides sleeping together majority of the time. The perspectives between them show how they each see things differently. Will thinks that a relationship should be between two people while Marissa feels that it’s okay for a person in a relationship to be open with it.
- By the middle of the book, Will has grown accustomed to camp life and people have asked him to entertain them with a song. He sings a nursery song and everyone joins him, having fun and not caring how they sound. By page 107,
- Will has adapted to the Ecotopian lifestyle, He hangs out with the people at the Cove, has conversations with the people from there such as Bert who’s a friend he makes.
- Women are the ones who lead the Survival parties. In the meetings, Will notices that people are open to ideas and opinions from different people and insomnia indicates a social problem instead of a medical one.
- At Crick School, Will gets to see how the educational system works when it comes to the children. He is surprised that all children are able to go school and that there is no excluding children who come from low-income families. Similar to modern society, there are exams that the children have to take at the end of the year.
- A second war games causes Will’s perspective to change. Before, he didn’t understand the point of the games because he thought they were not fighting to win anything. Now, he’s excited to see the games and enjoys the idea of embracing conflict. The hospital that he is treated have interesting methods. He’s attracted to his nurse and sleeps with her before he leaves the hospital. The way he describes her was weird to read since he’s basically saying that she’s not smart but she’s a nurse who is very attractive. Will is shallow throughout the book. This changes a little bit towards the end, but not by a lot.
- Throughout the book, Will’s main objective was to report back to New York about his findings. But, he is taken by a group of strangers towards the end of the book. At first, Will is resistant to these strangers because he thinks that they’re working for somebody who wants money from him. However, after a while he gets used to them and joins them in the baths. It is during the baths where he has an epiphany that he is going to stay in Ecotopia for good.
- The change is Will’s character happens gradually as time goes on. At first, he is closed-minded about the city and the people because he looks at them as strange and too emotional due to situations that he’s seen of them. The fight scene between the man and the women in the beginning is interesting because Will later on does the same thing with Marissa towards the end of the book. It shows how he starts off judging people to doing the same thing and not caring about his actions later. He sees himself having a life with Marissa and enjoying his life in Ecotopia. Since he’s unemployed at the end, it makes me wonder what job would he get in Ecotopia, I assume he can be a reporter for them. That part is left open-ended.
- - I thought that the book was okay. The plot did not intrigue me at all. I hated the narrator. I did not like the tone of the book. The tone was dry and narrow. It did not feel like I was reading a book, it felt more like I was reading a newspaper.
- -I wanted to have more things to say about Marissa, but sadly she’s just there as the love interest for the narrator which does not surprise me at this point.
- - I think the diary format could have been used more throughout the book. I just wanted to get more from the narrator. I couldn’t understand the choices that he would make sometimes. Sleeping with the nurse, just seemed like something that he wanted to do just because she was attractive.
- - It’s progressive when it comes to the educational system, the way politics are handled. Men and Women both take care of their families. There is no such things as gender roles in their utopian society.
- -The ending made sense but I’m still confused as to what William will work in now that he quit his job to stay in Ecotopia.
- - Honestly, if it wasn’t for this class I would not have picked up this book in a bookstore. For me, the books that I read has to grab my attention. Books like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, and The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky