Posted: February 18th, 2022

Genre Analysis Prompt Winter 2022

Genre Analysis Prompt Winter 2022 (Disney Dystopia).

Student’s name:






George Saunders’ fiction works represent our contemporary reality, just as Disney Park does. The psychology of the people is to live in a world where everything is flawless. It is an excellent place in every way, including politics, laws, traditions, and environmental circumstances. This is ironic given that the present world is characterized by political turmoil, conflicts, and bloodshed, a topic that is difficult to accept and understand. One method of treating the current dystopia is to brainwash people with positive experiences, such as those provided by Disney Parks, to make them forget about their difficulties in daily challenges. 

This paper incorporates the novella “Civil War Land in Bad Decline” by George Saunders to highlight the concept of dystopia. Additionally to the artificial illusions and sensations provided by the simulators in Disney Park, the genre of this narrative is extremely similar. Newly painted, neat, and spotless are just a few adjectives describing Disney Land. An American community free of political and racial undertones may be found in this de-racialized, de-politicized area. This is ironic given that America is undergoing a racial crisis that has dispersed the population. In this instance, it is their responsibility to awaken from their delusions and oppose prejudice.

In the postmodern era, Disney World is the ideal showcase for postmodernism and postmodern society, owing to the way it exploits simulation to create the illusion that we can transcend the boundaries of time and space and the boundaries of the self and society. However, since many of the notions it expresses are untrue, it might be considered a world of illusion in more than one way.


Genre Analysis of Saunders’ Narrative “Civil War Land in Bad Decline.”

Civil War Land in Bad Decline revolves around a narrator who works in a historic amusement park during the American Civil War. To strengthen security as roaming gangs endanger the park’s earnings, he and the park’s owner, Mr. Alsuga, recruit a mercenary veteran to serve as private security for the facility (Saunders, p.7). In little time, the hired guy has gotten completely out of hand, clearing the park of gangs while also executing a teenage kid for stealing sweets from a refreshment store and coming dangerously close to shooting the narrator’s son when he attacks a group of birdwatchers. The park has been forced to shut down, and the narrator feels discouraged about the situation. When Mr. Alsuga sets fire to his home to collect insurance money, he refuses to leave and declares that he is resigned to death. As he waits for the flames to engulf him, he encounters the spirit of the youngster and eventually the mercenary himself, forcing him to confront his guilt. The mercenary kills the storyteller before he has a chance to perish in flames.



In stylizing the future to such hilarious effect, Saunders underlines what a reader may also understand as the problems of the present. His characters live in unstable, unpleasant societies beset by resource instability, class separation, excessive regulation, and violence. Connectivity to joy has largely been limited to shoddy, fake reenactments of what life used to be: theme parks providing rare glimpses at history; water park displays recounting serene and undisturbed nature; and interactive virtual modules offering the chance to experience a satisfying, quality life firsthand. All of these bleak environments are traversed by heroes, and the disadvantaged are no exception. They are up against struggles such as guilt, humiliation, poverty, strangeness, loneliness, dehumanization, emasculation, and physical and metaphorical weakness. 

A person’s recollections of their deeds or inactions might haunt them for a lifetime, while others are plagued by genuine ghosts that visit them from time to time to remind them of their errors. Although this narrative does not explicitly mention it, it does have a dystopian undertone. Saunders oscillates between apocalyptic and dystopian motifs throughout his work. The characters in “Civil War Land in Bad Decline” live in harsh environments that are on the verge of becoming post-apocalyptic due to a severe lack of resources. The heroes must cross perilous environments teeming with violence as they seek resources, social standing, and territory to survive. Society has crumbled around them, and the only places where they can find safety are those that are heavily controlled and governed.

The irony in Saunders’ work is classic, not postmodern irony. Traditional irony relied on the audience knowing what was true to morality, so when the author shatters that expectation, it almost emphasizes the truth more, whereas, in postmodern irony, every element of the text is somehow suspect of being false, meaning there is no standard of truth against which it can be compared. In his novels, I believe Saunders restores us to a more classic sense of irony. The story’s general premise is that it takes place in a civil war-themed amusement park, and the narrator is in control of it (Saunders, p.14). The park is deteriorating to the point that it is becoming old and a target for criminal activity. The tale depicts the park’s last phases, and the narrator repeatedly states that the situation is out of hand, but he has children and has to earn money, so he is forced to make the moral compromise of continuing to work in the park even as the situation worsens.

Saunders is particularly interested in how working-class people in the consumer capitalism system end up morally compromising themselves by working for immoral firms to pay bills and feed their families, resulting in ethical compromise. Mr. A. is attempting to get individuals to work there in the hopes of resolving the crime discreetly. He privatizes the concept of law and order by attempting to recruit individuals who will take care of his criminal element in the park, and in the end, he hires a worker who perpetrated war crimes in Vietnam. The employee begins shooting and rampaging, while the narrator continues to confront the spirit of a family that lived during the civil war. Saunders utilizes every trick in the book to claim that American history has been marked by a lengthy series of private violence over topics such as racism, capitalism’s greed, and the privatization of all social functions. These incidents demonstrate the park’s disorderliness, as shown by the narrative, which belongs to the dystrophic genre.




Simulated world and experiences at Disney Parks.

While academics were mostly deafeningly quiet when Disneyland initially opened its doors, later comments have been at best divided, demonstrating intellectuals’ mistrust of popular culture in general (Rojek, p.148). After a comprehensive investigation, the parks’ true meanings become apparent since the signs inside their boundaries no longer represent the things they seem to stand for at first glance. With its genuine appearance, this park’s environment blurs the distinction between fake and authentic, allowing the artificial copy to replace the original model. It becomes hard to discern between what is genuine and unusual when the two clash in our immediate environment. A mood of joyful wonder is designed to set in as we learn to understand and appreciate the Disney interpretation of the world. Every reference to the park is reverted and dies due to the radical negation of the sign as value, which is represented by the park.

            Saunders, I believe, agrees that Disney Park is made up of synthetic worlds and experiences. It produces a fictionalized depiction of an ideal world by enabling visitors to leave physical reality and no longer be bound by time, distance, size, or physical limitations. A threat may be observed in Disney World that lies at the heart of our relationship with technology. Disney demonstrates how technology may develop narcissistic personality characteristics in people who utilize it by doing everything for us and encouraging us to think of ourselves as children and lose ourselves in visuals and imagination.

 Disney World is a cautionary tale that demonstrates not just the glories of the future but also the risk that development may force humanity to regress by enabling it to get lost in a world of automation, simulation, and soothing intellectual illusions (Sorkin, p.8). We witness the ultimate reliance on technology at Disney, where even experiences are created for us by computers. Because Disney Park is a source of joy, it may be utilized to treat sad people in society, but not for the whole community. It’s hilarious that we seek short-term satisfaction from park experiences while ignoring the actual concerns that may lead to our downfall in the future. It’s easy to dismiss Disney Park’s utopian experiences as fabricated, but in reality, we’re left with a world marked by vices such as capitalism, murder, and corruption. 


In the postmodern era, Disney World is the ideal showcase for postmodernism and postmodern society, owing to the way it exploits simulation to create the illusion that we can transcend the boundaries of time and space and the boundaries of the self and society. However, since many of the notions it expresses are untrue, it might be considered a world of illusion in more than one way.

Many people see Disney Parks as a critique of consumerism and an example of how our society has become too focused on entertainment and entertainment alone that it has forgotten to address the most pressing issues of our day. To see what we’re doing to our planet right now, as well as what can happen if we don’t change our ways, we need to visit Disney Parks. To remove our Disney glasses, we can observe that our social contexts aren’t all that distinct from one another.

Works Cited

Rojek, Chris. “Disney Culture.” Routledge (2006): 148.

Saunders, George. “Civil War Land in Bad Decline.” New York: Random House, Inc, 2012. 14.

Sorkin, Michael. “See You in Disneyland.” Work Art Center (2020): 8.






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