In the past, literature either cherished romantic notions of love, nature, and simplicity, or lashed out at the evils of society, employing satire and sarcasm. During the Dark Ages, the Church was depicted as the sole reason of vices as it digressed from the Christ’s teachings. During the Victorian Age, the exploitation of proletariats at the hands of capitalists was the theme which lent the ordinary works of Dickens and Austen the titles of “magnum opuses” of the century. However, contemporary writers and directors of movies and dramas seem to be obsessed with imposing upon their works. In addition to this, raunchiness, nudity and misanthropic yearnings to exterminate humanity are usually clipped with the elements of apocalypse and surrealism which are rife in modern literature. This recurrence of themes, as well as imagery perturbs the audience. This is why literature has been stripped of its atavistic roles of being reformatory, builder of morality, curser of vanities and abolisher of vices. Instead, it has become an instigator of lust and a catalyst in the process of humanity’s dehumanization.

That said, there is no refutation of the fact that even today stories always conclude with the vice being uprooted and the virtue being rewarded. The doom and gloom of the imagery and the theme, is for the purpose of exaggeration, which is also a writer’s tool. Exaggeration has always remained closely intertwined with literature. The point of distinction between exaggeration in older literature and that in modern literature, is that the former used exaggeration to enable readers to vent out their frustration and provide them catharsis; while the latter stirs readers to drink the blood, sodomize their companions, torch buildings and public properties in order to fulminate the government. Conclusively, it is fair to say that literature, in the past, used to clamp down on vices so as to promote ethical and moral humanity; and literature today eggs humanity on for denigration and moral and ethical corruption.

Chaucer, in order to expose the rampant corruption in the Church, portrayed his Nun, in the Prologue to Canterbury Tales, as wearing an expensive French bracelet when people were dying due to a dearth of money to buy necessities. The profession of nunnery is peculiarly opted to rid oneself of cravings for luxury, lavishness and debauchery. Chaucer, pointedly, denounced the Nun as engrossed in the very vanities she pledged to exorcize. On the other hand, Oscar Wilde painted a girl wailing, with match-sticks scattered around her soaked in rain, to bring into the open the shenanigans of the capitalists in a society horrendously divided into “haves” and “have-nots”. The scene succeeds in generating sympathy. This was how literature was during the Dark Ages and the Victorian Era with scenes of excruciating pains and suffering depicted in ordinary and commonplace settings. These scenes dragged people to the streets and caused societies to be revolutionized.

This type of literature received universal acclamation as it dealt with bona fide happenings and tried to address problems of a universal nature. Capitalists in exploitation and Popes\Mullahs in tyranny never left a spot of the earth uncharted. Dresses, colors, and costumes were never confined to one culture and nudity was never justified as a tenet of western culture. Xenophobia was always rebuked and considered a feature characteristic of vampires and aliens. Lacerations and amputations of human organs were rarely exalted. Animalism was never named vengeance or hatred. The audience and readers were never pre-determined to be Westerners only.

Modern literature inundates everything in what the literature of past denied. The movie “Law Abiding Citizen” is the best-suited example of everything that the modern literature intends to propel: apocalypse, nudity, amputation of human organs, rape, and revenge. Written by Kurt Wimmer and directed by F Gary Gray, the movie sets off with a rape and murder of the wife of Clyde Shelton who will, as a result, hold the entire city hostage for months to come. Shelton initially filed a lawsuit against the culprits. Clarence Darby was accused as the primary suspect. Darby, as a deal, proposed that should all the allegations be leveled against him, he would act as a witness to the murder, thus, exonerating himself of the charges. Nick Rice, Clyde’s lawyer, finalized the deal with Darby without first consulting Clyde. Clyde cried in front of Nick that he watched Darby first raping and then killing his wife. Nick believed the case to be weak and finally, after the court trial, Darby declared that he witnessed the rape and murder of Clyde’s wife. Thus, Darby came out of the court as the witness rather than the killer and the rapist. Nick boosted his 96% winning ratio of the cases he handled.

Disgruntled with the judicial system, Clyde strategized to, first, empower himself with the weapons of a dastardly nature, then, spread various traps to raze the system which provides immunity to marauders; where if proofs are not strong enough to justify the crime of the accused then, notwithstanding a list of killings, the killer gets acquitted.

Clyde kidnapped Darby – here is where the movie started to emit the rays of the modern literature. He threw him back onto a bed especially designed for him, and then shackled him from top to toe. The torture started with electric shots and ended in the laceration of his penis. This is how Clyde gave vent to his feelings, brimming with revenge. Then, he started a well-planned and a well-thought-out persecution of the incumbents of the judicial system. With the exception of Nick, he launched attacks on all. Nick’s life was spared only for him to go through the enigmatic experience of psychological death.

At the very beginning of the movie, Clyde’s wife is shown partially naked and when the police enters Clyde’s house he hands himself over nude. Like I said, nudity is a recurrent theme in modern literature and film. Clyde’s expertise at science and weaponry delineates the reflections of apocalypse. His perfection at target-hunting further confirms the conviction that human mind is wild and turns one into an animal when equipped with destruction-oriented weapons. One man’s holding a city hostage with scientific power can imbue weaker nations with a fear and, thus, and make them mental slaves of stronger nations such as USA, China and Russia.

There is no denial of the fact that science has bestowed humanity with limitless benefits. Science’s employment for the eradication of humanity is not the fault of science; rather, it is the fault of humanity itself. A human can be an angel and also a demon. When he becomes a demon, he demonizes everything he handles. No doubt, contemporary literature and science are in the hands of humans turned into demons.