This Perfect Day

This Perfect Day is probably Ira Levin\'s greatest work of his
career. Levin\'s work, despite being written in 1970, is very
plausible having realistic technology, such as scanners and
computers which watch over the entire family, the entire
population of the world. This novel could be used to show
the dangers of a Utopian society as well as being full of
anti-Communist and anti-racist sentiment. This Perfect Day
also displays the feeling that communist and segregated
institutions can be defeated, as the protagonist Chip over
powers the "family" and their vile Uni Comp as well as rising
above the segregated community he reaches after fleeing the
family.

This work could best be placed in an area of the curriculum
where it is the students job to learn that although everyone
might not be equal, nor should they be, they are still human
and deserve to be treated with the respect and kindness we
would expect to be treated with. This work could be used in
conjunction with other works of literature that display the
same ideals against communism and discrimination as well as
a lack of compassion for others. Other works that could be
used in cohorts with Levin\'s This Perfect Day, are
Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut and even the
Handmaid\'s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Both of these
novels show the dangers of trying to create a Utopian
society and the chaos it causes. In Harrison Bergeron,
handicapping has become an American institution and it is
the governments responsibility to make sure that everyone is
equal in every way which ends up causing chaos and
rebellion. The Handmaid\'s Tale shows the dangers of when
an extreme group takes over the United States after a
nuclear holocaust, with women being placed in a submissive
role to men, only being used to reproduce. This Perfect
Day could also be used in a section with novels such as
Uncle Tom\'s Cabin which portray the evils of racism and
discrimination, just as the land where Chip ends up after
escaping the family, is very racist and segregated. He is
forced to endure the taunts and tortures of the folks who had
fought Uni from the beginning, yet he rises above these
bounds to return and destroy Uni Comp, thereby destroying
the family.

This Perfect Day begins in a land that has been unified
under, Uni Comp, a large computer that monitors all family
activities and controls any portions of their daily lives lies
deep in a cave below the Swiss Alps. The computer decides
on the work, residence, consumption of goods, whether they
will marry and if so whether they will have children.
Promotion of the family\'s good is the main importance in any
member\'s life. "Losing\'s the same as winning" is one of the
phrases taught to small children. "Hate" and "fight" are dirty
words while fuck is not. Genetics has progressed to the
point where skin color is universally tan, while body shape is
unisex, and facial features are programmed, with most
members containing brown slanted eyes. The family is trying
to genetically remove such undesired elements of life such as
aggressiveness and egotism while implanting docility and
loving kindness in their place. While searching for the genetic
basis to these undesired elements, Uni Comp subjects every
member of the family to monthly treatments which contain
vaccines, contraceptives, and tranquilizers, as well as some
substance that reduces one\'s sex drive down to only being
able to perform on Saturday night. All of this is watched
over by one\'s counselor, one who watches the members
individual mental health very closely.

The novel starts early in the life of a boy named Chip, or Li
RM35M4419, his official \'family\' given name. His
grandfather, Papa Jan had given him the nickname Chip.
Chip had always though his grandfather was a bit eccentric,
twisting words and displaying feelings that did not fall in line
with the rest of the \'family\'s\', Chip thought that his
grandfather might be a sick member. On a family trip to the
biggest tourist attraction on the planet, Uni Comp, Papa Jan
leads Chip downstairs, without touching scanners as they
pass, to a large cold room filled with large black boxes.
Papa Jan begins telling Chip how he helped build Uni Comp
and this is the real computer, not the pastel posies upstairs
for the tourists to view. Chip feels unsure because he has
lied to Uni by not touching the scanners and now it does not
know where he is. He also wonders why Uni Comp would
lie to them and why Papa Jan brought him down here. This
is Chip\'s first experiences with anti-family feelings and those
associated with sick members. As Chip