what is life without love?

Friday, May 13, 2011 |
One of the best quotes I jotted down while reading The Psychopath Test was this bit, from page 113 of the ARC version:

“Sociopaths love power. They love winning. If you take loving kindness out of the human brain, there’s no much left except the will to win.”

Reading is weird. The mind makes connections and keeps things stored away until they merge and create a new network of knowledge. That passage jumped out at me in part because of my criticism last year of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium – something that I’ve been contemplating on and off ever since. In the dystopian world Oliver created, love is taken out of the equation by a medical procedure performed on all citizens at age 18.

My biggest problem with that scenario was that I could not imagine how a society would function successfully (or even semi-successfully) without love. Perhaps this is due to a lack of imagination on my part. But ever since, I’ve been validating that thought with observations and quotes from other places. And in this case, from a journalist working on unraveling the world and identifying psychopaths.

My take? If you remove love and empathy from the human experience, no one can function. You fundamentally break society, and the world won’t go ‘round, even in a limping, dystopian, empty sort of way. What do you think?


Majanka said...

I haven't read Delirium yet, but always wanted to. The psychopath test looks interesting as well.

I'm a new GFC follower btw ;)
Kind regards,
I Heart Reading

vvb32 reads said...

makes me think of the vulcans from star trek. their emotions are suppressed to enhance their logical abilities which is successful for that society. but for humans, i agree that lack of love is just not "being" human.

Alyce said...

I agree that society wouldn't function well without love, however I don't think they were removing "love" in Delirium, that's just how they sold it to them. It was more like severe lobotomizing so that they were entirely unemotional overall, making them apathetic in some respects. I agree that there were issues in the book that are unrealistic though.

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

Oh wow. I am going to have to try this one!

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