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Thursday 29 March 2012

A Change of Mind

    Sees the most unsympathetic portrayal of the common citizens of the village, they not only witlessly obey authority, but they appear to take up the authorities line on their own behalf and are quick to condemn those who do not conform, those who are seen to be "Unmutual." There is a mob mentality to this episode which is distinctly absent from any other predeceasing episode. In fact how unmutuals are treated in the village is a reflecton of the Communist witch hunts in America during the 1950's, such was the state of mistrust and paranoia of the time and an easy parallel to draw between Unmutuals and Communism. And in so being one could so easily exchange the word Unmutual for that of Communist!
   No.6 is pronounced as being unmutual, this after the fight with No.2's bully boys in the woods. They report him to the committee and we all know what happens after that. But the character of No.6 is somewhat changed. Previously during the episode of It’s Your Funeral No.6 cares for the community, he does his utmost to save the citizens from mass reprisals, a never to be forgotten deterrent which the new No.2 would see to be carried out against the citizens of the community and without question!
    But now it seems No.6 has turned his back on the community, the "keep fit" freak that he is has jury-rigged his own private gymnasium in the woods, where once upon a time he would have enjoyed all the amenities of the villages own gymnasium. This indeed could be seen as being antisocial behaviour in itself. But what exactly it was that happened between the episodes of It’s your Funeral and A Change of Mind to make No.6 turn away from the community in the way he did we shall never know. And any such reasons there may be can only be speculative on the part of the observer.
   No.6 does not attempt to escape in this episode, but instead engages in his second favourite amusement, turning the tables on his enemy No.2, and believe me it is No.2 who is behind the committee, you may rely upon that. But No.6 does not undergo the full "Instant Social Conversion" process, he is simply being kept heavily tranquillised. unlike the other poor souls who like No.46 did undergo the full process of "Instant Social Conversion", but who does not see himself as not being odd, different maybe. But also as being one of the lucky ones. If that is the case, then what did they do to the unlucky ones?
    But it was all a fix as far as No.6 is concerned, after all they mustn’t damage the tissue! But such is the confidence of No.2 that all has been prearranged before the commencement of the episode of A Change of oind, so much so that The Tally Ho articles on No.6 have all been previously written and printed in the newspaper. How otherwise could it have been, for as soon as No.6 leaves the Town Hall after his first confrontation with the committee he takes a copy of The Tally Ho and so is able read about himself so soon!
   No.2 might be a passed master in the art of manipulation, but No.6 is far from slow in coming forward in that department. This in the way No.6 turned the tables on No.86 in giving her the drug meant for him, then later on in her tranquillised state of mind he hypnotises her into doing his bidding!
    With the question of lobotomies, one has to question the ethical ramifications which were a hot topic in the late 1960's, and the practice of which was condemned in episodes such as this and such books as One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Lobotomies were most often performed on mentally ill patients who exhibited criminal or antisocial behaviour and such operations were conducted until the mid 1970's.

BCNU........ If I don't have a change of mind between now and then!

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