Imagine a world where a cure for aging has been found. Should the cure be legalized and made available to the public? What laws should regulate its use? How should society deal with a growing population that never ages? Freshmen grappled with these questions during a discussion about The Postmortal, this year’s selection for the First Year Reading Experience.
The Postmortal follows the story of John Farrell, a young lawyer who lives in a dystopian future where he and many others have taken a cure for aging. Author Drew Magery presents a terrifying, but realistic portrait of how modern life would change if most of the population didn’t age.
“At first, I thought getting the cure and living forever would be really cool. Then I read the book, and now I’ve changed my mind. The whole world in The Postmortal was very bleak. I wouldn’t want to be stuck on Earth with all these people and problems,” Josh, one freshman student, said.
Another student, Haley, agreed with Josh and didn’t want to take the cure either.
“It’s like the cure made everyone lifeless. No one had goals or dreams because they knew they would live forever and they thought have all the time in the world. It was just a bunch of people wandering around trying to survive. Life lost value because of the cure,” she said.
Some students disagreed and said they would take the cure if it was available. Antonio said he could see some positive effects on society because of the cure.
“The cure gives you unlimited time. You have time to pursue all your dreams. Not only could you do things for yourself, but you also have more opportunities to help other people,” he said.
“There should definitely be an age limit on the cure. Old people who are sick shouldn’t be able to get the cure because they probably couldn’t take care of themselves. Children shouldn’t be allowed either. They need to grow up before they can make the big decision of whether or not to get the cure,” Rebecca said.
As for an ideal age to get the cure? Students debated that topic as well.
“I would say 25. You’re still young enough that you probably wouldn’t have any health problems, but old enough to be able to think things through and make the best decision for yourself,” Kyle said.
“I would say sometime in your 30s. You’ve lived life enough that you know whether or not you would want to live forever,” Lindsay said.
The First Year Reading Experience (FYRE) program at UTC introduces students to the academic and intellectual culture of university life. The program provides a positive reading experience for students, faculty, and staff, one that holds at its core the belief that reading is an integral part of the university experience. Likewise, the program fosters a sense of community among students, faculty, and staff. For more information about the FYRE program, visit their website http://www.utc.edu/center-advisement-student-success/first-year-experience/fyre.php.