A Clockwork Society

Society in Relations to Mechanisms of a Clock

When defined as a noun, clockwork is generally “a mechanism with spring or toothed gearwheels, used to drive a mechanical clock, toy, or other device.” Similarly, society is composed of hundreds and thousands of intricate apparatuses that, when combined together, produce some sort of uniform effect. This effect is a particular governing doctrine or principle that dictates mankind’s social behavior. On the other hand, when defined as an adjective, clockwork refers to the quality of being repetitive or regular. This, too, fittingly describes society. Though society has progressed with time, it has always been inherently bound by it. Clocks themselves are constant reminders of how highly attached society is to running on a schedule.

The Prague Astronomical Clock

The Prague Astronomical Clock is the perfect representation of the importance of time in society. Built in the fifteenth century, the clock shows time on both the 24 hour dial and “Old Bohemian time” (the number of hours since sunset). Several interesting figures adorn it – one is a figure of Death and the others resemble the 12 apostles and the zodiacs. Evidently, the figures reflect the cycle of life. The emphasis on the ostentatious designs express how valuable time is to society.

The Clock of Life

In the above photo, Slay, a company that cashes real estate notes, interestingly portrays life as something quite routine. Each number on the clock represents a particular stage in life. Both the minute hand and hour hand dictate this “cycle of life” and determine the point at which man is expected to have fulfilled whatever description is listed under the number. The explanation above the illustration reads, “Each hour on the clock represents a 6 year period of one’s life. Life begins at 6 A.M. and ends at 6 P.M., thus completing the 12 hour cycle.” It suggests that society may, in fact, be bounded by a regimental scheme that no one can possibly escape. Though complex in nature, society, like the mechanisms of a clock, functions according to a pattern. Although it will advance with time, every basic and essential function or event that occurs is cyclical. This, in turn, suggests that the fate of every man/ woman society may already be predetermined. Metaphorically, the illustration may also imply that mankind will constantly conform to the predominant ideology of its time: There is no sense of individualism (this is evident by the very fact that it assumes every man has done whatever is listed under each number by the time he reaches that age).

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2 Responses to “A Clockwork Society”

  1.    raf Says:

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a top notch article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never manage to get anything done.

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