Gemma Malley's dystopian novel, The Declaration, is a futuristic science fiction story set in the year 2140. The protagoist, Anna, lies in a surplus hall, an orphanage of sorts for those born into world where they are unwanted.
As a result, a major theme is indoctrination as all the she surpluses living at Grange Hall are forced to believe lies about their existence. Grange Hall is a place that physically and emotionally imprisons its residents, the house matron, Mrs. Pincent, perpetuates this indoctrination and even the new rebel surplus, Peter, has extreme difficulty convincing Anna of the truth about her life. This theme is important because it helps the reader to understand how Anna became so brainwashed, and how we might become brainwashed as well.
Primarily, Grange Hall serves as a prison, a prison that propels the theme of indoctrination. Grange Hall is physically isolated from the rest of society, which makes it easier for the surpluses to be brainwashed, as they would have no idea of how they should be treated, and have very little knowledge of the world outside Grange Hall's walls. Beatings and solitary confinement are some of the ways those in power ensure the indoctrination is successful. "Grey walls separated Grange Hall from the outside world, beyond, where Legal people live."
Gemma Malley is encouraging readers to see Grange Hall as a miserable, secluded prison, a place that separates the Legals and the surpluses, where indoctrination is a common way of life.
Furthermore, the theme of indoctrination is expressed through the values and beliefs of the house matron at Grange Hall, Mrs. Pincent. She convinces surpluses that they are a burden on the Earth and to society. In her opinion, surpluses waste the little remaining resources as they are not legally permitted to exist, adding to the global strain on resources. They're taught to hate their parents, told that they "should be angry at their parents... for bringing them into a world where...