What is a Dystopia?
I believe that a dystopia is a society that thrives on the conformity and dehumanization of its citizens due to a post-apocalyptic event.
The ruling of a dystopian society is similar to that of a dictatorship, because there is a powerful collective or individual that forces rules and regulations upon its citizens for the benefit of its leader. Dystopian societies are riddled with poverty, chaos, and injustices, that lead to the dehumanization of their citizens. The citizens ultimately have no rights, or say in the choices made on behalf of their well being. This leadership rises in order to cease the chaos and confusion caused by a post-apocalyptic event. There also seems to be a theme of sacrifice within dystopian societies, “for the greater good.”
Personally, I believe that dystopias can be born out of an attempt to create a utopian society. After catastrophic events, precautions are taken to try to prevent something like that from happening again. This can be seen within the Divergent Series. Divergent was an experiment created in Chicago after their first world was ended by war and chaos. It was believed that by limiting originality and creativity they could ultimately maintain the peace. There would be no disagreements and or reasons for uprising and war. People were categorized and told their roles, and those that didn’t follow, faced the consequences. Ultimately we know how that turned out, because it is almost impossible to create a utopian society. There are those who do not fit the societal norms placed on them. They are then outcast and live among the shadows in dehumanizing conditions. Never to be spoken about, other than being used as a fear tactic to scare the rest of society into abiding by the rules. Originality and creativity is necessary to the foundation of a society and when that is taken away, it creates a dystopian society that thrives on the conformity of its citizens.