Living Under a Mirage

A Dystopia is a real or imagined, world or society in which a mirage of peace is maintained through authoritarian rule, the ignorance of the general population, and/or the marginalization of a group of people. I think that when describing a dystopia it’s wrong to describe it as a place where the quality of life is wretched and unbearable because I think every dystopia is somebody else’s idea of a Utopia. In most dystopian society’s described in literature the society is ideal to those in charge or anyone who benefits from the societal conditions present. For example, in the Hunger Games, the upper echelons of the Capitol we’re excited to watch children from the districts be killed for the sake of pure entertainment under the guise of maintaining the peace and order. I think in order for a dystopia to exist there has to be something maintaining a poor quality of life for a specific sect of the society’s population. I believe that if life was truly wretched for every person in a society there’d truly be no conflict or story because everybody would be united under the mission to increase the quality of life. Alongside the authoritarian rule and the marginalization of a group, I think an ignorant general population leads to the maintenance of a dystopia. Often the authoritarian rule leads to the ignorance of the general population. Sometimes, it’s a matter of being born into a society that has always operated a certain way so never questioning why certain things exist. For example, most people in the book series Divergent, just went along with what they were told because that was the society they were born into. Its very hard to do better when you don’t know better. Changing society is never the main character or any one person’s plight until they become self aware and gain the ability to see beyond the mirage of law and order or peace created by higher authorities.

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