A dystopian society is an imaginary community construct where the concept is to create an “ideal”’ society that is out of the norms of our own society, however, this society’s structure is always built on a foundation that has ugly, inhumane rules and morals. This theme of underlying insurrection in the community structure is a common aspect of every dystopian novel and movie that I was introduced to in middle school. I noticed how the ugly was hidden from those who benefited from the system in these societies. Whether it was the authority figure or an upper echelon class, dystopias are usually one-sided systems that ultimately put the majority at a disadvantage or in the blind.
The ideal aspect of dystopian societies are ultimately major concepts that cause disturbances in our own reality. For instance, Fahrenheit 51 was a dystopian society where they prevented its citizens from reading. Therefore, they would perform huge book burnings and punish those who are caught with a book or reading them. This concept was formed from the ongoing debate on how extreme should censorship be in our society. Freedom of speech, eradicating controversial history, and limiting free knowledge are all aspects of our society that cause division. What would happen if we erased the idea of it all? Would we be more unified? Would we rebel due to being confined? The answers to these questions lie within the imaginary dystopian societies that are created to answer the “what if?” questions.
Another common theme that defines dystopian societies is the deadly consequences of the failure to conform. This is what truly brings out the horrendous acts of violence and injustice of this society’s structure that truly makes it the opposite of an utopia. As Americans living in a free world, the thought of individuals not able to choose their own destiny and develop their own personalities perplexes us. What would happen if that privilege was revoked? Divergent is a great example where individuals who fail to conform to one faction (divergents) will be killed. Another excellent example is The Hunger Games, the failure to conform and participate fully in the games ultimately ends with them dying anyway. One must do their job as a citizen to conform or the system starts to fail. Therefore , that’s why the uncovering of these aspects almost always lead to a rebellion in dystopian societies. At the end of these novels and motives, citizens start to reform and practice autonomy for the first time (dystopian societies prevent).