Dystopian Realities

A dystopia is an imaginary society where there is a definite hierarchy of classes and there is some kind of oppression from the higher classes directed toward the lower classes, making their lives undesirable due to the control had over them.

The theme of oppression of a lesser group has been seen in most of the literature we have read and the movies we have watched. I think the best example of this is seen in the movie “The Planet of the Apes,” where there is a definite hierarchy with the orangutans on the top, the chimpanzees below them, the gorillas below them, and the humans at the very bottom. Since the orangutans are the ones controlling everyone, they have set up society in a way that keeps the humans locked up and unable to freely express themselves without threat of harm. In many dystopia themed books, there tends to be elements of violence as well that are used to keep the lower class or those generally not in power “in line.” I think “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a great example of control in dystopian societies. The novel shows how Offred lives her life in Gilead under the strict control of the government. The lives of most of the general citizens is very limited in what is allowed. They are also not allowed to consume certain media, where there is only information that the government would like to give, spoken to the public. This left her in a position where she does not like the control over her and the others and she is curious to know more. In positions like this, the citizens of societies like this begin to form resentment to the government and the lives that they live. I think a good real-life example that follows this definition is society in North Korea. Although there is not much media about the lives of typical citizens, what is known is disheartening. There are harsh restrictions on media that they are allowed to consume, they can not openly speak bad about the government, and their lives are basically controlled fully.

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