In the beginning of the semester, I defined a dystopia as a place that’s horrid and the residence have no idea or little idea that they are in one. I still stand by this definition; however, I’d like to add that the people may be cognizant of the dystopia they live in too.
Iris Young’s “Five Faces of Oppression” solidified within myself parameters that exist within dystopias. Exploitation, Marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and violence. These categories allowed me to better articulate qualities within the societies we explored that were dystopian.
“Pleasantville” reminded me of “The Giver.” Both mediums attempted to create a utopia within, so that its inhabitants didn’t suffer. These types of dystopias will always be interesting to me, because they attempt to create utopias. Like Plato’s Kallipolis, the towns within each fantasy tried vehemently to preserve their perfect structure; however, in the process of creating “perfection” limitations had to be implemented. Kallipolis’ perfect structure was suppose to be kept up due to a noble lie, Pleasantville kept its alive for a period through archaic pleasant rules, the Giver kept the people in their suburbia docile by restricting hyper emotional thoughts and ideas. Perfect peace was achieved in all these places by either exploiting, marginalizing, removing power from, instilling cultural imperialism into, or violently persuading there residence. Within Robinson’s “Dystopia Now,” he mentioned how some dystopias are brought about through utopian thinking and that will always stick out to me.
Dystopias aren’t just a “bad place.” There exist dystopias which at one point wanted to be utopias but through too much forward thinking ancient suppression tactics arose.
Final Dystopia definition:
A place that’s horrid and the residence have no idea, little idea, or cognizant idea that they are in one. Dystopia can originate as a horrid place or be brought about due to too much idealistic thinking towards one sole perspective. Creating a utopia is an idealistic thinking tactic that can ultimately lead to a dystopia, because too much effort to create the perfect place can result in forgetting what perfection it was attempting to achieve. Perfect is subjective, so some people might live in that perfect place and others might be trapped in others’ illusions. A utopia to some and a dystopia to others. Scary stuff.