A dystopia is a community marked by oppressive and unfavorable circumstances, typically featuring an authoritarian government, social injustice, and a grim or nightmarish setting.

Although most dystopias we think of come from fictional settings such as the Hunger Games, I don’t believe that dystopias are imagined or fictional worlds only as I believe that all societies are dystopias and that utopias are impossible to reach. At any time, some group of people is oppressed or faces social injustice in their country, and this has held in all of history. In the Old Testament of the Bible, we’ve seen societies that would be considered dystopias due to the oppression of the Israelites and the social injustices they faced. During the period of Colonial America, a multitude of groups faced injustices and experienced nightmarish settings ranging from Native Americans to Africans to those who immigrated from Britain. Even today, places such as North Korea should be considered a dystopia as they have an authoritarian government that suppresses the rights of the majority of its population. A dystopia is not only in books or movies, but we are living in one.

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