What is a dystopia?

I hate to admit it, but I agree with Freud. Not the crazy sexist stuff but the idea that to know the definition of one thing, we must know the definition of its antonym. Even reading Dystopias Now by Kim Robinson he wrote that “Dystopias are the flip side of utopias. Both of them express feelings about our shared future; utopias express our social hopes, dystopias our social fears. There are a lot of dystopias around these days, and this makes sense because we have a lot of fears about the future.”

With that being said, thinking about the definition of a utopia (given in class) to mean a good place, a place of social hopes, or (the online definition)a perfect society. The definition of dystopia then has to be the opposite of these things.

My original definition of a “Dystopia” was a satirical world or society that challenges us to reflect on the weaknesses of our present society. Now, I will admit, I didn’t really know what the actual definition was before this class but, based on the books I had read in the past, I came up with my own definition. I have learned a lot from this class and am grateful for the literature I have been exposed to. Now I define a “Dystopia” as a satirical world or society in which the people (or other things) inside that society are oppressed through fear caused by the government; a dystopia challenges us to reflect on the weaknesses of our present society.

I want to return to the earlier quote I used, referring to dystopias as our social fears. What do we fear most today in society? Can all dystopias be fixed? Do people allow the government to oppress them? To that, is ignorance bliss in these situations?

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.