My definition of a dystopia would be a society in which the masses are oppressed by an elite, wealthy group of individuals who utilize means to control them, such as technology, religion, politics, corporations, and so on. If an individual is incapable of conforming or chooses to rebel against the norm, then that person suffers disastrous consequences.
Whereas I agree that the people in a dystopia lead “wretched, dehumanized, and fearful lives” (because they are unable to act according to their own free will), I disagree entirely with the Merriam-Webster definition in which they state a dystopia is “imaginary.” While we have not reached the point where we are characters like Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games fighting to the death in a televised competition for the amusement of the Capitol, there are dystopian traits that seep through reality every day. One key characteristic of a dystopia is that most people are brainwashed into believing what the affluent want them to think. There are no challenges or oppositions to this form of manipulation. In today’s society, the same can be said. Censorship is at an all-time high, and those who challenge the status quo will be “canceled” and even denied their livelihood and existence. I can not help but to relate this aspect to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. While I am not against vaccines at all, I do believe everyone has a right to determine what they want injected into their body, and even more so the right to voice their concern or disagreement without consequences such as losing their job or dismissal from school. However, the sad truth is that for the masses (the people that is kept in the dark) these repercussions do come into play… and often.