I believe that a dystopian society is a place where the worst ways of living is actualized be it poverty, oppression, violence, pollution, and other forms human misery.
The very term dystopia means “bad” in this class we used our critical thinking skills to realize that in a dystopian society people used it as a cautionary form against totalitarian of the left or right. I believe that during my time analyzing and critically thinking about this word and all that it consist of, Geoge Orwell’s book, 1984, became my pinpoint of a true dystopian society. The very essence of a dystopian novel shows how the story of fictional and real people live in worlds that are unfit. Dystopias are the opposite of utopias, but overtime I have learned that utopias can easily become dystopias. When learning in this classI thought it was rather unfair that because humans are not perfect they should not be responsible to keep a perfect society substainable. The reason George Orwell, was a model of a dystopian society was because Oceania is a totalitarian superstate. Winston Smith lives in London, though England is now called Airstrip One. The citizens of Oceania are under a strong, oppressive regime. There is widespread surveillance, strict rules and regulations, and constant war with the other two superstates, Eastasia and Eurasia. The citizens are taught Newspeak, which is a simplified version of English used to control how the citizens think and express themselves. here is no privacy, independence, or self-identity in Oceania.
From the book and discussions in class, I believe Orwell and Freud had similar points on dystopia. In Freud’s work on Civilization & Its Discontents, ““It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.” The quote makes me understand that civilization is a problem and it makes people unhappy. Because humans are already aggressive due to the cares of life, they further the arggression and begin to hurt other people in the process. There are many layers to a dystopian society.
To further support my definition of a dystopian society, one characteristic feature of dystopia a total absence of civil society. This made me think of Iris Young’s Five Faces of Oppression. In the text she states “marginalization is perhaps the most dangerous form of oppression.” I think this is important to know that a dystopian society limits someones livilhood to grow and develop in a safe society.