Fearful Followers Following a Frightening Figurehead

Dystopiaan imaginary world where people live in constant fear and adhere to certain norms as a result of being constantly watched or manipulated by certain figureheads.


Although many journalists use the word dystopia to describe any negative situation, the word means much more than just a bad place. I believe that a dystopian society contains citizens that are living in constant fear as a result of being watched and having to follow certain norms established by certain government figureheads. For example, in the book 1984, people were constantly being surveyed by the “Big Brother,” and if people went against norms established by this totalitarian government, people would be brainwashed to forget anything that went against the norms established by the government. As a result, people lived in constant panic of the choices they made and certain actions they performed. Additionally, in movies such as the Hunger Games, the “Head Gamemaker” controlled the people by manipulating every aspect of the “games” they played and the choices they made. The people had to conform to the norms of these games by surviving and killing each other to be the last individual standing. These two works are great examples of the definition of a dystopian society because they go beyond just being a “bad place” and involve people being manipulated to act and think a certain way without even realizing it. The only reason these people are doing certain actions results from the figureheads manipulating both the words and actions of the common people and changing the decisions they make. These figureheads are basically puppeteers controlling their puppets, and all puppets can do is conform to what the puppeteer wants them to do. Because of this, the figurehead’s regime or control lives on for many years to come. Overall, dystopian societies are led by a fearsome figurehead that makes people conform to the norms established by this “leader,” and as a result, the choices people make are altered as a result of fearing for their lives.

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