Identifying Dystopias

According to James Bailey, a dystopia is a societal condition where the government abuses it military power & manipulates the majority of citizens to hold radical beliefs that ultimately help them consolidate their rule. This is how I define a dystopia because it can also explain why fear is greatly associated to these types of societies. Most people would not want to fall out of line due to fear of many unfortunate outcomes which are possible in this state. While reading the Handmaid’s Tale, I pondered about how the governing power was able to have such a hold over the citizens. I analyzed what I perceived to be key moments from the text and noted how there were informants, public executions, armed militiamen, and an odd social hierarchy rooted in fertility. Putting things into perspective, I compared these traits to modern day examples of what I believe to be dystopias. Nazi Germany and North Korea are both awful places and share many similarities with the characteristics mentioned in the Handmaid’s Tale. By making this connection, one can then apply my definition of a Dystopia to these real world examples and they will find that it accurately describes them. Citizens of Nazi Germany and North Korea both experience a strong military presence, and they both hold radical beliefs such as believing Jewish people are evil and believing Kim Jong Un is God. My definition is accurate because there is not one society that fits it and is not in a dystopian state.

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