I would define a dystopia as a real world where people are living in a state of fear while enduring undesirable and oppressive conditions that bring about a loss of happiness.

Drawing from the media I’ve consumed, I feel this is a good definition to describe a dystopia because these narratives are often depicted as if the world is falling apart. The characteristics often feature elements such as a tyrannical leader, the world in disarray, lots of death, anarchy, environmental destruction, and a deterioration of trust in both individuals and society as a whole. The only notable distinction between my definition and the one given by Merriam-Webster is the absence of the word ‘imaginary.’ Your view of a dystopia most certainly depends on perspective. Therefore, I believe a dystopia is not confined to the realm of imagination as it is truly possible to live in a dystopia as long as one is genuinely living fearfully in undesirable and oppressive conditions. 

I feel as though the word dystopia is difficult to categorize because when saying ‘undesirable and oppressive conditions’, it varies significantly among different types of people. The problem stems from the inherent subjectivity embedded in the word. This fact was very apparent in the newspaper activity the class did this week. I encountered an article that stated that improving banking technology would be a dystopian development. It suggested that the enhancement would be so dreadful for those untrusting of banking apps and the immediate monetary transactions facilitated by such apps. This may very well be a dystopian reality for someone but not another. It demonstrates just how distinct one’s view of a dystopia can be. The multifaceted nature of dystopia and what it should entail is far too broad, which prevents it from being able to encompass the diverse range of circumstances that evoke a sense of fear. 

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