Dystopia: A divergence of reality, as a result of an issue, that cultivates a new society, way of thinking, and way of surviving.
Being my most favorite genre of film and literature, dystopian fiction provides an answer to the “what if?”. It switches the lens through which we view our current reality and illuminates how society would react to a certain issue that may arise. Most are familiar with a more post-apocalyptic view of dystopian society, like one of my favorites, the Divergent series. The world has been torn to ruins and society has branched into 5 different “factions” to survive the reality that they now experience. This is an example of a dystopia because it explores a new society, a new way of thinking, and a new way of surviving. Although, a post-apocalyptic world is not necessary to fit the criteria of a dystopia.
An example of a dystopia that is not post-apocalyptic can be seen through the Netflix series, Black Mirror. Black Mirror explores the issues in todays society and takes things a step forward to show dystopian society is not as absurd as it is believed to be. To clarify this point, let’s shift the focus onto our own reality. By definition I would say we are living in a dystopia. With the arise of the COVID-19 virus we have a new way of surviving in order to navigate this pandemic. We have cultivated a new society that has to wear masks, limit contact, quarantine, and adjust to the negative impacts this virus has caused. Additionally, a new way of thinking has emerged, with both virus believers and virus skeptics. Even though we are not living in a post-apocalyptic world of ruins, we are still navigating through a dystopian society. Furthermore, this shows that dystopias are not so far-fetched and we should acknowledge that fact.