When most people think of dystopia they instantly correlate it with utopia, which means “an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect” and think dystopia is opposite of that. To me, dystopia describes a world or society where suffering and injustice are being inflicted on a group of people, solely benefiting an elite class/ high powered people. According to Merriam-Webster.com dystopia is, “an imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives”. Another definition according to Oxford Language is “an imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic”. My definition differs from Webster due to the word “imagined”. Which means something unreal that is believed to exist or be so. I disagree with this part because I believe a dystopian society could exist in real life or actually be true now. Which is why I also disagree with Oxford because of the word “post-apocalyptic”. When most people think of dystopia they think of life after a big disaster or the end of the world. But I don’t believe the extreme parameters are necessary to be considered a dystopia.
Many movies and books explore different versions of a dystopian world. They create horrible conditions that aren’t seen as real possibilities because it could happen to white people too. But I believe America has seen a dystopian society. For example, slavery lasted for 400 years and black people still suffered even now under the thumb of our oppressors. Under the definition wouldn’t it qualify? A group experiencing suffering, injustice, misfortune, and treated as less than human at the hands of a powerful group of people.In a dystopian setting, people often face harsh restrictions on freedom and the elite typically wields excessive control, often resulting in an undesirable environment for the people it affects.