What is a dystopia?

Merriam-Webster defines dystopia as “an imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives. Though I haven’t seen a great amount of dystopian films they all seem to display the same idea, a world in which all humanity is lost. My definition of a dystopia is, a brainwashed society governed by a system that restricts individuality and sets forth strict society norms to follow. To me, this is a world in which the ability to critically think and the possibilities of having our own experiences, are taken away in order to create the feeling of “sameness”. All human emotions, such as those that help us to differentiate between what is morally right and wrong, are stripped away, leaving us detached and cold. That is what a dystopia would sound and look like to me. To some extent some characteristic of a dystopia can already be seen in today’s society, which is led by consumerism and heavily influenced by trends. The need to fit in with others and have it all, slowly wash away individuality and can no longer flourish as individuals and become forever dependent on the rules set forth by society. 

The growing obsession with status has also affected our behavior, our ability to show respect, kindness and compassion to those around us. I believe that once humanity has lost its ability to stand up for itself in the face of adversities and oppression, that’s when the dystopias we see in films will slowly become a reality. We must never underestimate the power of our voices or look for perfection, as it is impossible to reach and can drive us to the point of insanity. Instead we must work hard to be understanding, build relationships with others, and be graceful in our ability to make choices that make up different individuals with endless possibilities and chances to decide who they are. To do this we must put down our weapons, tear down our expectations, and reconnect with the world that has given us all we need to survive.

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