Dystopia Defined

Based on my knowledge of dystopias through novels, films, and reality, I would define them as societies in which people are forced to live without a say or control over how they live. Merriam Webster defines a dystopia as “an imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives.” To me, both of our definitions ring true, although I do not necessarily agree with the idea that they are all imagined. Despite the idea of dystopias coming into our world as fiction, I have since seen many similarities between the stories told in books and films, and our current world. In reading 1984, The Giver, Lord of the Flies, watching Fahrenheit 452 as a play, reading/watching Handmaid’s Tale, and watching The Hunger Games, I have made numerous parallels in each of these stories between their worlds and ours. In The Giver, when Jonas starts to receive memories of the past he begins to hate the community, the same way that we are ignorant of how society functions until we learn it’s history. Once our eyes are opened to all of the injustices, we don’t tend to have the same view point and love for the place that we call home. In the Handmaid’s Tale, we see that cash is no longer used, so they rely solely on credit/debit cards in order to buy simple things like coffee. This allows their government more control over and access to their funds and thus, their way of life. As the years have come and gone, our society has turned more to those very same plastic cards and web payments and we have minimized our cash usage, allowing that very same control over ourselves. If you take a look at each and every dystopian story told via book or television, I can guarantee you that you will see similarities between our society and those across the globe, and how the characters in these stories are forced to live. Out of these stories, do you have a favorite? If you do, I would question why are you drawn to that particular one?

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