How do I define “dystopia”

/dis-topea/ noun an unpleasant imaginary society where that is the majority of its inhabitants experience extreme oppression and is typically post apocalyptic

Growing up in a post 9/11 United States left many American citizens in a constant state of fear. It also led to some extreme reactions to a lot of issues. Many authors of the time took the reality that we were living in and put their own twist to what was happening and created a plethora of dystopian themed media. Because of this I consumed an unhealthy amount of dystopian media like the Hunger Games series and the Divergent Series and other books like Dangerous Minds and the Giver quartet. Within these books specifically there is an oppressive regime that is controlling its citizens by withholding information, controlling what can be said, done, read, watched etc., keeping people at war, or simply brainwashing those who can’t stay in line. For example, in the Hunger Games, the Captiol of Panem would have their Peacekeepers, who essentially were tasked with keeping the citizens of Panem in line. Well for Panem, in line was in accordance with whatever President Snow (the leader) and his laws stated. If anyone stepped out of line, the Peacekeepers would come and beat them making that “trouble maker” (in the eyes of the government) an example, ensuring other citizens stay in line. The deployment of extremely violent and aggressive “Peacekeepers” at any instance of resistance to the current government, is a very effective way of oppression. Other dystopian media that I have consumed growing up include movies such as the Terminator Series, the Matrix Trilogy, and of course the movie adaptations to the books stated previously. These movies often show a futuristic world that is experiencing a nightmarish reality. In the case of the Terminator, there is a tyrannical government with evil robots keeping people from resisting said government. One of these robots or Terminators was sent back in time, by their tyrannical leader, to kill the unborn leader of the Resistance so that leader could remain in power. The Terminator is both a post apocalyptic world as well as one where the people living in it are experiencing some form of oppression.

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