A dystopia is the opposite of a utopia where a society or community of people endure immense suffering and unideal living situations.
In a lot of dystopian fiction stories the main character usually is poor and has one or more family members that they care about and want to protect. Their families usually don’t have enough to eat and the main character, most likely the oldest, gives up their meals or has to resort to stealing to care for their other family members. There’s usually a utopian society that opposes the dystopian society that the main character lives in which looks down on the unfortunate dystopian community, but makes no effort to help improve their living situation. The same can somewhat be said for reality. People who are rich sometimes live lavish lives, but 13.4% of people live in poverty and .2% are homeless. There are people who donate to the poor, which is where reality differs from books, but there is still a significant amount of people who have little income or resources.
For example, in Hunger Games Katniss was very poor and had to often give up her meals and attempt to steal food in order to make sure her sister prim rose was able to eat. Whereas the people in the capital had an abundance of food and would watch as the districts fought for food rations and as their children fought for the capital’s entertainment. Similarly in Legend, Day had to leave his family because they were sick, but also because he was a wanted criminal because he stole to provide his family with gifts and money whenever he could sneak home undetected. Whereas June was born into one of the wealthiest districts and attended the best schools where she was a military prodigy who broke the rules for fun. The main similarity between these two stories is that the characters are both from dystopian societies who have to watch the citizens of the utopian societies live lavishly, though they’re aware of how poorly the dystopian citizens live, but they just watch them suffer anyway. Despite knowing a lot of the dystopian citizens are dying, whether it’s from illness or lack of available food, the utopian society never attempts to help which in some stories leads to rebellion and revolting against the unideal living situations brought upon them by the utopian society. While the people who live in the dystopian society seem to want the resources of the utopian society, they see the flaws within the utopian society. In contrast, I don’t think there’s a common utopia in reality. I think that everyone has their own opinion of what their utopia would look like, but I don’t think it will necessarily be the same as everyone else. People who live in poverty may see celebrities or upper class citizens living in their utopia, but celebrities may see middle class citizens who don’t get mobbed by fans and paparazzi as being their utopia. I still think that people who feel that their reality is like a dystopia have one, but it’s not as concise and organized as a book where the utopia is a clear place or community.