Dystopia… Is It Really Imagined?

Dystopia is something that we see often in the media, whether it’s science fiction like the Hunger Games or a novel like 1984 by George Orwell. My definition of dystopia is a society in which leaders in the government create a conformity mindset amongst citizens as a result of placing fear in them. For example, in the movie What Happened To Monday, seven identical sisters live in a society where people are only able to have one child due to overpopulation. These identical septuplets pretend to be one person, allowing each to go out one day out of the week. Throughout the film, we see the sisters suffer from both internal and external consequences such as no dating, having to physically experience everything their sibling experiences, and not being able to be themselves showing us how one loses individualism in strict government societies. 

Another example would be in the book Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Persepolis is an autobiography written from an Iranian woman’s perspective on Iran before and after the Islamic Revolution. The book begins in the late 1970s showing Iran’s undergoing political changes. In their attempt to prevent capitalism, which at the time was growing in practice across the world, the Islamic Republic began to heavily enforce strict laws. If citizens didn’t obey the laws they were physically abused. As a result, the relationship between the government and its people became something rooted in fear. People didn’t want to stand up to the changes happening because if they did, it could cost them their lives. For many people in Iran, the Islamic Republic was something to conform to without question. 

In both of these examples explained, we see a common theme. Not only are governments reaching their goals through strict law enforcement, but the only reason they are getting everyone to fall in line is due to the citizens being afraid. These societies are built off of totalitarian/socialist ideals. 

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