Is a dystopia truly a bad place?

According to the mind of Sabirah Smith, the definition of DYSTOPIA is “a reality or pseudo-realm in which individuals fear their society and are constantly surveilled and experience continuous downfalls.”

It is often thought that a utopia is a place of perfection and endless bliss. Many even go as far as comparing it to the Garden of Eden: a biblical paradise. However, the true break down of the word tells us that it directly translates to “no place.” I think this is ironic, because in my opinion it suggests that a place of perfection and everlasting happiness does not exist. The word utopia is typically used more than dystopia, therefore the dystopia is viewed as its antonym by many. However, I do not think this is the case. While dystopia does directly translate to “bad place,” I do not believe that it necessarily correlates with eternal damnation or anything of the sort. When one is living ignorantly in a dystopian society it may seem normal, ideal even, because they are not aware of the conditions in which they are living. But when one is aware of the world that they live in and try to find ways out of it, it can impose fear on them and they realize the injustice they are subjected to. I also think it is important to note that a dystopia is not always an imaginary place. As we will learn more in this course, we will see the ways in which our own reality can in fact be considered a dystopia to some degree, especially in other countries such as China and North Korea. Over the course of this class, I hope to create a more evolved definition of this term that encompasses all that a true dystopia really is.

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