A dystopia is a forceful society that dehumanizes and controls its citizens through fear and forms of oppression.
Oppression. From all the different dystopias that we have covered during class, they all share some of the same components such as oppression, control by fear, dehumanization, and having no choice but to endure. Oppression was one of the main things that I felt needed to be in the definition. Oppression is how worlds can become dystopian. When reading or watching dystopian books and movies, every storyline had some sort of oppression apart of it and most of the time, it was violence. I believe violence is most common upon Young’s five faces of oppression. Even though, we aren’t currently living in a dystopian society, we’re not that far away from it. Violence occurs everyday and it has been getting extremely worse with the minorities of America. Violence always becomes a resort when people don’t get what they want from others. Therefore, when people in power want something, they will do anything to get it, just like the Commanders in Handmaids Tale and Rudy in Brown Girl in the Ring.
Dehumanization. Dystopian worlds strip the freedom away from its citizens. Freedom is one thing about our lives that we take for granted. When that is taken away, people begin to act differently. A large change in the way we live can usually change the way we see our world. It changes our perspective and it can change our mental health. That is why I included the word “dehumanizing” in my definition. Dehumanization is very important to the concept of a dystopia. Slavery, the current situation in North Korea, are examples of what it’s like to live in a dystopian setting where freedom doesn’t exist for those who are considered beneath the ones with power. A setting where people aren’t seen as human beings.
Force. No body wants to live in a dystopian society. No one would ever choose that over a utopian society. Dystopias always start when someone in power decides to call the shots about how everyone should live. There is always a motive. They think they know better, therefore, the do what they can to try to make the best world possible, mainly for themselves. That is why the word “force” is important for the structure of my definition.
Fear. The face of oppression, powerlessness, is best related for this part of the definition. Fear is how the ones in power gain their control. The one way to get people to do what you want, is to install fear into them. Make them feel like it’s either you do it or die. In a dystopia, violence is used to put fear within its citizens. For the people who choose to survive, they do what they are told only because they have no other option. The world is our jungle.
I am a Senior, Chemistry PreMed major from PG County, Maryland.