This post is going to be about the definition of dystopia that we created in class, “An imaginary or real place whose people may lead a restrictive and oppressive existence under some form of authority”. I feel that this is a well-constructed definition, however, it does not fully encompass all dystopias. In order to prove my point, I would like to provide the example of a dystopia where a nation gives its people full and complete freedom to do whatever they wish. This is a familiar theme in movies like The Purge because the plot is centered around the government legalizing all crimes for a twenty-four hour period. The citizens participating in Purge activities are not restricted or oppressed in any way, but those that they may bring harm to or kill most certainly are.
In order to include dystopias that essentially thrive off of systemic chaos, I would like to change the definition created by the class to account for those specific “bad places”. The revised version of the definition of dystopia should be: a real or imaginary place whose people may lead either a restrictive and oppressive existence or an extremely unrestrictive and violent existence under some form of authority. The phrase, “extremely unrestrictive and violent existence” is the only change I have made to account for dystopias that exist on the other end of the spectrum for deviant societies. Some restrictions are necessary to keep groups equal in their efforts to live according to the standards of modern society and maintain ethics and morals in this century. Having no restrictions at all is more likely to induce more chaos than what was previously accepted and violence is usually a result of that lack of restraint.
This definition is going to change in the coming weeks and years. Dystopias will always seem different or vary according to society’s beliefs about acceptable behavior. The qualities and behaviors that students believe to be acceptable in the United States today have changed drastically from students living a century beforehand.