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What Is Dystopian Fiction? Essay

3516 words - 15 pages

Janice Tso
04/08/14
E Block
Horror and Sci-Fi

Synthesis Essay Model Outline

Why are you interested in this subject? A personal Intro
I’ve always been interested in dystopian fiction. A dystopia is a community or society that is undesirable and frightening. A group rules a dystopian society with a private agenda shrouded in euphemisms or outright lies. In works of art and literature, they are often characterized by: dehumanization, totalitarian government, advancement in technology, or other characteristics of cataclysmic decline in society. Several works, such as films and novels, provides examples and imageries of a dystopia, a dysfunctional, perfectly imperfect society. Some works may ...view middle of the document...

The spikes in popularity of dystopian fiction started right around the time of World War II the Cold War, and also as a result of 9/11 and the war of terror. One of the earliest well-known examples of dystopian fiction is H.G Wells’ novel, The Time Machine, published in 1895, which depicts a distant future in which the human race has evolved into two species. Even before that, in around 1835, a pro-slavery writer wrote a novel called A Sojourn in the City of Amalgamation, depicting a dystopian future in which white and black people had intermarried. During the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, dystopian work of arts became a powerful and popular way for American writers to criticize communism and socialism. These decades produced some very important dystopian novels, including 1984 by George Orwell. In the next few decades, many more dystopian novels emerged. Examples of new dystopian novels are The Giver, A Clockwork Orange, V for Vendetta, and The Running Man. Published in 1993, Lois Lowry’s The Giver depicts a “perfect” society where all important choices are made for you so that you don’t risk making the wrong choices. This was one of the first dystopian novels written specifically for young adults.
Most dystopian stories share common themes, or messages. They reveal the danger of tyrannical government, the important of knowledge and truth, the danger of allowing one group to have too much power, the important of free will and individuality, the danger of technology, the danger of desensitization and the importance of humanity. Dystopian fiction calls into question the legitimacy of the practices of society’s traditional guardians and governors. Using this definition of the genre, the authors and creators of these works have provided each human being with instructions for recognizing and overcoming such systems in their own life. Dystopian authors use cinematic and narrative devices such as governments and technology to show us their vision of the worst possible future.
Several dystopian literatures share the common element of the danger of a totalitarian government. Much of early dystopian literature points to literal totalitarianism and communism seen on the rise by authors. Citizens of dystopia society live under harsh control—usually the control of a government or corporation. Governments can create extremely harsh rules and laws that can cause every individual in society to lose their freedom. An example of a tyrannical government is the novel 1984, by George Orwell. This novel illustrates a dystopian world where the government has taken complete control over society. The omnipresent government manipulates the public, order surveillance cameras to follow every person, and control he Inner Party elite. The tyranny is epitomized by Big Brother, a Party leader who enjoys using mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized, heroic and god-like image. Winston Smith, the protagonist of the novel, describes the lack of privacy by...

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