Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHomework Help · 6 years ago

How has the dystopian genre changed since 1900 and up until now, through the english literature and films?


I'm writing this big essay in school about the dystopia genre in both literature and films, but unfortunately I'm kinda stuck on this question, and can't seem to find any answers to it.

The question is just how the genre itself has developed in the last century.

Any help will be very much appreciated!

- Aldis. :)


Since i didn't find anything on the internet about the development itself, I read about some of the books instead and how they contained the dystopian genre, to see if it had changed through the years.

So this is what I found out:

Dystopiens development as a genre.

- The environment, a dark society, wars and bombs: (We(1921), 1984(1948), The running man(1982), V for Vendetta(1982), Ender’s Game(1985), Watchmen(1987), Battle Royale(1999), Hunger Games(2008))

- No privacy, the thoughts of the citizens are invaded by the government: (We(1921), 1984(1948), The Minority Report(1956), Ender’s Game(1985))

- The people are sent to battle each other in a matter of survival, people are unwillingly sent into battle: (The Running Man(1982), Ender’s Game(1985), Battle Royale(1999), Hunger Games(2008))

And I just wanted to hear if it's right, if this could be a sort of development in the dystopian genre.

Please answer, as I stated before, any help will be appreciated! :)

1 Answer

    Lv 7
    6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Dystopia is defined as a society characterized by a focus on mass poverty, squalor, suffering, or oppression, that society has most often brought upon itself.[1] Most authors of dystopian fiction explore at least one reason why things are that way, often as an analogy for similar issues in the real world. In the words of Keith M. Booker, dystopian literature is used to "provide fresh perspectives on problematic social and political practices that might otherwise be taken for granted or considered natural and inevitable".[3]

    Dystopias usually extrapolate elements of contemporary society and are read by many as political warnings. Many purported utopias reveal a dystopian character by suppressing justice, freedom and happiness. Samuel Butler's Erewhon can be seen as a dystopia because of the way sick people are punished as criminals while thieves are cured in hospitals, which the inhabitants of Erewhon see as natural and right, i.e. utopian (as mocked in Voltaire's Candide). The 1921 novel We by Yevgeny Zamyatin predicts a post-apocalyptic future in which society is entirely based on logic and modeled after mechanical systems; also, George Orwell cited it as an influence on his Nineteen Eighty-Four. Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World is a more subtle and more threatening dystopia because he projected into the year 2540 industrial and social changes he perceived in 1931, leading to a fascist hierarchy of society, industrially successful by exploiting a slave class conditioned and drugged to obey and enjoy their servitude. Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is a dystopian novel about a coercive and impoverished totalitarian society, conditioning its population through propaganda rather than drugs. Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale describes a future North America governed by strict religious rules which only the privileged dare defy. Examples of Young Adult Dystopian Fiction include Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, and Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Video games often include dystopias as well; a notable example is Bioshock by 2K Games.

    Dystopian literature is a modern fad because there are four aspects of dystopian literature that apply to us as a consumer-oriented society, according to Rachel Wilkinson, a high school English teacher. These four aspects that are applicable to our society are advertising and industry, instant gratification, reliance on technology, and decline of language. She has decided that it's important teenagers especially come into contact with these four aspects, because they are a warnings against such traits from novelists such as Huxley and M. T. Anderson in his novel Feed.[4]



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