Utopias dystopias and science fiction
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Utopias, Dystopias and Science Fiction. “No Place” Model of the good society Unrealistic daydream. “The Good Place ” Ambiguity of terms Dream place. Utopia Eutopia. Aspects of Utopias . Art Consumerism Time – energy Social responsibility Punishment Women / Sex

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Utopias, Dystopias and Science Fiction

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Utopias, Dystopias and Science Fiction


“No Place”

Model of the good society

Unrealistic daydream

“The Good Place”

Ambiguity of terms

Dream place

Utopia Eutopia


Aspects of Utopias

  • Art

  • Consumerism

  • Time – energy

  • Social responsibility

  • Punishment

  • Women / Sex

  • Education and upbringing


Works

  • Aldous Huxley – Brave New World, 1932

  • James Hilton – Lost Horizons, 1933

  • B. F. Skinner – Walden Two, 1948

  • George Orwell, 1984, 1949

  • Ray Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451, 1950

  • Aldous Huxley – Island, 1962

  • Philip K. Dick – Do Androids--, 1965


Dystopia

  • Society unworthy of humans

  • Totalitarian state (1984, Kallocain)

  • Developmental derailment (Fahrenheit 451)

  • No choice

  • No freedom

  • No alternatives

  • Equilibrium


Dystopias

  • Social restrictions

  • Egalitarian – no excelling

  • Only the State

  • Religion as control

  • Family non-existent

  • City / Nature

  • Politics / Control


Dystopias

  • Economy: state / individual

  • Back-story

  • Technology – future

  • No Visitor – but a Hero

  • Confrontation with powers

  • No success

  • Subversion / Escape


New Wave

  • Mid-60s

  • Concern for humanistic values and experimental techniques

  • Brian Aldiss (Hothouse, 1962)

  • James Ballard (Crash, 1973)

  • Harlan Ellison (A Boy and his Dog, 1969)


Cyberpunk

  • 1980s

  • Decentralized societies

  • Dominated by technology and science

  • Style mirroring the confusing and dazzling world (post-modernity)

  • William Gibson – Neuromancer, 1984


Questions

  • Compare and contrast the Utopias / Dystopias in Gulliver’s Travels and NielsKlim.

  • Focus on the descriptions of:

  • Education, Ethics, and Morals

  • War and Enemies

  • Politics

  • The Prince and his Court

  • Everyday Life


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