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Dystopias. Definition, Characteristics, and Varieties. Dystopia: A definition . Dystopia: A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through some form of control.

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dystopias

Dystopias

Definition, Characteristics, and Varieties

dystopia a definition
Dystopia: A definition
  • Dystopia: A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through some form of control.
  • Dystopias, through exaggerated worst-case scenarios, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system.
characteristics of a dystopian society
Characteristics of a dystopian society
  • Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society.
  • Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.
  • A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society.
  • Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.
  • Citizens have a fear of the outside world.
  • Citizens live in a dehumanized state.
  • Citizens conform to uniform expectations; individuality and difference are bad.
types of dystopian controls
Types of dystopian controls
  • Most dystopian texts present a world in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through one or more of the following types of controls:
    • Corporate control
    • Bureaucratic control
    • Technological control
    • Philosophical/religious control
corporate control
Corporate control
  • One or more large corporations control society through products, advertising, and/or the media.
  • Examples:
    • Minority Report
    • Running Man
bureaucratic control
Bureaucratic control
  • Society is controlled by a mindless bureaucracy through a tangle of red tape, relentless regulations, and incompetent government officials.
    • Example:
      • Brazil
technological control
Technological control
  • Society is controlled by technology—through computers, robots, and/or scientific means.
  • Examples:
    • The Matrix
    • The Terminator
    • I, Robot
philosophical religious control
Philosophical/religious control
  • Society is controlled by philosophical or religious ideology often enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic government.
  • Examples:
    • V for Vendetta
    • The Handmaid’s Tale
the dystopian protagonist
The dystopian protagonist
  • Often feels trapped and is struggling to escape.
  • Questions the existing social and political systems.
  • Believes or feels that something is terribly wrong with the society in which he or she lives.
  • Helps the audience recognizes the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective.