Dystopian fiction offers a vision of the future. Dystopias are societies in cataclysmic decline, with characters who battle environmental ruin, technological control, and government oppression. Dystopian novels can challenge readers to think differently about current social and political climates, and in some instances can even inspire action.
In short, dystopia is an imagined community or society that is dehumanizing and frightening. A dystopia is an antonym of a utopia, which is a perfect society.
Significance of Dystopian Fiction
Dystopian novels that have a didactic message often explore themes like anarchism, oppression, and mass poverty.Dystopian fiction can be a way to educate and warn humanity about the dangers of current social and political structures.Dystopian stories require a greater suspension of disbelief and can be very imaginative.
>George Orwell’s allegory Animal Farm is about a group of pigs who stage a rebellion against their human farmer. The farm animals’ rise to power is based on the Russian Revolution.
>A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess is a social satire of behaviorism. It takes place in a futuristic society with a youth subculture of extreme violence.
>The Hunger Games, a young adult trilogy by Suzanne Collins beginning in 2008, takes place in the fictional world Panem, a future nation on the ruins of North America.
Panem’s totalitarian government called The Capitol holds most of the country’s wealth and controls the citizens. Each year, children from Panem’s 12 districts are selected to participate in a televised death match called the Hunger Games.