top of page
  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

Dystopian Society

With the way that 2016 has gone, and even the last five years, it looks like the things you would find in a dystopian novel are becoming a reality. Before you continue to read the rest of this post, please watch this video.

It's possible that the reason why dystopian novels are so popular is because we see it in our everyday already; which is kinda sad if you really think about it. We all have our own ideas of what we'd like our world to be like. We also all know that just because we think it should be one way doesn't mean it's going to be that way. But reading a novel that has created worlds that highlight the parts we like as well as the parts we don't, I think brings a certain amount of comfort - a certain amount of hope. Hope that there is a chance for the positive aspect to truly exist whether or not we see it. There is also a level of discomfort brought up because of how the parts we don't like are highlighted.

I think there is a shred of truth in all fiction. Whether or not it's presented in a way that seems realistic is entirely different, but that doesn't mean the connection you are making between the work of fiction and society is any different.

In TED-Ed's video "How to recognize a dystopia", the point is made that this genre serves as a cautionary tale of things that could become reality. I would agree and take it one step further to say that these are the modern day Fairytales. Because the Brothers Grimm told some rather gruesome Fairytales to caution children about different consequences that could happen if certain choices were made. Yes, the stories told are generally on a more extreme scale than what we see in everyday life, but that doesn't mean that there is not value in the lesson the story gives. And whether it is intended or not, these novels are raising awareness for different issues with society, government, and media.

Veronica Roth's Divergent series looks at how society separates itself and how that can hurt us, because we are not one thing and one thing alone. BUT that is how many people view others. They pick one thing about the and focus on it and it ends up isolating them. If we accept the fact that we are all different and have multiple things that make us who we are, then maybe we could have a more accepting society.

Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series looks at how government tries to control everything. While there are the twelve districts that are separated by what they produce, it doesn't really fall into the category of social commentary because if it was then the other

districts wouldn't have rallied behind Katniss. Sure those who lived in the Capitol didn't rally behind her, but that was because they were blinded by the propaganda the government was producing. That doesn't mean that none of them rallied behind her, but the general population did not. Most of the support came from the twelve districts.

Rae Mariz's The Unidentified takes a look at how consumerism affects society, and it looks at how social media is the rise and fall of some. There is also a look into separations in society, but the focus is on the sponsorships that each person in this society has or does not have. The way that the sponsorships keep an eye on those in this particular society is through something like Twitter. It's a different way to bring about Orwell's Big Brother idea of someone always watching you. Maybe what we could learn from this is that we should be mindful of what we post and not get so wrapped up in what others have and what we don't.

TED-Ed has another video that falls in this category, but it talks about how the media will refer to things as Orwellian because of George Orwell's influence on the Dystopian genre. But more often than not, the media misuses this word.

The media honestly misuses a lot of things. And something that I think shows how they misuse things is ABC's Notorious. This show goes into the inner workings of a news room. Now I realize that this may not be what it actually looks like for some, but the way that certain stories are twisted match what twisted stuff is shown on different news broadcasts.

I think that we have so many things that highlight different flaws within our world says something about us as humans. We are flawed. Not everyone wants to accept that and because of that, we have these different issues. But do we honestly want our world to become destroyed so that one of these novels becomes a true and honest reality? If we continue down this path, you just might see one of your favorite dystopians come to life. Why not try to make a turn for the better and use dystopian novels as cautionary tales and make the changes necessary? Why not start loving on those around us and working towards a world where the government does not have their say in absolutely everything we do? Just a thought. I'd like to believe that the world can be a better place and not turn into dystopia.

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page