Dystopian Literature seems to run along the same guidelines in terms of how the novels are set, and follow a similar chain of events leading to a great bittersweet climactic event. I will detail the similarities between the two novels Fahrenheit 451 and The Hunger Games. There is a reason behind the similarities of these two novels, and other dystopian literature. “The merits of dystopian literature are many.” (Erlich)
In the novel Fahrenheit 451, the society the main character, Montag lives in is very oppressive. They live under the law of a government that forces them to rely on technology and be ignorant of anything except what they consider to be happiness and fun. Books are illegal and burned whenever they are found. Creativity is not encouraged and a lot of people inadvertently try, and sometimes succeed, to commit suicide. They have to rely on the government to tell them how to think and feel (Bradbury). The main character Katniss from the novel The Hunger Games also has to endure an extremely tyrannical society. The children of the districts are forced to put their names in a lottery every year once they come to a certain age to be thrown into an arena to fight to the death with the other children of the districts. They are forced to do this because of a long past rebellion against the Capitol, as a reminder that the Capitol cannot be beat. The winner receives riches and food for themselves and their families, while the people in their district and the rest continue to starve and struggle to live with the little the “Capitol” allows them (Collins). The societies in both of these novels are held back from their own personal desires and needs to enforce the law and will of the dystopian authority. Novels like these seem ...
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...world, and dystopia as a “no-mans’ land between satire and tragedy…and the rest find themselves in tragedies, but a somewhat unusual form of tragedy that also accommodates the didactic strategies of satire, a tragic story within the framework of an exhortation, a tragedy in the conditional mood only (Erlich).
To conclude, the main characters in these two novels both endure quite similar societies, obstacles, personal awakenings, and triumphs. I am beginning to recognize a pattern for dystopian literature, and some of the messages behind those patterns.
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, 1951.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press, 2008.
Erlich, Richard D. "Dystopian Literature East and West: Universe of Terror and Trial." 2001. Proquest Research Library. document. 19 March 2012.
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