Achetypal Works of Dystopian Literature Essay

Achetypal Works of Dystopian Literature Essay

Length: 4932 words (14.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Achetypal Works of Dystopian Literature

The endeavor to achieve utopia, the best existence obtainable to humanity, is a response to the problems present in society. It is a way of dealing in the imagination with these problems, suggesting an ideal for society to strive towards. From Plato’s Republic on, however, utopia has had a characteristic shortcoming. Huxley observed that the inhabitants of Utopia are radically unlike human beings. Their creators spend all their ink and energy in discussing, not what actually happens, but what would happen if men and women were quite different from what they are and from what, throughout recorded history, they have always been (Kennedy 44).

The search for utopia continues strongly today, except in place of the traditional, constructive, positive utopias, we have what is almost a new literary strain-utopia in reverse, cacotopia, the worst of all possible worlds (Herzog 74). This anti-utopian society is one in which characters lead dehumanized lives because a utopian ideal has fallen apart or gone afoul of its original intent. The main characters in dystopian novels are often trapped in their lives and struggling to escape; these novels usually intend to criticize existing social conditions and political systems. While utopian literature portrays ideal worlds, dystopian literature depicts the flaws and failures of imaginative societies. Often these societies are related to utopias, and the dystopian writers have chosen to reveal shortcomings of those social systems previously considered ideal (Booker 10).

Many critics rank Aldous Huxely’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four as two model works of dystopian literature (Cushing 521). Both novels ...

... middle of paper ...

...ter with Wendy Cole, “What Ever Happened To Play?” in Time Magazine, April 28, 2001. Available,8816,107264,00.html.

Kluger, Jeffrey, “Next Up: Prozac,” in Time Magazine, Vol. 152, No. 22, November 30, 1998. Available

McMichael, Charles T., “Aldous Huxley’s ‘Island’: The Final Vision,” in Studies in the Literary Imagination. Vol. 1, No. 2, April, 1968.

Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1981.

Schellenberg, James, “Review of George Orwell’s 1984,” in George Orwell. New York: Penguin, 1984.

Anonymous, “Are We Living in an Orwellian World?” Available

von Hoffman, Nicholas, “Huxley Vindicated,” in The Spectator, Vol. 249, No. 8036, July 17, 1982.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Comparison Of Dystopian Literature In 'The Objects'

- Dystopian Literature and “The Objects” Authors of dystopian literature often write in order to teach their audience about issues in the real world. Dystopian literature reveals to the reader political and societal problems that need addressing. In the dystopian novels The Hunger Games and The Mazerunner, readers are intrigued by the way protagonist starts at the bottom and fights their way to the top. Similar to this, in Yuri Herrera’s short story “The Objects,” the protagonist, Rafa, does just that....   [tags: Utopian and dystopian fiction, Literary criticism]

Powerful Essays
966 words (2.8 pages)

Elements Of Hope And Perseverance In Dystopian Literature Essay

- Hope and perseverance are two characteristics that can inspire just about anyone in almost any situation. Hope is defined ( ) as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.” Perseverance is “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement .” In The Unexpected Popularity of Dystopian Literature (2016), Finnson states that “The dystopian worlds are bleak, not because they are meant to stand as mere cautionary tales, but because they are designed to display, in sharp relief, the possibility of utopian change even in the darkest of circumstances .” All o...   [tags: Dystopia, Utopia, Utopian and dystopian fiction]

Powerful Essays
1071 words (3.1 pages)

Dystopian Literature In The Village Essay

- In The Village, I have found that all six of the common patterns of dystopian literature are present. For clarification, dystopia is an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or degraded society. It is the opposite of utopia which is an ideal place or state. The characteristics and patterns of dystopian literature are all shown in this movie. The movie shows, with help from the themes and characters in The Village, a town attempting to appear innocent to nature and humankind but failing....   [tags: Utopia, Dystopia, Sacrifice]

Powerful Essays
1461 words (4.2 pages)

The United States And Dystopian Literature Essay

- The U.S. and Dystopian Literature Imagine a chaotic society of people who are so entangled by ignorance and inequity that they do not realize it; this would be called a dystopian society. Dystopian societies are very popular among many fictional stories. In fact, in the stories Fahrenheit 451 and “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, dystopian societies are represented. In many of these stories, the people in the fictional societies are violence-loving, irrational people who always seem to do what people of the U.S....   [tags: Dystopia, Fahrenheit 451, United States]

Powerful Essays
1294 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Dystopian Novel Of Dystopian Literature

- Dystopian Literature is the complete opposite of Utopian literature, which is an ideal society where everything is perfect, in which the world is ruled by a Totalitarian leader, or a post-apocalyptic world. Dystopian literature unlike other genres adapt to changing times and norms in society; although, we might not find Russians as scary as our parents or grandparents, our children or grandchildren may not find ISIS as scary as we do. The first work considered to be a part of dystopian literature is Utopia published by Thomas More in 1516, it’s written as a dialogue between the narrator and a fictionalized version of More....   [tags: Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell]

Powerful Essays
1125 words (3.2 pages)

Satire in Dystopian Literature Essay example

- Dystopian literature highlights social flaws perceived by the composer and questions the basis for contemporary social practice. Unlike utopian fiction, which is rarely more than speculation regarding a self-perceived ideal, dystopian works call upon their audience to consider inadequacies present in their own society. Works such as Ursula LeGuin’s short story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, Eoin Colfer’s children’s novel The Supernaturalist and the 2006 film V for Vendetta directed by James McTeigue address such issues as human rights abuse, totalitarianism and mass consumerism through the medium of the dystopian genre, and in doing so embody the principal components of dystopian litera...   [tags: Social Flaws, Commentary]

Powerful Essays
1608 words (4.6 pages)

Dystopian Perspectives Of Dystopian Society Essay example

- Imagine living in the most undesirable society, a society filled with poverty, disease, and filth, where the government watches, monitors and controls everything you do, a society in which you have no individual choice. A society where anything you think or do against the government can be punishable by isolation, torture, or death. Freedom is inexistent, and personal thought is prohibited. A society where your career and social status are pre-determined and you cannot alter it. And imagine that the government of this society did everything in its power to make you believe that this was the most ideal living situation for you....   [tags: Dystopia, The Giver, The Hunger Games, Lois Lowry]

Powerful Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Family And Dystopian Family Essay

- Dystopian Family “Love is like wind, you can’t see it, but you can feel it”- Nicholas Sparks. Anthem and “Harrison Bergeron” takes place in the future, in collective societies. In Anthem everything is done for the good of society and the group, no one is an individual. While in “Harrison Bergeron” people have handicaps to make everyone mentally and physically equal. The main characters in each story, Equality 7-2521 and Harrison Bergeron, are both tall, athletic, tenacious and intelligent men, who are threats to the collective societies....   [tags: Dystopia, Kurt Vonnegut, Ayn Rand]

Powerful Essays
726 words (2.1 pages)

Dystopian Societies in Literature Essay

- The arena that is reality is a house of balance. With gain comes inherent loss. As the world is imperfect, so too are its inhabitants. With this imperfection, however, comes the meaning of life. The gift of choice granted to man is the trait separating him from the instinctual animal. The belief that choice composes the essence of man is common to many traditions. Through the ability to be flawed, springs man's perfection and his greatest triumph of all: the capacity to elect good over evil, love over hatred....   [tags: Comparative Literature]

Powerful Essays
848 words (2.4 pages)

Dystopian Fiction Essay

- Often the best forms of dystopian fiction comment on contemporary events and situations, to warn us about our current social status quo. Yet at times, reality catches up to dystopia, to the point that dystopia is no longer a satire of the real world. It has transcended our satirical imaginations to become our undesirable reality. With that said, I would argue that our reality is closer to dystopian fiction than we think. Whether it is the various aspects, tropes, or cliches of dystopian allegories....   [tags: Utopia, Dystopia, Utopian and dystopian fiction]

Powerful Essays
938 words (2.7 pages)