According to Merriam-Webster, dystopia is defined as “an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives.” It is opposite of utopia, a slightly more common word, which is defined as “a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions.” Today, there are so many pieces of literature that capitalize on the idea of a dystopian society. Many of them are good pieces of literature. The Giver, 1984, The Hunger Games and Divergent are just a few.
My Creative Writing teacher had a good question in class on Thursday. His question was this: Why does the younger generation find dystopian novels and movies so appealing? Are we that pessimistic about our future?
My answer was the idea or the allusion of the Phoenix. We aren’t pessimistic about the future, rather, we want to know how we will rise above adversity when the world falls apart. We want to see how low the human race can go before it rises from the ashes and rebuilds itself. I think it is this idea of rebirth that we enjoy reading about and watching about, especially since we do not ever think to be in those situations ourselves.
I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer here. This is just the first thought that popped into my head when I gave the matter some thought. What do you guys think? Why is the idea of a dystopian society so intriguing?
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