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Utopia vs. Dystopia-Kelly Hillier
Transcript of Utopia vs. Dystopia-Kelly Hillier
Welcome to the future!
Imagine a world where…
Love has been diagnosed as a disease!
Humanoid robots have been invented to serve and protect humans...
Welcome to the world of dystopian literature!
Dystopias often start with an illusion of a perfect society, or UTOPIA.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, dystopian novels have become one of the most popular and successful trends in young-adult literature.
Dystopian literature is not new.
One of the earliest examples of a dystopian novel is
The Time Machine
by H.G. Wells published in 1895.
In the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, dystopian literature became a powerful way for American writers to criticize communism .
In 1993, Lois Lowry published
This was one of the first dystopian novels written specifically for young adults.
opened a floodgate
to other dystopian novels.
Most dystopian stories share several common elements or ideas.
The truth about the world is often kept a secret from most of society.
Citizens are expected to conform. Individuality is seen as a bad thing.
2. Other dystopias are created after an apocalyptic event destroys most of society as we know it, and those left alive are forced to adopt extreme policies in order to ensure humanity’s survival.
The Importance of Humanity
Most dystopian stories share common themes, or messages. And you'll notice that how the dystopia was originally created usually affects the eventual theme of the story.
The Danger of Technology
The Danger of a Particular Policy
The Danger of Human Nature
The Danger of Allowing One Group to Have Too Much Power
The Importance of Knowledge and Truth
A DYSTOPIA is an imaginary futuristic world in which society lives under the control of a strict government, a controlled society, a force of technology, or a corrupt business.
The society tends to dehumanize its citizens.
Almost all dystopian novels were written for adults.
Every year, the government selects twenty-four teenagers
and throws them into an arena to fight to the death.
But thankfully a cure has been found, and all young people are required to get this cure when they turn eighteen.
which works out great until the robots decide that humans would be easier to protect if they had no freedom.
The Danger of Desensitization
The History of Dystopian Fiction
Common Story Elements
There is often an illusion of a perfect society covering up how horrible things really are.
The main character of a dystopian story is often one who questions the goodness of his or her society.
The Maze Runner
The City of Ember
The Danger of a Particular Type of Government
The Importance of Free Will and Individuality
The story sometimes takes place after a catastrophic event that ends the world as we know it.
But it also means that people who were born naturally, without any scientific help, are discriminated against even if they have more drive and talent than their genetic superiors.
Books are such a pain! Seriously, think about all the violent disagreements people have had throughout history just because of ideas. But if you get rid of books, you can get rid of thinking, which would end different ideas and everyone would get along, right? In
, society has decided to keep the peace by burning books and the houses that store them (and sometimes the people that read them.)
The government, technology, or corporation given control after the disaster usually begins with a genuine desire to save the world, but it either becomes corrupt and oppressive or it goes about saving the world in such a bone-headed way that it ends up threatening humanity's survival.
trilogy, sun flares have destroyed most of the earth. Then, in an attempt to control the population to make sure everyone doesn't starve to death, the government releases a virus that accidentally turns most of the remaining people into cannibal zombies. And their attempt to find a cure for the disease only make this dystopia even scarier.
The City of Ember
, a nuclear war forces survivors underground for hundreds of years. To maintain order in their underground city, the leaders choose everyone's jobs and make sure everyone has enough. But those in charge didn't bother to remember how to get out of Ember. What happens when the supplies and electricity run out?
In the movie
, when the world becomes too polluted to sustain life, a big corporation saves the day by sending the rest of humanity into space where people can live in peace without needing to work or learn or DO anything. Sounds pretty perfect, doesn't it?
But what happens when the people decide that they'd rather not spend the rest of their lives doing absolutely nothing on a space ship that's going absolutely nowhere?
We all love the internet and texting on our cell phones. But what if we took that technology way too far?
Would it be cool if our brains were directly connected to the internet?
What kinds of problems could this level of "connectedness" cause?
It would be a lot easier for the government to find terrorists and criminals if only they weren't limited by people's desire for privacy!
But what if the government monitored everything we did and said and punished individualism as a crime?
Overpopulation could become a big problem with too many people competing for a dwindling supply of resources. If only there was a fair way of limiting the population!
But what kind of problems would it cause if the government went so far as to make it illegal to have any more than two children?
What if a bunch of teenagers were left to themselves on a deserted island? How awesome would it be if you didn't have to deal with adults anymore?
But what terrible things might some teenagers do if there were no adults around to enforce any kind of rules?
Wouldn't it be convenient if you could make all your purchases and keep track of all your personal information with a simple tattoo on your arm?
But what problems could come with giving every piece of personal information about yourself to one business corporation?
Wouldn't it be intense to watch a reality TV show where real people try to hunt one another down and kill each other?
But what would that kind of entertainment do to our humanity?
Wouldn't life be easier and less painful without sad memories and difficult truths? What if we could dump all of that knowledge and all of those memories on one person so the rest of us didn't have to deal with them?
But what problems could come if most people in society knew nothing about the past?
Wouldn't life be better and happier if everyone were equally beautiful? No one would judge others, there would be no jealousy, and everyone would get along.
But would you be okay with giving up your individuality?
If humanity's very survival were threatened, we would do just about anything to guarantee our own survival.
But are there some lines we shouldn't cross, some things we shouldn't do, even in the name of saving the world?
Is this a perfect world?
Or a dystopia?
What about UTOPIA? Is there such a thing as a "perfect place?"
Did you know that the kid's movie WALL-E is a dystopian movie ?
Watch the video. Why is this considered dystopia?