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Transcript of Utopia/Dystopia
A DYSTOPIA is an imaginary, futuristic world in which society lives under the oppression and control of a totalitarian government, a repressive society, a force of technology, or a corrupt business corporation.
The Giver started it all!
or a dystopia?
Dystopias often start with an illusion of a perfect society, or UTOPIA. But as the story progresses, the reader and characters both realize that this fictional world is the opposite of perfect.
Dystopias often focus on a trend in our own society and show us what would happen if this trend were taken way too far. It is an exaggerated "worst-case scenario" and forces us to look closely at our own beliefs.
In the 1930's, 40's and 50's, dystopian literature became an important way for American writers to criticize communism and national socialism (Nazis) two forms of government with different beliefs than our democracy.
In 1993, Lois Lowry published The Giver, a story about a "perfect" society where all important choices are made for you so that you don't risk making the wrong choices. This was one of the first dystopian novels written specifically for young adults.
Citizens live under harsh control.
The story usually takes place after some horrible event that has changed the world.
Citizens live under strict rules. Individuality is a bad thing.
There is an illusion of a perfect society covering up how bad things really are.
The main character is the first or one of the few to question what is going on.
Is this a perfect world?
Where did dystopian
literature come from?
Themes in dystopian
The United States of America has been divided into the Republic and the Colonies...
...and people are no longer free, but controlled by threats of the plague.
1. What do you see?
2. What do you think?
3. What do you think utopia means?
4. What do you think dystopia means?
5. What are other examples of dystopian books/movies?
7. Why did American authors write dystopian literature in the 1930's, 40's and 50's?
8. What is a dystopia?
9. What is a utopia?
What do dystopias force us to do?
11. Why is The Giver special?
12. What are examples of harsh control?
13. What is an example of a horrible event that could change our world?
14. Why would individuality be a bad thing?
15. What is an illusion?
16. What is the purpose of the main character in a dystopian novel?
17. What could make a government dangerous?
18. What type of law or policy could be dangerous?
19. How could technology be dangerous?
20. How might human nature
21. Why would someone want to control knowledge/truth?
22. How do you think we can use dystopian literature to help us answer the question "Why do you let others control you?"