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Dystopia Notes

Pre-AP Notes for Dystopian Unit
by

Tyler Barna

on 11 May 2015

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Transcript of Dystopia Notes

Dystopian Literature
Notes
by Mr. Barna

Definitions
Utopia
Dystopia
A place, state, or condition that is ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions.
A society in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopias, through an exaggerated worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system.
Texts
(A Few)
Utopian Texts
A Modern Utopia (1905) by H. G. Wells
Island (1962) by Aldous Huxley
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
1984, by George Orwell
Anthem, by Ayn Rand
Wall-E
Robocop
(Some)
Dystopian Movies
(A few)
Dystopian Texts
Utopia
Utopia
Dystopia
Dystopia
There are none, because they would be boring.
Think about it; no conflict = bad movie.
(Some)
Utopian Movies
http://beerandscifi.com/2008/07/utopiandystopian-sci-fi-films/
Some Guy's Top 50 Dystopian Movies
Really though, most dystopian texts and films start out making it LOOK like a utopia, only to later reveal some major problems with society. That helps the authors show the ways in which their society is dystopian, and helps the author critique specific elements of society.
Characteristics of Dystopian Societies:
1. Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society.
2. Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.
3. A figurehead or concept is worshiped by the citizens of the society.
4. Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.
5. The natural world (nature) is banished and distrusted.
6. Citizens fear the world outside of their community.
7. Citizens live in a dehumanized state.
8. Citizens conform to uniform expectations; individuality and dissent are bad.
9. The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world.
Types of Dystopian Controls
Corporate control: One or more large corporations control society through products, advertising, and/or the media.
Examples: "Minority Report" & "Running Man"

Bureaucratic control: Society is controlled by a mindless bureaucracy through a tangle of red tape, relentless regulations, and incompetent government officials.
Example: "Brazil" (film)

Technological control: Society is controlled by technology—through computers, robots, and/or scientific means.
Examples: "The Matrix" & "I, Robot"

Philosophical/Religious control: Society is controlled by philosophical or religious ideology often enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic government.
With credit to: ReadWriteThink.org
The Dystopian Protagonist
often feels trapped and is struggling to escape.
questions the existing social and political systems.
believes or feels that something is terribly wrong with the society in which he or she lives.
helps the audience recognize the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective.
Mr. Barna says...

TIME FOR AN ACTIVITY!
(Yay!)
Watch the commercial carefully.
Think about what the message is...
Consider the text:
Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology — where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!
Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology — where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!
What is the connotation and denoation of the underlined words? What dystopian characteristics do they demonstrate?
How are the images of the citizens used complement dystopian characteristics?
Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology — where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!
What is the connotation and denoation of the underlined words? What dystopian characteristics do they demonstrate?
Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology — where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!
What is the connotation and denoation of the underlined words? What dystopian characteristics do they demonstrate?
What does the woman with the hammer represent?
What does she symbolize?
What do you think of this guy?
Dystopia
Adult Dystopian Literature:
Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)
Nineteen Eight-Four (George Orwell)
The Running Man (Stephen King)
The Road (Cormac McCarthy)
Piano Player (Kurt Vonnegut)
A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)

YA Dystopian Literature:
Uglies (Scott Westerfeld)
The City of Ember (Jeanne DuPrau)
The Hunger Games/Catching Fire/Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins)
The Obernewtyn Chronicles (Isobelle Carmody)
Among the Hidden - Shadow Children #1 (Margaret Peterson Haddix)
The Sky Inside (Clare B. Dunkle)
The House of Power - Atherton #1) (Patrick Carman)
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Chaos Walking #1 (Patrick Ness)
The Declaration (Gemma Malley)
Gone (Michael Grant)
Little Brother (Cory Doctorow)

There's plenty more. Check out this link:
http://prettybooks.tumblr.com/dystopian1

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”... Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” ... Then God said, "Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened... Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The First Utopia
End.
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