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Copy of Dystopian Literature
Transcript of Copy of Dystopian Literature
Literature Nathan Hallman, Sriya Vishnubhotla, Lauren Wu Utopia Historical Context Dystopia Novels Definition: ideal place or state
where perfection is maintained in
policy, law, sociology, etc. "Good" or "no" place Idea fueled ancient and modern civilizations alike
Ancient civilizations included the Greek,
Roman Empire, Ancient Egyptians and Indians Modern civilizations moved toward socialism,
communism and capitalism. No conflict, disease, hunger, etc. "Anti-Utopia" Illusion of happy, perfect, conflict-free world Strict conformity, oppression Individual no more important than community Fear or dislike of the outside world Totalitarian system of government Futuristic setting, advanced technology Psychological or physical punishment methods Often the main character begins to doubt or
question society and tries to escape or rebel Traits Purpose Comments or criticizes current state of society People and its government Rules and Policy Path a society can take How the use of technology or forms of entertainment shape us Indirectly questions the role of God Common
Topics Chaos Vs. Order Individualism Vs. Collectivism Creativity and thought sacrificed for
conformity, and comfort Society controlled by technology Comfort over truth and
the manipulation of ideas We Brave New World Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury, published 1953 McCarthyism, Red Scare Police profiled anyone
suspected of being Communist Inspiration: personal experience
in Los Angeles Not primarily intended to speak about censorship in any media Loss of literature and deep, analytical thought Deep, meaningful literature led to inferiority Elimination of literature, anything that
made people unhappy or offended Ultimate book burning to protect people People who suspected others of owning
books could raise an alarm or have them investigated Themes Society is controlled by technology Chaos Vs. Order The manipulation of ideas and truth are necessary to maintain comfort Creativity sacrificed for comfort, and knowledge and
thought sacrificed for sources of quick entertainment
are both not worth the trade Thesis The movement of Dystopian Literature draws
upon the influence of the past and present
to show that a totalitarian utopia is unobtainable and detrimental to humanity. Books and other Media Achieving perfection is impossible Influence Industrial Revolution Communism/Socialism
Movement World War II Cold War Brought about great advances in technology Authors began to question the benefits of technology Example Socialism and Utopianism emerged as a way to counteract the increasingly technological and corporate-run world Some started applying technology to humans Social Darwinism Euthanasia Sought to create perfect, communal society Everyone is equal
Property is redistributed throughout society Totalitarian government Dissenters to government
expelled or killed Inspired Communism in Soviet Russia Hitler forcefully strived for conformity, complete control Japanese interment camps and alleged prisoner spy "resorts" also very influential Threat of nuclear war brought about post-apocalyptic dystopias McCarthyism Yevgeny Zamyatin Lived in Russia during Russian Revolution/Soviet takeover of 1917 Was inspired by Soviet government to write We in 1920 Also influenced by earlier dystopian writers such as Wells and moralistic writers such as Dostoevsky First to criticize collectivist/anti-individualistic "Utopias" Was against any dogmatic system or ideology, including fundmentalist religion Was naval engineer who sought to show both "mathematical as well as moral fallacy" Overview Setting Futuristic, after Two Hundred Year War Mathematically perfect society Complete Order Surrounded by Green Wall No privacy Style Written in Journal Entries
to be put on Integral Mathematic Poem Very Satirical and Sarcastic “Because Reason must prevail” Plot
D-503 is building Integral
He is approached by I-330, eventually falls in love
Begins to question society, struggles over philosophical beliefs
Rebellion happens, wall falls
Continues to struggle over what is right
Realizes that rebellious nature and imagination will always be present in humans
His imagination is erased and turns back into servant of One State
Conflicts Collectivism v. Individualism, "We" v. "I" “’We’ is from God, and ‘I’ is from the devil.” Freedom v. Happiness Rationality v. Imagination Order v. Chaos/Rebellion Themes “'Don’t you realize that what you’re planning is revolution?’
‘Yes, revolution! Why is this absurd?’
‘It is absurd because there can be no revolution. Because our... revolution was the final one. And there can be no others. Everyone knows this…’
‘My dear—you are a mathematician. More—you are a philosopher, a mathematical philosopher. Well, then: name me the final number.’
‘But that’s preposterous! If the number of numbers is infinite, how can there be a final number?’
‘Then how can there be a final revolution? There is no final one; revolutions are infinite.’” Imagination and individualism is alive in
everyone and can never be destroyed One cannot completely subject the universe to reason Rebellion will always exist in humanity Impact/Legacy Zamyatin imprisoned several times for distributing We illegally We accurately predicts events of Soviet Russia Inspired modern dystopian genre 1984 Brave New World First to use satire Thought to be calling to overthrow government Called "a malicious slander of socialism" Banned in Soviet Russia Plot Guy Montag, fireman, burns books
Meets Clarissa, independent thinker; witnesses death of woman with her books
Events make him realize how truly unhappy he is, doubts system
Steals a book, suspected by boss, Beatty, and is marked as a threat
Montag sent to burn his own home, kills Beatty
Runs from police, plants books in another fireman’s house to raise suspicion
Finds group of outcast intellectuals who have memorized books
Police capture innocent scapegoat
Outcasts are “waiting for humanity to be ready again”
After war declared, the outcasts and Montag go back to help society rebuild
Conclusion The movement of Dystopian Literature draws
upon the influence of the past and present
to show that a totalitarian utopia is unobtainable and detrimental to humanity. Thesis Aldous Huxley Has a cool name
A humanist and pacifist Was also a proponent of psychedelic drugs Plot The Hatchery, along with various scientific innovations in “breeding” and “reproduction” of individuals are introduced, along with a highly advanced futuristic society.
Bernard Marx, Lenina Crowe, Hemholtz, and other characters are introduced; Bernard is shown to be the most “unique” of all of them.
Bernard and Lenina travel to a Savage Reserve in New Mexico—they meet John the Savage and his mother, Linda.
Linda and John come back to London with Lenina and Bernard; John is both fascinated and horrified by futuristic London’s lifestyle.
John watches his mother die; combined with everything else he has had to endure since coming to London, he flees “civilization”. Bernard and Helmholtz are deported.
By the end of the book, John commits suicide after a riot at his new place of residence devolves into a giant orgy.
Social Norms Concept of family Death and loss Individuality and uniqueness Major Themes An all-powerful state is dangerous and will use all available technology to control society. Dangers of an all-powerful state Human beings are, by nature, fascinated with that which is foreign to them. Truth and happiness are incompatible with each other. Subgenre of speculative fiction Beginning of 20th century Policy, technology Dependence on an outside source for happiness is detrimental to both society and to the individual. "Utopias are presented for our inspection as a critique of the human state. If they are to be treated as anything but trivial exercises of the imagination, I suggest there is a simple test we can apply. We must forget the whole paraphernalia of social description, demonstration, expostulation, approbation, condemnation. We have to say to ourselves, How would I myself live in this proposed society? How long would it be before I went stark staring mad?"
- William Golding
Closing Quote The Prisoner "bliss and envy are the numerator and denominator of the fraction called happiness" The end