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The Ruler's Paradise: Exploring Historical Dystopias

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Elaine Chiao

on 27 May 2014

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Transcript of The Ruler's Paradise: Exploring Historical Dystopias

The Ruler's Paradise:
Exploring Historical Dystopias
Overall Topic
Option #2: Literary Connections
Utopia and Dystopia: What is society striving for?
Thesis Statement
Novel "
by George Orwell
Short story "
Harrison Bergeron"
by Kurt Vonnegut
"V for Vendetta" directed by James McTeigue
Novel "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley
"The Popularity of Dystopian Books from 1920-2010
" by Anna Davis
Article "
Fourteen New Ways that the Government is Watching You
" by Michael Snyder

The novel
, the short story
Harrison Bergeron
, the movie
V for Vendetta
, and relevant modern statistics all contradict my thesis that "a utopia will eventually become dystopian." On the contrary, they confirm that
utopias have never been created because they have never escaped their dystopian nature all along.
Dystopia always triumphs over utopia because the perfect “utopia” is a vague and intangible dream that can be easily corrupted by worldly desires while the imperfect “dystopia” is a distinct and constantly tangible reality that represents human nature.
A utopia will eventually fall into the grip of dystopia if it is governed by a distinct, totalitarian hierarchy.
Question #1
Why do most people remain faithful to dictators, thereby agreeing to live out their lives in servitude under the government?
Question #2
Do all the dystopias start out as utopias, or are they dystopian from the beginining?
Question #3
If democracy is the most acknowledged form of civilized government, why do people seeking a utopia never go for a democratic regime?
"The idea set up by the party was something huge, terrible, and glittering — a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons — a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans — three hundred million people all with the same face” (Orwell 74).
“Since mankind's dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away.”
- V (
"V for Vendetta")
"Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty."
- David Mitchell
in reality it was actually a reduction from the day before.

"A utopia is a dystopia forced upon you by a madman. "
-Sam J. Lundwall
The governments in both

Harrison Bergeron

manipulate their citizens under the noble name of creating a utopia.
A democratic utopia is essentially unreachable: If a government is democratic and allows its citizens to make their own choices, there will always be people that choose to go against society or break the law.
Therefore, if a utopia is to maintain order and not fall into chaos, a totalitarian state needs to be established.
All three governments in
Harrison Bergeron
, and
V for Vendetta
never at any point reached utopia: they are all dystopian from the beginning.

Essentially, a utopia can only survive and continue to function through a form of extreme, tyrannical oppression that ensures no rebellions from its citizens.

Society is always looking for a strong, capable leader.
Citizens are often ignorantly guided by the illusions of a utopia that the ruling parties have set up.
Supporting Quotes
"Utopias have never been created in the first place"
For ex: All three governments wipe out political opponents, silence opposition, and implement terror at the start of their one-party rule.
The Process to Maintain a UTOPIA, Ironically, Leads to a DYSTOPIA.
*All rights reserved to the Boston Public Library database

For ex: Citizens in
happily accepted the "increase" of the chocolate ration, when
"There is the secret to obedience - liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny" (Huxley 190).
Full transcript