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Dystopian Literature

IB Diploma class introduction to the features of dystopian literature
by

angela boreham

on 18 August 2010

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Transcript of Dystopian Literature



C What is 'dystopia'? A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopia What is a dystopia? Dystopias, through an exaggerated worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system. Characteristics of a dystopian society * Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society.
• Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.
• A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society.
• Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.
• Citizens have a fear of the outside world.
• Citizens live in a dehumanized state.
• The natural world is banished and distrusted.
• Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and dissent are bad.
• The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world. 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 recognizes the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective. Types of Dystopian Controls Most dystopian works present a world in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through one or more of the following types of controls: Bureaucratic control: Society is controlled by a mindless bureaucracy through a tangle of red tape, relentless regulations, and incompetent government officials. Examples in film include "Brazil". Technological control: Society is controlled by technology—through computers, robots, and/or scientific means. Examples include "The Matrix", "The Terminator", and "I, Robot". Philosophical/religious control: Society is controlled by philosophical or religious ideology often enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic government. Corporate control: one or more large corporations control society through products, advertising, and/or the media. Examples include "Minority Report" and "Running Man".
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