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Themes in Dystopian Literature

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Patrick Taylor

on 5 September 2014

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Transcript of Themes in Dystopian Literature

Dystopian literature is any form of literature dealing with dystopian themes. Dystopian refers to a society that is dysfunctional and characterized by general suffering of the people, an oposite of a utopia.
Common themes in historical dystopian literature
Some authors of historical dystopian literature, such Huxley, George Orwell, H. G. Wells, and Yevgeny Zamyatin, share many themes in their work. Some of these themes are
Mastery of nature
Control and order vs. freedom and chaos
altruism vs. egoism
propaganda
Authors & their choices in writing dystopian literature
Authors have many reasons for choosing the themes they do, but there are many similarities among them, usually dealing with things going on in their lives at the time. SOme example are:
Wars
Enviornmental events
political movements
goverments
other world events
Concerns within society & their impact on dystopian literature
Like in the last slide, events around the world impact dystopian literature, and those concerns can be clearly seen within the themes chosen my dystopian authors These similarities include:
Propaganda and oppressive govn't rule(like in Nazi Germany)
free will, ideologies, and other thoughts also from the same area
Dystopian Literature
Some reasons authors would choose to explore specific themes through Dystopian Literature
"The Dystopian Trend in Young Adult Literature." Teen
Ink. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Sept. 2014.
Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 03 Sept.
2014.
"Introduction" Contemporary Literary Criticism Ed.
Janet Witalec. Vol. 168. Gale Cengage 2003 eNotes.com 4 Sep, 2014 <http://www.enotes.com/topics/dystopias-contemporary-literature#critical-essays-dystopias-contemporary-literature-introduction>
"Dystopian Literature." Dystopian Literature. N.p., n.d.
Web. 04 Sept. 2014.
"The Dystopian Timeline to The Hunger Games
[INFOGRAPHIC]." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Sept. 2014.
Authors would choose to explore themes through dystopian literature because these books have a very specific style, and through that style, some themes are east to do that are not so in other books.
Examples of dystopian literature with common themes
Animal Farm, The Hunger Games, V for Vendetta, and Anthem all have the theme of opression
Mastery of Nature
How concerns within society affect themes in dystopian novels
Mastery of nature centers around man asserting dominance over nature until the point the land is left barren or nature revolts.
This theme is present in:
Brave New World

Often in dystopian novels, the author will use concerns within society, but as if they had gone to the worst possible end, to express their views and try to get a point out there.
Order and control vs freedom and chaos

This theme centers around how society has grown to oppress its people and possible revolt and change that would fill the plot of these novels
Present in
1984
Anthem
Altruism vs. Egoism
This theme centers around a society's ideals, and its peoples concerns about whether one should work for the greater good to the point of oppression or be one's self and possibly gain at the suffering of others
Some works with this theme include
Anthem
1984
Fahrenheit 451
Propaganda
Propaganda is seen in many dystopian works as a mean of control and forcing ideals onto society. Present in oppressive countries where many dystopian novels were written, this theme also transfered into these author's work
Some novels including propaganda are
1984
Fahrenheit 451
Themes in Dystopian Literature
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