A dystopia (also called anti-utopia or kackotopia) is a negative social vision. It is the opposite of utopia, and can be best explained as what others mistakenly think is good for one. The word comes from the Greek δυσ and τόπος, which composed mean “a bad place.” Another meaning of the word dystopia is improper placement of the organs in the body (in medicine).
To picture a dystopia is an incredibly powerful way to criticize the current society. By exaggerating the negative phenomena and evoke horrific visions of what our way of life can have as consequences, it may make people to react to things they may took for granted or do not think are so dangerous at first glance. Dystopias have also been frequently used in political pamphlets, both in the East and the West.
One can theoretically say that dystopias have existed as long as utopias, for one man’s utopia is another man’s dystopia (consider the slaves’ situation in Plato’s Republic, which is considered as the first written utopia). One of the earliest clear dystopias was Gulliver’s travels by Jonathan Swift from in 1726.
The issues you find in dystopian stories reflect the time they were written at and the things they concerned during the period. The technology is a recurring theme in dystopian literature.
In the 1800s, while the world marveled about the new technology and its possibilities, many dystopian stories were written about how machines eventually leading to the destruction of mankind. With ever new technological advancements, people were afraid of losing control over the science. In E. M. Forster’s The Machine Stops from 1909, he describes a world in which all the differences have become blurred, humans live underground and no longer sees any point in meeting “in real life.” The whole world is controlled by a machine that makes sure all its needs are satisfied. When the appliance breaks down, man becomes helpless.
In the first half of the 1900s, there was a great fear of the totalitarian society, monitoring, and individual insignificance. The first to take up these themes were Yevgeny Zamjatin in his novel We, which was published in 1924. Most successful was perhaps George Orwell with his 1984 in 1948.
Other common issues include environmental pollution, excessive consumerism, and overpopulation.
Dystopian literature is sometimes difficult to distinguish from post-apocalyptic science fiction, because both (usually) take place in a horror vision of the future. What makes them different is that in dystopian stories; mankind is one in one way or another oppressed by the system – there are always a society that oppress their citizens.
Dystopia research paper topics can be a very good choice for the college students studying literature.
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