Write On! is taking a closer look at Dystopian literature on our newsfeed this month! Dystopia is an imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic. This is the exact opposite of a utopian society which is a society that is ideal for everyone who dwells in it.
2020 has been hard on all of us, but this month at Write On, we’re focusing on dystopian literature for two reasons:
1. Because in dystopian literature, there’s almost always a reversal of the totalitarian system. This gives us hope.
And 2. Because no matter what our society looks like, we have the freedom to write, and what we write is important for a few reasons, the biggest ones being keeping our minds healthy and full of passion and beauty, and recording this time for future generations.
That being said, we’ve been discussing Dystopian novels here at Write On, and here are a few that we’ve agreed we think are important to today’s discussion of politics and what the future of the world looks like.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Giver follows Jonas, a teenager in a dystopian world that he thinks is utopian, until he’s chosen to become the next Giver, the keeper of humanity’s memories, and discovers that the authority he’s supposed to trust is keeping a very dark secret from its people.
- 1984 by George Orwell
One of the most famous dystopian novels out there, 1984 takes place in a time where the government surveils everything its citizens do, even their thoughts, causing a few people to rise up against it for their own souls.
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
In Fahrenheit 451, firemen are the ones to set the fires and all books are strictly forbidden, but when Guy becomes obsessed with the idea of reading books, he goes from being a fireman, working for the government, to being an outlaw, set on preserving literature.
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
In the world of Divergent, everyone in Chicago is separated into factions based on their primary personality types, but Tris soon discovers that there’s another faction, one that no one knows about, the Divergents. They don’t fit into a category, and being one can be dangerous if the government finds out.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
In the year 2045, the world looks a lot different, and most of the country’s inhabitants are dependent on a virtual reality called the OASIS, and when a competition begins for a very hefty prize, the world of the OASIS starts to become a danger to our reality.
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
After the war, society was divided into districts with the Capitol reigning over all. And then came the Hunger Games, an annual event where teenage competitors are forced to kill each other for the Capitol’s entertainment in hopes of being the victor.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Maragret Atwood
In the near future, the United States has become a totalitarian state called Gilead where Offred and women like her are forced into servitude as a Handmaid, a title and obligation that comes with ugly responsibilities, until Offred decides to fight back in any way she can.It may seem like we're living in a dystopian society, but we're all fighting this fight together. Stay safe and keep writing!