What is Dystopia features Utopia and Examples of dystopian works


Dystopia is the representation of an oppressive and terrifying imaginary reality or society . It is the opposite of utopia.

The term dystopia ends up characterizing an artistic genre that presents an imaginary about the future, in which this is a place of oppression and violence, usually under totalitarian political regimes.

There are several movies and books in which their stories take place in dystopian realities. These works are generally critical of authoritarianism, dictatorships, freedom and other political and social issues.

Etymologically, dystopia comes from the Greek, as well as its twin sister of good. DIS means “abnormal”, “pathological” or “what does not work well”, and TOPIA means “place”. Thus, this word can be understood as “ abnormal place ”, “ pathological place ” or “ place that does not work well ”.

It is also possible to interpret dystopia as “ a distorted form of place ” or “ a problematic social organization ”.

Main features of dystopia

  • deep criticism;
  • nonconformity with a reality;
  • it’s impressive;
  • it is anti-authoritarian;
  • has a problematizing function.

Dystopia appeared in literature at the beginning of the 20th century, precisely at a time when capitalism entered a more aggressive phase: imperialism, wars, militarism emerged as traumatic experiences for society. Literary dystopia was one of the first cultural products to indicate despotic, genocidal and repressive trends in society.

In short, dystopia produces an image of the future. Such an image is the result of a profound critical understanding of the present, with a historical narrative from the perspective of the vanquished.

Therefore, this literary line branches into at least three.

as a fire warning

Dystopia can be understood as a warning about what can happen if certain problematic social traits are left unchecked. The stories function as a kind of warning, whose results in the reader and in society vary greatly. Product of a critical analysis of society, the popularity of certain works also say a lot about the most sensitive issues of an era.

The book The Handmaid’s Tale , by Margaret Atwood, for example, was released in 1985; however, it appears on top bestseller lists in the United States after Trump’s election. In Brazil, since the launch of the new edition by Rocco in 2017, the book has gained thousands of readers. The success of the book has everything to do with the rise of conservative governments that have male chauvinist leaders and that encourage Christian religious fundamentalism.

as active pessimism

According to popular wisdom, there’s always that moment when the water hits your ass. This is the meaning of active pessimism: something that drives action. It is the wake-up call that awakens many to do something really important so that things don’t go to extremes.

By exaggerating a situation of oppression experienced in the present, dystopia can awaken, in the near future, the reaction of those who would be the losers. This type of fiction serves as a big luminous sign: “VAI DAR MERDA”.

Active pessimism serves to criticize even the worrying developments of utopian projects, highlighting questionable points in the plans for a better future for humanity.

as hopelessness

The main criticism made of dystopia uses its own method of analysis against itself: it alerts to the erosion of the haunting character of this type of narrative.

The constant amazement can cause a generalized feeling of fear, raising anxiety until panicked people freeze. Worse. Killing any form of hope, destroying the initial motivation, the one that utopia seeks to build, the trivialization of dystopia and the feeling that it supposedly causes in society can put an end to faith in the future.

Dystopia and Utopia

Dystopia and Utopia are opposites . While utopia characterizes a perfect imaginary place or reality, with an ideal and harmonious society. Dystopia characterizes a dark imaginary society.

Dystopias usually bring about societies controlled by the State or by other extreme means of oppression, which create unbearable living conditions for individuals. It is usually based on current reality idealized in extreme conditions in the future.

Some characteristic traits of dystopian society are: totalitarian political power (held by a privileged minority), censorship, deprivation of freedoms and decent living conditions, violence.

Examples of dystopian works

Many works of art have dystopia as a setting for their compositions. Each with its own reality, but which usually portray futuristic societies that are oppressive, depriving of freedom and violent.

The novels 1984 , by George Orwell, and Brave New World , by Aldous Huxley, are classic dystopian fictions.

The graphic novel V for Vendetta , which was adapted for film , presents a dystopian society brutally constrained by a totalitarian regime.

Another example of dystopian work in literature and television is The Handmaid’s Tale by author Margaret Atwood. The book was adapted into a series and tells the future of the United States. In it, the country would have been transformed into a highly oppressive society, in which women lost all their rights,

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button