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Why do writers write about dystopian societies?

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shootingstarz | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 7, 2011 at 9:22 PM via web

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Why do writers write about dystopian societies?

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arkaless | College Teacher | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted August 7, 2011 at 10:41 PM (Answer #1)

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The term dystopia, Greek in origin, refers to a "bad place". The term is antithetical to Utopia, which means an ideal place/state.The kind of society as presented in dystopian literature is the society in a repressive and controlled state, may be under the facade of being utopian as is found in books like Huxley's Brave New World and Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Writers of dystopian literature and makers of dystopian films expose societies with different kinds of repressive control systems, various forms of active and passive coercion. Dystopian societies are often imagined as police states with unlimited power over the citizens. Kafka's Metamorphosis, Koestler's Darkness at Noon, Golding's Lord of the Flies are some of the distinguished examples of 20th century fiction having pictures of dystopian societies, societies mechanically and rigorously controlled, politically suppressed, severely dominated by hegemonistic rule. Fahrenheit 451, based on the novel of the same name by Ray Bradbury, is one of the many dystopian films of serious reckoning. All dystopian literature/ films are intended as critiques of utopia, an ideal state/place/society as imagined from time to time ever since Plato's Republic, and its Renaissance counterpart, Thomas More's Utopia.

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