Oxford Dictionaries describes a dystopia as an "imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic." Dystopias can be contrasted with utopias, which are also imaginary societies but are completely perfect. A link to a good overview on dystopias in literature has been included below.
1984 by George Orwell is the quintessential dystopian novel and a touchstone for comparisons to current societal failings. The most obvious and sinister dystopian element in 1984 is the constant and pervasive surveillance. How does this constant surveillance make Winston feel and act?
Another dystopian aspect that is pointed out in the link is the use of propaganda that brainwashes people to think a certain way. In 1984, we have concepts such as "thoughtcrime" and a telescreen that is broadcasting propaganda that cannot be turned off.
Inconvenient facts and records that are unflattering to the system are erased from the media and from public...
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