Pros And Cons Of Dystopian Literature

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On 12 March 1868, John Stuart Mill first coined the word ‘dystopia’ in his Parliamentary speech on Mr. Maguire’s Motion on the State of Ireland (Mill, 1988). Dystopia is an antonym of utopia, a word that Sir Thomas More coined and used as the title of his famous work, Utopia in 1516 (More, 1516/1992). Editors Claeys and Sargent (1999) defined dystopia as a society that is invented to be far worse than contemporary society. Dystopia is also a society that is characterized on what is against the author’s characteristic spirit of a society, including oppression, public suspicion, and mass poverty (Apocalyptic Literature, 1993). A dystopian society is a menacing setting which serves as a warning to us about totalitarian futures that seem all too likely and real (Kennon, 2005). Gradually, many authors use dystopia as a genre, thus becoming dystopian literature. Cranny-Francis (1990) described dystopian literature as “the textual representation of a society apparently worse than the writer/reader’s own” (p. 125). Booker (1994) wrote that dystopian literature offers the chance of giving new perspectives on questionable political and social practices that would have been otherwise thought as natural. In a research done by Mcclantoc (2016), it can be deduced that the main ingredient of a good dystopian literature are the main protagonists who induce some kind of social change in their society or world. This applies regardless of the two types of dystopia; one that is apparent or in
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