“Our business here is to be utopian, to make vivid and credible, if we can, first this fact and then that, of an imaginary whole and happy world” (Wells 10). Definitions of utopia and dystopia are various and different by many critics and writers. For instance, utopia is how to organize the society and relationships between people in a perfect way than in writer’s society. In addition, it is thought that utopia is principal category in literature in the twentieth century. Utopia is similar to science fiction because both of them represent unreal world and refer to unique and perfect society (Suvin 34 – 38) there is another definition of utopia which is “Utopia is a holding operation, a set of strategies to maintain social order and the perfection in the face of deficiencies, not to say hostility, of nature and the willfulness of a man” (Davis 37).
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.
What if there were no rules in a dystopian community? We live in a world without the overstated rules, without order, without having to be impeccable, but we have freedom an individuality. “Dystopia” is defined as a fictional world where people live under a highly controlled totalitarian system, where individual identity is suppressed and families no longer exist. Rules and orders are negatively portrayed in dystopian societies and are acclaimed to take away the freedom, choice, and individuality. Henceforth, to inhibit the control within the community, the rules should be restricted.
Dystopia, the antonym of Utopia, is the total opposite of an ideal society – most likely describing a darkly-imagined and unfavorable society. Dystopian societies commonly portray an exaggerated futuristic world and are used to represent existing issues in real life. Writers explore the social and political structure of a society and use it to criticize a current trend or political systems. They typically share similar features, for example: dehumanization, environmental disasters, totalitarian authorities, etc. In dystopian novels, they take these characteristics to extreme, but at the same time most themes and elements can still be applicable to real life.
The cruelty of society, injustice of communities and the desire of perfection makes Dystopian stories and novels written in the 21st century like: Equilibrium (2072, Libria), Divergent (futuristic Chicago) and The Hunger Games (2087, Panem) unpleasant and repressive. “Dystopia” comes from the Greek roots “dys-” and “-topia”. “Dys-” means bad and “-topia” means place to live in. Therefore, a dystopian world is an unfavorable society in which to live in. It is essential that in dystopian stories and novels a back-story, a hero, a conflict and a climax are present.
Dystopian fiction is a contemporary literary sub-genre that falls under the umbrella genre of speculative fiction. This type of fiction predicts the possible, oppressive, futuristic sociopolitical changes that deprive the society of worldly pleasures. Dystopian fiction was defined by many scholars. Basu, Broad, and Hintz in their edited book Contemporary Dystopian Fiction for Young Adults: Brave New Teenagers (2009) defined dystopia as a fiction that “describes non-existent societies intended to be read as “considerably worse” than the reader’s own” and that is the opposite of utopia which is “the non-existent society “considerably better” than the current world” (Basu et al. 2).
What is the difference between a dystopian society to our society? How about the similarities between the two societies? There are definitely many discernible unorthodoxness in a dystopian society versus the “real world” like the fact, that a dystopian society is more grotesque, to the point that it’s boring. On the other hand, there are plenty enough similarities like, how both societies strive for better, a utopia. In other words, dystopia compared to society, more specifically dystopian society, education systems, rules/laws, and family between our society’s education systems, rules/laws, and family, is substantially different, but there are some associations that could be made.
) All utopias are dystopias , the term "dystopia" was coined by fools that believed a "utopia" could be functional -A.E. Samaan Utopias and dystopias are two sides of the same coin; as beneath every façade of a utopian community , there is a dystopian undercurrent detected . The term Utopia is coined by Plato in his book The Republic (380 BC). Plato 's Utopia represents an ideal society of freedom ,justice and equality (Gerhard 2 ) . In 1516 , the term "Utopia" was used by Sir Thomas More in his book by the same name which depicts an imaginary country names Utopus , a country based on social equality and freedom from conflict (Sisk).
In the article The Fine Line Between Utopia and Dystopia, author Zsanelle Morel discusses the utopian and dystopian themes among popular literature. Morel eventually reaches the conclusion that, “Although the idea of a utopian society can be briefly imagined, this society could not sustain itself due to the unpredictable nature of life,” with unpredictability being key. Human lives are not always stable and not every minor event can be foreseen when making decisions affecting an entire society. In an article, Jetse de Vries writes about the contrast between utopias and dystopias. Additionally, de Vries describes other authors’ tendencies to categorize fictional societies as either utopian or dystopian whereas many of them in reality are a combination of both: “a lot of utopias are basically dystopias in disguise:
Utopia means the state of perfection of places, countries, states and even the world. Dystopia is the complete opposite of utopia. Instead of a perfect place, you would imagine, burning houses, dead bodies, just hell. The Maze Runner Series is based on two kids, Teresa and Thomas, and their friends that go through a nightmare in the maze. Some survive throughout the series and some don't.