What is a dystopia?

Bryson Coleman, Block 1.

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A few examples of popular trends in most dystopian stories:

  • Propaganda is used to control citizens of society
  • Independence is restricted
  • Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance
  • Citizens conform to uniform expectations.
  • Citizens are driven to fear the outside world
  • Citizens live in a dehumanized state
  • The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world.

Some types of dystopian controls:

  • Corporate control: A corporation controls society through products, advertising, and/or the media.

  • Bureaucratic control: Society is controlled by a mindless bureaucracy through a tangle of red tape, relentless regulations, and incompetent government officials.

  • Technological control: Society is controlled by technology through computers, robots, and/or scientific means.

  • Philosophical/Religious control: Society is controlled by philosophical or religious ideology often enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic government.

Ex: Technological/Corporate in Blade Runner

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Dystopian protagonists:

  • Often feels trapped and is struggling to escape
  • Questioning the existing social and political systems
  • Believes or feels that something is terribly wrong with the society in which he or she lives.
  • Helps the audience recognize the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective.