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Dystopian Literature
A subgenre of science fiction
Some famous dystopian movies and
books are

Fahrenheit 451
Brave New World
Player Piano

The Matrix
Minority Report
V for Vendetta

What is a dystopia?
The vision of a society that is the
opposite of utopia
A dystopian society is one where life is
The society is full of poverty,
oppression, violence, disease, and/or

Common traits of a dystopian society

Negative and undesirable societies
They are seen as visions of dangerous
and alienating future societies.
They often criticize current trends in

Dystopian Society
Severe social restrictions on
characters lives
Social classes are strictly defined and
The government wants people to
conform, not to excel

Social Classes in a Dystopia

Mostly the only social classes are the
government and its subdivisions
The leader is often a religious or godlike character
The idea of family is attacked and the
family structure is disrupted

Nature in a Dystopia
Characters are isolated from contact
with the natural world
Dystopias are commonly urban and
generally avoid nature

Politics in a Dystopia
Common political systems in a dystopia
are anarchism, bureaucracy, socialism,
communism, chaos, excessive
capitalism, fascism, totalitarianism,
and dictatorships.
Why are these the most common types
of government in a dystopia?

They exert A LOT of control!

Politics in a Dystopia
Political system is flawed in some way
Portrayed as oppressive
Protagonist often has pessimistic
views of the ruling class or government
and forms or joins a resistance group

Elements of Dystopian Literature

Usually advanced technology
Usually centers around a protagonist
who questions the society
Usually a group of people who are not
under control of the government
The hero puts his/her faith in these
The heros goal is either to escape or
destroy the social order
The story is often unresolved

Dr. Robert J. Liftons

8 Criteria for Thought Reform

1. Milieu Control controlling information and
communication in the environment and the
2. Mystical Manipulation making experiences
seem spontaneous when they were really
planned by the leader or the group in power
3. Demand for Purity world is viewed as black
and white and everyone is expected to
4. Confession sins are expected to be
confessed publicly

Dr. Robert J. Liftons

8 Criteria for Thought Reform

5. Sacred Silence the groups beliefs are
the ultimate truth beyond all questioning
or dispute
6. Loading the Language the group uses
words and phrases that outsiders dont
understand the language also makes
the members conform

Dr. Robert J. Liftons

8 Criteria for Thought Reform

7. Doctrine Over the Person personal
experiences must fit into the belief
system if they do not, they will be
reinterpreted so that they do
8. Dispensing of Existence those in the
outside world must be converted to the
groups ideology if they do not convert,
they must be rejected by the members