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Definitions

Utopia
A perfect place with ideal
Laws Politics Customs

Dystopia
A future, imagined

universe where society is oppressed by at least one of the following


Corporate control (Minority

Conditions

Report; I, Robot) Government control (The Hunger Games; The Giver; V for Vendetta; 1984) Technology (I, Robot; The Matrix) Religion (The Handmaids Tale)

Dystopia is
The illusion of a perfect utopian world.

Devices of Control

#1:

Propaganda

Propaganda: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an

opposing cause Propaganda is used to control citizens of a society Posters, news, films, etc.

Propaganda
Propaganda film in The Hunger Games I want everyone to remember

Propaganda
Day and night the telescreens bruised your ears with statistics proving that people today had more food, more clothes, better recreations that they lived longer, worked shorter hours, were bigger, healthier, stronger, happier, more intelligent, better

educated, than the people of fifty years ago. --1984, George Orwell

#2:

Fear of Outside World

Citizens fear the world outside the boundaries of their country or area. Even if allowed to, citizens would likely not leave.

The fear

In Anthem by Ayn Rand


It was easy to escape from the Palace of Corrective Detention. The locks are old on the doors and there are no guards about. There is no reason to have guards, for men have never defied the Councils so far as to escape from whatever place they were

ordered to be.

#3:

Censorship/Restriction

Information, independent thought, and freedom are controlled or restricted

The reality

In 1984 by George Orwell


A novel in which Big Brother (the government) is constantly

watching your actions through systems of surveillance, including a telescreen in every home Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year? Dont you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make Thoughtcrime impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Syme It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, or having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.

#4:

Worshipping a Concept

A figurehead or concept is worshipped in a society


Figurehead: Chancellor

Adam Sutler in V for Vendetta, Big Brother in 1984 Concept: Equality in The Giver and Anthem

In V for Vendetta

In Anthem by Ayn Rand


A novel in which the main character, Equality 7-2521, discovers he is not equal to his brother men and struggles to find the concept of I We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE. One, indivisible and forever.

#5:

Constant Surveillance

Citizens perceive they

are under constant surveillance. Someone is always watching, via cameras or spies.
Big Brother in 1984

always watching through telescreens Katniss is constantly watched in Catching Fire and Mockingjay

#6:

Dehumanization

Citizens live in a dehumanized state. This can vary:


Living without

love/friendship Living in abject poverty Living with too much technology

Dehumanization
International 4-8818 and we are friends. This is an evil thing to say, for it is a transgression, the great Transgression of Preference, to love any among men better than others, since we must love all men and all men are our friends. Equality 7-2521 in Anthem by Ayn Rand

In The Hunger Games, the citizens of the Districts live in poverty


In Anthem, 1984, and The Giver, citizens of these societies

are forbidden to fall in love

#7:

Fear of Natural World

Citizens fear the natural

world (nature).
In The Island, the clones

fear the outside world because theyve been told it is contaminated In Anthem, the citizens fear the Uncharted Forest This can also be a fear based on reliance on the governing body, corporations, etc.

#8:

Conformity

Citizens conform to universal expectations. Individuality, dissent is bad

Conformity
In Anthem, no citizen is allowed to be better, smarter, or more athletic than another In V for Vendetta and 1984, criticism of the government is not allowed

Types of Dystopian Control


Most dystopian works of fiction present a world in which oppressive societys control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through one or more of the following types of control:

Types of Dystopian Control


#1: CORPORATE CONTROL
One or more large corporations

control society through products, advertising, and/or the media.


In Jennifer Government by Max Barry,

corporations run the government. In Wall-E, the corporation Buy n Large evacuates the population of Earth, leaving trash-compacting robots to clean the Earth.

Types of Dystopian Control


#2: GOVERNMENT CONTROL
Society is controlled by a

mindless bureaucracy through a tangle of red tape, relentless regulations, and incompetent government officials.

Types of Dystopian Control


#3: TECHNOLOGICAL CONTROL
Society is controlled by

technology through computers, robots, and other scientific means.


What is The Matrix? (2:03)

Types of Dystopian Control


#4: RELIGIOUS CONTROL
Society is controlled by a

religious idea that is often enforced by threat of physical harm.

The Dystopian Protagonist


often feels trapped and is struggling to escape.
questions 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 recognizes the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective.

Why is literature important?

Lets fill out our first column

In the first column, fill in the blank with V for Vendetta.

We will watch a short clip from the film; watch first, then write. Good evening, London.

Sources
National Council of Teachers of English Jennifer Krause, http://learni.st/users/50622/boards/9319-

dystopias-in-literature