Dystopian Literature – A Theory And Research Guide

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It has come to my attention that we as readers or movie watching or even just are views of the world, that we have a fascination for a dystopian future. Dystopian Literature by M. Keith Booker. This book talks about how we start to think about the Dystopian genre since the 20th century

“Dystopian Literature is specifically that literature which situates itself in direct opposition to Utopian thought, warning against the potential negative consequences of arrant utopianism. At the same time, dystopian literature generally also constitues a critique of existing social conditions or political systems, either through the critical examination of the utopian through the imaginative extension of those conditions and systems into different contexts that more clearly reveal their flaws and contradiction.”

Mark Hillegas refers to Orwell’s Work as “One of the most revealing indexes to the anxieties of our age”.

To believe in utopia one must have faith of a kind that our history has made nearly inaccessible. This one major form of the crisis of faith under which western culture reels.

In short, it is much easier to visualize nightmares than dreams of the future. Orwell has one character in 1984 describes the fictional society of Oceania as “The exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined”. 

“Utopia is a bad word today not because we despair of being able to acheive it but because we fear it. Utopia itself has become the enemy.

The rise of science as a discourse of authority in the Enlightenment directly inspired both an explosion in Utopian thought and a corresponding wave of dystopian reaction

By the the time Newtonian Science Reached its zenith in the nineteenth century, Scientific discoveries were already beginning to undermine the unlimited faith in the power of science that have been growing during the two previous centuries.

1850 German Physicist Rudolf Julius Emanuel Clausius announced the second law of thermodynamics[…] What is Significant in the second law of thermodynamics is that it is utterly irreversible and shows entropic decay.

This took a spin on victorians times when due to new discoveries that the world would become a better place. This new law says that in the end everything gets worse.

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