Running Head: Dystopia and its effects on society:
Dystopia and its effects on society
Dystopia and its effects on society
Dystopia is described as a society that is based upon fantasy and fiction and that is characterized by deplorable states of human life as a result of lack, oppression and terrorism. Dystopia is always portrayed by science fiction and it is mostly futuristic in nature. But even with the futuristic nature, most writers often intentionally include present day societal tendencies; only in this case, such tendencies are taken to the extreme. Dystopias are in most cases written with an aim to satirize the current social trends and inclinations. Interestingly, all dystopian works have characteristics that are common to all of them (Smith & Blades, 2008).
They are characterized by having a pecking order where there are well defined lines separating the upper, middle and lower class systems. They are also characterized by a state that is under the regime of an upper class that is autocratic but often with the illusion of democracy. Dystopian states are also characterized by repressive governments that use various state machinery to force the public into submission by use of intimidation ( Bronfenbrenner, 2008). They also portray standards of living that are terrible and being that the works are set in the future; the technological advances are also superior. Lastly, dystipic states usually arise from the back drop of some catastrophic events such as war, natural disaster which results in remarkable changes to society.
There are quite a good number of works of literature that portrays dystopia and one of the most common ones is a novel called We and it is written by Yevgeny Zamayatin. This novel brings out a dystopian aspect that is primarily centered on the state. This work is based on the writers personal experiences and it talks about a state called one where people are only referred to by numbers and not names and life operates on the basis of mathematical calculations, people are wired to behave and act like robots. In this state, the individual’s zeal, enthusiasm and intuition have been suppressed to the point of them being nonexistent. All things natural have also been detached from this state and it is surrounded by a great big wall. People are deprived of any sense of emotion and the government keeps a close watch on the citizen by use of spies.
The other book that also depicts a dystopian society is the novel clockwork orange. This book brings out a different aspect of dystopia that is primarily centered on the individual. The novel exposes a society that is plagued by random brutal acts of unnecessary violence that is meted on citizens by fellow citizens (Bronfenbrenner, 2008). It shows a way ward society that is personified by the main character Alex, who together with his gang performs a series of random brutal rapes and killings that have got no ethical importance. This just shows how drugs and immorality those are not controlled slowly but surely develop into full fledged crimes. (Smith & Blades, 2008).This crimes committed by Alex and his droogs slowly graduates into more organized crimes as they are looking to do even more heinous crimes that the ones they have already committed and this leads to the death of an elderly woman and the arrest of Alex. In prison, he is subjected to brutality by the prison wardens and he is eventually used to test a new drug called Ludivico’s technique which eliminates an individual’s power to make a choice.lex is also conditioned to a point that even the thought of violence makes him sick. This serves to show how authorities use drastic measures, often necessitated by desperation to combat the rot in society and this could be as a result of desperation.
In conclusion, dystopia imprisons the individual and the society and both are left under the benevolence of the state which is oppressive. It also leads to the conditioning of individuals and such a surrounding is ravaging and distressing. Even though they are works of satire, they serve to warn and educate people that if morals and individual freedom are allowed to degenerate without any form of intervention, then the present society will degenerate into dystopia.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (2008). The Ecology of Human Development: Experiments by Nature and Design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Smith . H and Blades M, (2008).Understanding Children’s Development, Basic psychology (4 ed.), Oxford, England: Blackwel