English Literature Essay

574 WordsMay 5, 20123 Pages
Dystopia 1.3.1 The origins of dystopia Dystopia emerged as a literary form in the early 1900s. Its roots reach to satire, realism and anti-utopian works. It is a product of terrors of the twentieth century. After the First World War, totalitarian mass movements occurred in many countries. Long years of violence (revolutions, civil wars) caused instability and crises for masses. In the early 20th century in response to the Fordist era of capitalist development there rose new ways of organizing society. The depletion of humanity, caused by constant buying and selling provided perfect ground for undermining the utopian imagination. The more trustful people were to authorities the more vulnerable they become to implications. Obedient groups of social life could be easily supervised (Graham and Marvin 96). With time, people lost their traditions and sense of belonging. In depressing realities debaters tried to answer the question “what is justice?” Later the dystopian discourse turned into a genre of its own. It has found a fruitful ground to blossom not only in science fiction but also in political fiction, as a reaction to disappointing times. 1.3.2. The reality of dystopia Crucial to dystopian realm is its ability to spot and present the influence that the system has on the “everyday life of everyday people” (Moylan 13). Being immersed in an already oppressive society, the focus is usually made on one representative of it. At first unaware of the seriousness of his situation, the protagonist (usually an alienated unit) slowly realizes “the relationship between individual experience and the operation of the entire system” (Moylan 13). He or she is strong enough to face the ruling powers (embodied in a semi-divine leader ) responsible for enslaving citizens. The struggle results in either crushing of the power structure or defeating the protagonist.

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