A dystopia is a community or society, usually fictional, that is in some important way undesirable or frightening. It is the opposite of a utopia. Such societies appear in many works of fiction, particularly in stories set in a speculative future. Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society. Elements of dystopias may vary from environmental to political and social issues. Dystopian societies have culminated in a broad series of sub-genres of fiction and are often used to raise real-world issues regarding society, environment, politics, religion, psychology, spirituality, or technology that may become present in the future. For this reason, dystopias have taken the form of a multitude of speculations, such as pollution, poverty, societal collapse, political repression, or totalitarianism.
Famous depictions of dystopian societies include R.U.R., which introduces the term Robot and the modern Robot concept along with the first Androids due to being organic, and is the first elaborate depiction of a machine take-over.; Nineteen Eighty-Four, a totalitarian invasive super state; Brave New World, where the human population is placed under a caste of psychological allocation; Fahrenheit 451, where the state burns books out of fear of what they may incite; The Hunger Games, a government that controls its people by maintaining a constant state of fear through fights to the death. The Iron Heel was described by Erich Fromm as "the earliest of the modern Dystopian".
The first known use of dystopian, as recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary, is a speech given before the British House of Commons by John Stuart Mill in 1868, in which Mill denounced the government's Irish land policy: "It is, perhaps, too complimentary to call them Utopians, they ought rather to be called dys-topians, or caco-topians. What is commonly called Utopian is something too good to be practicable; but what they appear to favour is too bad to be practicable."
Counter-utopia and anti-utopia
Many dystopias found in fictional and artistic works present a utopian society with at least one fatal flaw; whereas a utopian society is founded on the good life, a dystopian society’s dreams of improvement are overshadowed by stimulating fears of the "ugly consequences of present-day behavior." People are alienated and individualism is restricted by the government. An early example of a dystopian novel is Rasselas (1759), by Samuel Johnson, set in Ethiopia.
In the Russian novel We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, which was first published in English in 1924, people are permitted to live out of public view twice a week for one hour. They are only referred to by numbers instead of names, but are "ciphers" which are neither. In the novel Brave New World, written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley, a class system is prenatally designated in terms of Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. Among the lower castes, single embryos are "bokanovskified", so that they produce between eight and ninety-six identical siblings, making the citizens as uniform as possible.
Some dystopian works emphasize the pressure to conform in terms of a requirement not to excel. In these works, the society is ruthlessly egalitarian, in which ability and accomplishment, or even competence, are suppressed or stigmatized as forms of inequality, as in Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron. Similarly, in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, the dystopia represses the intellectuals with particular force,
Violence is prevalent in many dystopias; either in the form of war (Nineteen Eighty-Four), rampant crime met by summary justice or vigilantism (e.g. Judge Dredd, Mad Max), or blood sports (e.g. Hunger Games, The Running Man).
Concepts and symbols of religion may come under attack in a dystopia. In Brave New World, for example, the establishment of the state included lopping off the tops of all crosses (as symbols of Christianity) to make them "T"s, (as symbols of Henry Ford's Model T). But compare Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, wherein a Christianity-based theocratic regime rules the future United States.
Some fictional dystopias, such as Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451, have eradicated the family and deploy continuing efforts to keep it from reestablishing itself as a social institution. In Brave New World, where children are reproduced artificially, the concepts "mother" and "father" are considered obscene. In some novels, the State is hostile to motherhood: for example, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, children are organized to spy on their parents; and in We, the escape of a pregnant woman from OneState is a revolt.
Fictional dystopias are commonly urban and frequently isolate their characters from all contact with the natural world. Sometimes they require their characters to avoid nature, as when walks are regarded as dangerously anti-social in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. In Brave New World, the lower classes of society are conditioned to be afraid of nature, but also to visit the countryside and consume transportation and games to stabilize society. Excessive pollution that destroys nature is common in many dystopian films, such as Avatar, Robocop, Wall-E, and Soylent Green. A few "green" fictional dystopias do exist, such as in Michael Carson's short story "The Punishment of Luxury", and Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker. The latter is set in the aftermath of nuclear war, "a post-nuclear holocaust Kent, where technology has reduced to the level of the Iron Age".
In When the Sleeper Wakes, H. G. Wells depicted the governing class as hedonistic and shallow. George Orwell contrasted Wells's world to that depicted in Jack London's The Iron Heel, where the dystopian rulers are brutal and dedicated to the point of fanaticism, which Orwell considered more plausible.
Whereas the political principles at the root of fictional utopias (or "perfect worlds") are idealistic in principle, intending positive consequences for their inhabitants, the political principles on which fictional dystopias are based are flawed and result in negative consequences for the inhabitants of the dystopian world, which is portrayed as oppressive.
Dystopias are often filled with pessimistic views of the ruling class or government that is brutal or uncaring ruling with an "iron hand" or "iron fist". These dystopian government establishments often have protagonists or groups that lead a "resistance" to enact change within their government.
There are also many dystopias in which the government is weak, and businesses control a very corrupt government. Many of these dystopias are characterized by inequality and oppression of the lower class.
Dystopian political situations are depicted in novels such as Parable of the Sower, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451; and in such films as Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Brazil, The Hunger Games, FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions, and Soylent Green.
The economic structures of dystopian societies in literature and other media have many variations, as the economy often relates directly to the elements that the writer is depicting as the source of the oppression. However, there are several archetypes that such societies tend to follow.
A commonly occurring theme is that the state plans the economy, as shown in such works as Ayn Rand's Anthem and Henry Kuttner's short story The Iron Standard. A contrasting theme is where the planned economy is planned and controlled by corporatist and fascist elements. A prime example of this is reflected in Norman Jewison's 1975 Rollerball. Some dystopias, such as Nineteen Eighty-Four, feature black markets with goods that are dangerous and difficult to obtain, or the characters may be totally at the mercy of the state-controlled economy. Such systems usually have a lack of efficiency, as seen in stories like Philip Jose Farmer's Riders of the Purple Wage, featuring a bloated welfare system in which total freedom from responsibility has encouraged an underclass prone to any form of antisocial behavior. Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano depicts a dystopia in which the centrally controlled economic system has indeed made material abundance plentiful, but deprived the mass of humanity of meaningful labor; virtually all work is menial and unsatisfying, and only a small number of the small group that achieves education is admitted to the elite and its work.
Even in dystopias where the economic system is not the source of the society's flaws, as in Brave New World, the state often controls the economy. In Brave New World, a character, reacting with horror to the suggestion of not being part of the social body, cites as a reason that everyone works for everyone else.
Other works feature extensive privatization and corporatism, where privately owned and unaccountable large corporations have effectively replaced the government in setting policy and making decisions. They manipulate, infiltrate, control, bribe, are contracted by, or otherwise function as government. This is seen in the novel Jennifer Government and the movies Alien, Avatar, Robocop, Visioneers, Max Headroom, Soylent Green, THX 1138, WALL‑E and Rollerball. Rule-by-corporation is common in the cyberpunk genre, as in Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (made into the movie Blade Runner) and Snow Crash.
Of course, there are some socialist dystopias, although they usually are not as popular a capitalist and fascist dystopias. These often depict a government that does everything in its power to eliminate business and ensure economic equality, which results in an unproductive society where people starve. Usually, some elements of fascism are also used, such as an oppressive ruling class (although the writer doesn't emphasize inequality) and a "secret police" force that watches the population. In fact, many of these dystopias are modeled after Communist Russia.
Some examples of socialist dystopias are Nineteen Eighty-Four, Player Piano, and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.
||This section may contain original research. (May 2009)|
In dystopian literature the advanced technology is controlled exclusively by the group in power, while the oppressed population is limited to technology comparable to or more primitive than what we have today. In order to emphasize the degeneration of society, the standard of living among the lower and middle classes is generally poorer than that of their equivalents in contemporary industrialized society.
In contrast to Nineteen Eighty-Four, in Brave New World, and Equilibrium, people enjoy much higher material living-standards in exchange for the loss of other qualities in their lives, such as independent thought and emotional depth. In Fahrenheit 451, humanity lives in a glorious state of comfort, but has given up the meaning of life, and views death and love as misconveniences.
In some dystopias, advanced technology is available to everyone, but the lower class can't afford advanced electronics and other devices. These dystopias usually don't have a totalitarian government, but a government that is controlled by businesses. Some examples of these dystopias are Blade Runner and Robocop.
In Ypsilon Minus by Herbert W. Franke, people are divided into numerous alphabetically ranked groups. Similarly, in Brave New World, people are divided into castes ranging from Alpha-Plus to Epsilon, with the lower classes having reduced brain-function and special conditioning to make them satisfied with their position in life.
Dystopia as impending course of things
A recently proposed view considers Evolution as a progressive entanglement of lower tier elements to higher tier systems, with synergetic overall gains at cost of loss of freedom for the lower tier elements (particles entangle to atoms, atoms to molecules, molecules to cells, cells to biological organism, biological organisms to social organisms).  According to that view the "Social Constructs" (social organisms formed by ideas and organizations) are relentlessly aiming at their synergetic self-optimization, by an increased uniformation and parametrization of the human individuals. To a moderate extent this delivers the blessing of civilization, in excess the bane of dystopia. The "progress" toward excessive self-optimization of Social Constructs must be curtailed, because the Human Individual needs to preserve a minimum level of unbrided complexity inherent to his biological lower tier in order to continue to be human and not a robot or a streamlined parameter.
- When The Sleeper Wakes (1899) by H. G. Wells features a 22nd-century dehumanized, industrialized society with a caste system, ruled by the name of Sleeper, a lethargic "owner" of all the world's industry.
- R.U.R. (1920) by Karel Čapek. A science fiction play in the Czech language, R.U.R. stands for Rossum's Universal Robots. It premiered in 1921 and introduced the modern Robot concept, and the word "Robot" invented by his brother Josef Čapek, to the English language and to science fiction as a whole. Čapek's robots can also be seen as the first androids: they are in fact organic. Despite being vastly underrated since it's popular debut, displaced by the works of writers not properly crediting Capek to follow, R.U.R. is the first elaborate depiction of a machine take-over, and thus influencing all subsequent Science Fiction morality tales involving Robots, Automatons, Clones, and Androids to follow.
- We (1921) by Yevgeny Zamyatin. A satire of the newly-established Soviet Union, and of what the future of Russia might hold.
- Brave New World (1931) - Aldous Huxley's satire of modern hedonistic society.
- Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) by George Orwell, a popular and perhaps the most famous example of a dystopia in modern culture.
- Fahrenheit 451 (1953) by Ray Bradbury - The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed. A film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 was released in 1966.
- A Clockwork Orange (1962) by Anthony Burgess - A satire portraying a future and dystopian Western society with—based on contemporary trends—a culture of extreme youth rebellion and violence: it explores the violent nature of humans, human free will to choose between good or evil, and the desolation of free will as a solution to evil.
- The Terminator (1984) - A film that involves a humanoid machine (called a terminator) from the future attempting to assassinate Sarah Connor. Some scenes of the film show a post-apocalyptic future where a computer (called Skynet) has attempted to exterminate humanity by launching nuclear weapons (turns out, skynet only killed about 50% of the human population). Sarah Connor happens to be the mother of John Connor, who is the leader of the human resistance against Skynet and its machine armies in the future.
- Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) - A very popular film that involves a more-advanced terminator robot trying to assassinate young John Connor. A reprogrammed terminator robot has also been sent back to protect John. Some scenes show a post-apocalyptic year 2029 where the human resistance has almost overthrown skynet. The future looks just like the future described in the first Terminator movie.
- Virtual Light (1993) by William Gibson depicts a world (in 2006) where corporations dominate society, the middle class has gone, and wealthy, powerful elites dominate government. The book is set in a divided Southern California (SoCal) separated from the north of the former state (NoCal). As a sign of the collapse of the efficacy of democratic politics, the president is black.
- The Giver (1993) by Lois Lowry depicts a future in which human society has largely rid itself of strife by minimizing the individual capacity for choice, love, and knowledge. The story develops around an adolescent boy, Jonas, who is tasked with preserving a secret cache of cultural memory.
- Uglies (novel series) (2005-2007). Uglies follows the story of Tally Youngblood, a sixteen-year-old girl living in the 24th century. By this time in humanity's future, a new type of society has been formed after a disastrous oil-bug was released upon the planet that killed 98% of the human population and left many cities in ruins. The new society is composed of about one hundred small post-scarcity independently-run city states, spread out across the seven continents, which now have different coastlines due to modern-societies global warming. The new society holds three values at its core: Sustainability, Peace, and Equality. The new society promotes these values through the use of The Surge, a type of extreme cosmetic surgery that all citizens undergo at the median age of 16. The Surge transforms ordinary humans into paragons of beauty, right down to perfect facial symmetry. New Pretties are given access to life in New Pretty Town, the innermost part of the city where food, shelter, and entertainment are provided by the government free of charge. Within the post-Surge part of a persons life, everyone's common beauty inspires peace and equality among the citizens.
- Unwind (2007) by Neal Shusterman - After a civil war in the near future, a compromise between Pro-life and Pro-choice was reached in the form of "The Bill of Life" and "unwinding", which allows parents of children between 13-18 to have their children's organs harvested, in what can only be described as a retroactive abortion.
- Gone (novel series) (2008-Present). The series is centered around the fictional American town of Perdido Beach. Every human 15 and older vanishes, and the town and surrounding areas (later named the FAYZ) are encased within an impenetrable bubble. Many of the people and wildlife develop supernatural powers.
- After the Fear (2008) by Rosanne Rivers takes place following a financial collapse that has left Great Britain in so much debt they begin sacrificing lives during "demonstrations" to raise money to pay back those debts.
- The Hunger Games (2008) by Suzanne Collins is set in a post-war North America called "Panem", which is composed of an extravagant capital and twelve poverty-stricken districts that each specialize in making a certain type of products for the capitol, for example, farming and mining. They have a totalitarian government that forces each district to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen each year to fight to the death in the Hunger Games.
- The Drowned World, Crash, and The Drought are all examples of the dysptopian fiction by well known English writer, J.G. Ballard. Human descent into chaos and humanity bringing about destruction by technology are common themes of his novels.
- Terminator Salvation (2009) - a film, like its preceding terminator films, that describes a future (more specifically 2018) in which the human resistance fights to overthrow skynet. Unlike its preceding films, it contains no scenes of the past. The film takes place ONLY in the future.
- "The Unit" (2009) by Swedish author Ninni Holmqvist - Single, childless adults aged 50 and over are deemed 'dispensable' and are sent to a home separate from society. At the home, they have relative freedom but must periodically undergo organ harvest in order to maintain the 'useful' childbearing/successful members of society.
- The book Worldshaker (2009) by Richard Harland is set in a neo‑Victorian ship where the rich live above in luxury and the poor workers toil below. The plot is much like the silent film classic Metropolis.
- Divergent (2011) by Veronica Roth - In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she cannot have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
- Wool (2012) by Hugh Howey - The story of Wool takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Humanity clings to survival in the Silos, a subterranean city extending hundreds of stories beneath the surface. The world outside has been destroyed, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.
- Infamous: Second Son (2013) - A video game that takes place in an undefined point in the near future when The United Sates Government is attempting to capture any people with supernatural powers (Which the government calls "bioterrorists") through an agency called the D.U.P. (Department of United Defense). The D.U.P. has set up millions of security cameras across the country to find "bioterrorist" (and control the population). Young protagonist, Delsin Rowe, figures out that he has supernatural powers, which alerts the D.U.P. Overtime, Delsin tries to avoid arrest and overthrow the totalitarian government.
Characteristics of dystopian fiction
||This section may contain original research. (May 2009)|
As fictional dystopias are often set in a future projected virtual time and/or space involving technological innovations not accessible in actual present reality, dystopian fiction is often classified generically as science fiction, a subgenre of speculative fiction.
Because a fictional universe has to be constructed, a selectively told backstory of a war, revolution, uprising, critical overpopulation, or other disaster is often introduced early in the narrative. This results in a shift in emphasis of control, from previous systems of government to a government run by corporations, totalitarian dictatorships or bureaucracies; or from previous social norms to a changed society and new (and often disturbing) social norms.
Because dystopian literature typically depicts events that take place in the future, it often features technology more advanced than that of contemporary society.
Unlike utopian fiction, which often features an outsider to have the world shown to him/her, dystopias seldom feature an outsider as the protagonist. While such a character would more clearly understand the nature of the society, based on comparison to their society, the knowledge of the outside culture subverts the power of the dystopia. When such outsiders are major characters—such as John the Savage in Brave New World—their societies cannot assist them against the dystopia.
The story usually centers on a protagonist who questions the society, often feeling intuitively that something is terribly wrong, such as Guy Montag in Ray Bradbury's novella Fahrenheit 451, Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, or V in Alan Moore's V for Vendetta. The hero comes to believe that escape or even overturning the social order is possible and decides to act at the risk of their own life; this may appear as irrational even to him/her, but they still act. The hero's point of view usually clashes with the others' perception, most notably in Brave New World, revealing that concepts of utopia and dystopia are tied to each other and the only difference between them lies on a matter of opinion.
Another popular archetype of hero in the more modern dystopian literature is the Vonnegut hero, a hero who is in high-standing within the social system, but sees how wrong everything is, and attempts to either change the system or bring it down, such as Paul Proteus of Kurt Vonnegut's novel Player Piano or Winston Niles Rumfoord in The Sirens of Titan.
The Domination is perhaps unusual in featuring members of the upper caste of the dystopian society (the von Shrakenbergs, Myfwany, Yolande Ingolfsson, various Draka military members) as among the protagonists although serfs (Marya and Yasmin, from among conquered people) questioning that society are also included, along with international enemies of that dystopian society (such as Lefarge). This may be an example of the anti-hero.
There is usually a group of people somewhere in the society who are not under the complete control of the state, and in whom the hero of the novel usually puts their hope, although often he or she still fails to change anything. In Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four they are the "proles" (Latin for "offspring", from which "proletariat" is derived), in Huxley's Brave New World they are the people on the reservation, and in We by Zamyatin they are the people outside the walls of the One State. In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, they are the "book people" past the river and outside the city.
Climax and dénouement
The story is often (but not always) unresolved even if the hero manages to escape or destroy the dystopia. That is, the narrative may deal with individuals in a dystopian society who are unsatisfied, and may rebel, but ultimately fail to change anything. Sometimes they themselves end up changed to conform to the society's norms, such as in With Folded Hands, by Jack Williamson. This narrative arc to a sense of hopelessness can be found in such classic dystopian works as Nineteen Eighty-Four. It contrasts with much fiction of the future, in which a hero succeeds in resolving conflicts or otherwise changes things for the better.
||This article may contain original research. (May 2009)|
The destruction of dystopia is frequently a very different sort of work than one in which it is preserved. Indeed, the subversion of a dystopian society, with its potential for conflict and adventure, is a staple of science fiction stories. Poul Anderson's short story "Sam Hall" depicts the subversion of a dystopia heavily dependent on surveillance. Robert A. Heinlein's "If This Goes On—" liberates the United States from a fundamentalist theocracy, where the underground rebellion is organized by the Freemasons. Cordwainer Smith's The Rediscovery of Man series depicts a society recovering from its dystopian period, beginning in "The Dead Lady of Clown Town" with the discovery that its utopia was impossible to maintain. Although these and other societies are typical of dystopias in many ways, they all have not only flaws but exploitable flaws. The ability of the protagonists to subvert the society also subverts the monolithic power typical of a dystopia. In some cases the hero manages to overthrow the dystopia by motivating the (previously apathetic) populace. In the dystopian video game Half-Life 2 the downtrodden citizens of City 17 rally around the figure of Gordon Freeman and overthrow their Combine oppressors. In The Hunger Games, the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, is able to lead a revolution against her nation.
Destruction of the fictional dystopia may not be possible, but—if it does not completely control its world—escaping from it may be an alternative. In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, the main character, Montag, succeeds in fleeing and finding tramps who have dedicated themselves to memorizing books to preserve them. But ironically, the dystopian society in Fahrenheit 451 is destroyed in the end — by nuclear missiles. In the book Logan's Run, the main characters make their way to an escape from the otherwise inevitable euthanasia on their 21st (22nd) birthday (30th in the later film version). Because such dystopias must necessarily control less of the world than the protagonist can reach, and the protagonist can elude capture, this motif also subverts the dystopia's power. In Lois Lowry's The Giver, Jonas, the main character, is able to run away from "The Community" and escapes to "Elsewhere", where people have memories.
Sometimes, this escape leads to the inevitable: the protagonist making a mistake that usually brings about the end of a rebel society, usually living where people think is a legend. This concept is brought to life in Scott Westerfeld's novel Uglies. The main character accidentally brings the government into the secret settlement of the Smoke. She then infiltrates the government to escape, but chooses to join the society for the greater good.
The collapse of a dystopian dictatorship, sometimes, has an ambiguous ending that is unclear as to final result of the revolution. The protagonist succeeds in causing the overthrow of society, but no new society has been established as a replacement. The legacy is open ended, as in the movie version of V For Vendetta. The rebels were secretly aided by disillusioned officials of the ruling tyrannical regime, but no one faction maintained dominance after the fall of the dystopian society. The remaining hard-core regime loyalists were eliminated or ineffective. The audience is left to their own conclusions.
Works with dystopian themes in various media
- List of dystopian comics
- List of dystopian literature
- List of dystopian films
- List of dystopian music, TV programs, and games
- Alternate history
- Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction
- New world order (politics)
- New World Order (conspiracy theory)
- Self-fulfilling prophecy
- Social science fiction
- Soft science fiction
- Utopian and dystopian fiction
- "Definition of "dystopia"". Merriam-Webster, Inc. 2012. Unknown parameter
- "Definition of "dystopia"". Oxford University Press. 2012. Unknown parameter
- Cf. "Dystopia Timeline", in Exploring Dystopia, "edited and designed by Niclas Hermansson; Contributors: Acolyte of Death ('Gattaca'), John Steinbach ('Nuclear Nightmare'), [and] David Clements ('From Dystopia to Myopia')" (hem.passagen.se), Niclas Hermansson, n.d., Web, 22 May 2009
- Fromm, Erich: 1984 (Afterword), p. 316. New American Library (a division of Penguin Group), 1977.
- δυσ-, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- τόπος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- Cacotopia (κακόs, "bad, wicked") was first used by English jurist, philosopher and legal and social reformer Jeremy Bentham (15 February 1748 – 6 June 1832) in his 19th-century works. See also refers to Chris Hill 2
- κακόs, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- Harper, Douglas. "Utopia". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
- "Dystopia". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a "dystopia" is: "An imaginary place or condition in which everything is as bad as possible; opp. UTOPIA (cf. CACOTOPIA). So dystopian n., one who advocates or describes a dystopia; dystopian a., of or pertaining to a dystopia; dystopianism, dystopian quality or characteristics." The example of first usage given in the OED (1989 ed.), cites "1868" writing by John Stuart Mill: "1868 J. S. MILL in Hansard Commons 12 Mar. 1517/1 It is, perhaps, too complimentary to call them Utopians, they ought rather to be called dys-topians, or caco-topians. What is commonly called Utopian is something too good to be practicable; but what they appear to favour is too bad to be practicable." Other examples given in the OED include:
1952 NEGLEY & PATRICK Quest for Utopia xvii. 298 The Mundus Alter et Idem [of Joseph Hall] is...the opposite of eutopia, the ideal society: it is a dystopia, if it is permissible to coin a word. 1962 C. WALSH From Utopia to Nightmare 11 The 'dystopia' or 'inverted utopia'. Ibid. 12 Stories...that seemed in their dystopian way to be saying something important. Ibid. ii. 27 A strand of utopianism or dystopianism. 1967 Listener 5 Jan. 22 The modern classics Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four are dystopias. They describe not a world we should like to live in, but one we must be sure to avoid. 1968 New Scientist 11 July 96/3 It is a pleasant change to read some hope for our future is trevor ingram ... I fear that our real future is more likely to be dystopian.
- See also Michael S. Roth, "A Dystopia of the Spirit" 230ff., Chap. 15 in Jörn Rüsen, Michael Fehr, and Thomas Rieger, eds., Thinking Utopia, Google Books Preview, n.d., Web, 22 May 2009.
- Mary Ellen Snodgrass, Encyclopedia of Utopian Literature, ABC-Clio Literary Companion Ser. (Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio Inc, 1995) xii. ISBN 0-87436-757-3 (10). ISBN 978-0-87436-757-7 (13).
- "Science fiction", Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica Online, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2009, Web, 22 May 2009.
- William Matter, "On Brave New World" 95, in Eric S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds., No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction. ISBN 0-8093-1113-5.
- S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds., No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction. ISBN 0-8093-1113-5.
- William Matter, "On Brave New World" 94, in Eric S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds., No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction. ISBN 0-8093-1113-5.
- Margaret Atwood, "The Handmaid's Tale", McClelland and Stewart, 1985. ISBN 0-7710-0813-9.
- Gorman Beauchamp, "Zamiatin's We" 70, in Eric S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds., No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction. ISBN 0-8093-1113-5.
- "Avatism and Utopia" 4, in Eric S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds., No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction.ISBN 0-8093-1113-5.
- Self, W. (2002) p. V of introduction to Hoban, R. (2002) Riddley Walker. Bloomsbury, London.
- William Steinhoff, "Utopia Reconsidered: Comments on 1984" 153, in Eric S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds., No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction. ISBN 0-8093-1113-5.
- William Steinhoff, "Utopia Reconsidered: Comments on 1984" 147, in Eric S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds., No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction. ISBN 0-8093-1113-5.
- "Utopia", The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed., 2004, Dictionary.com, Web, 11 Feb. 2007.
- Jane Donawerth, "Genre Blending and the Critical Dystopia", in Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination, ed. Raffaella Baccolini and Tom Moylan (New York: Routledge, 2003).
- Howard P. Segal, "Vonnegut's Player Piano: An Ambiguous Technological Dystopia," 163 in Eric S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds., No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction. ISBN 0-8093-1113-5.
- William Matter, "On Brave New World" 98, in Eric S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds., No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction. ISBN 0-8093-1113-5.
- 1984, Part 2, chapter 9
- Ferretti, Vittorio: Back to Ptolemaism - To Protect the Human Individual from Abuses of Social Constructs. Kindle eBook and Paperback. 2012.
- Stableford, Brian (1993). "Dystopias". In John Clute & Peter Nicholls (eds.). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2nd edition ed.). Orbit, London. pp. 360–362. ISBN 1-85723-124-4.
- Gorman Beauchamp, "Zamiatin's We" 62–63, in Eric S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds., No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction. ISBN 0-8093-1113-5.
- Gorman Beauchamp, "Zamiatin's We" 57, in Eric S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds., No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction. ISBN 0-8093-1113-5.
- John Clute and Peter Nicholls, "Dystopia", The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1995) 361. ISBN 0-312-13486-X.
|Look up dystopia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|