Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: Dystopias

The word “Utopia” had two meanings.  Firstly, “a perfect place,” and secondly, “no place.”  As in, no place could ever be perfect.  Anyone who’s read the novella by Sir Thomas Moore (or has been around enough) knows that Utopia was never really as perfect as it was supposed to be, and from that has sprung, over time, a string of “Dystopia” novels.  Some of them you had to read in high school, like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and Brave New World.  Right now they’re all over the place in the YA market, though, because Dystopia and fantasy kind of go hand in hand in glove.

Earlier Dystopian novels were all about losing something vital from the human existence: God, family, love, literature, etc.  A society where the values have shifted so much that it takes an outsider from the society to show them what they’re missing.  What’s more common these days is something that’s intended to be for the greater good going terribly wrong—something that makes everybody better, everybody nicer, everybody more equal, where the solution is just as bad or worse than the original problem.

I haven’t read a lot of the Dystopic books on the market right now… they’re getting a LOT of big hype, though.  What have you read?  Do you like the trend, or no?

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About Lisa Asanuma

Lisa is a professional freelance writer and editor, along with a bookbinder and knitting obsessee. Lisa has a passion for YA literature (inside her passion for literature in general) and is currently working on her first novel. View all posts by Lisa Asanuma

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