As you may be aware, dystopian novels, films, games and TV series have been around for a long time. However, recently one novel has caught the public eye, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. A few retailers were caught unaware by the rapid surge for the novel after Donald Trump’s advisor, Kellyanne Conway used the phrase ‘alternative facts’.
So, why the sudden interest? Could it be a comparison to reality? The use of ‘alternative facts’ could be taking us into dystopian fiction, but this is reality. If dystopian fiction can be thought of as possible and relatable to reality in 2017, then we have a problem.
Dystopian fiction gives writers the ability to depict an alternative future, an unpleasant and/or bad future. Some pieces of fiction, have shown that a great catastrophe has caused the world to be warped and become dystopian. A possible nuclear war or invasion has caused humanity to retreat and guard against the oncoming threat and create a totalitarian government to ‘protect’ the people.
The idea of us and them, using fear to create fissures that divide us and spread hate, these tactics are used to keep the people in check. The tactic seems to be being used in modern politics to increase a sense of national pride, and to make those not of one’s nation, the enemy.
Dystopian worlds are created during humanities decline, are we in decline? How can we tell? Will the human race come together and embrace one another? I’m not sure but it might take a catastrophe to show us that is the only way to live. Rich or poor, the only way to root out hate is to open your mind and take in other people’s world views, no matter how much you may disagree. The only way to help open one’s mind is to offer them a different viewpoint.
Our obsession with dystopian futures may be down to our own fears. We don’t want the world to become a dystopian nightmare. The comparison’s and rise of hate-speak may be awakening those fears and causing us to root out possible solutions.
Writers have been describing different dystopian worlds for quite some time, they can be very different: an underwater city with a DNA altering drug addiction, a floating sky ruled by an overlord who roots out protest with fear and death or an army of mindless giants, intent on devouring all of humanity. These are just a few examples of the scope dystopian stories can take. But they all have a few similar elements, that society is in decline, humanity is destroying itself.
The few who try to help fix things are known as radical, those who can think outside the box and challenge beliefs that have be ingrained into those who are oppressed. Dystopian fiction can quite easily become reality. That fear could be the reason that some of us have taken the time to learn more about dystopian creations.