noun. an imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic.
Now, you’re all familiar with the concept of this blog, if you haven’t been before.
Dystopia has always been one of my favorite genres, along with science-fiction and fantasy. Even before knowing its definition or the word itself, I’ve always been fascinated by it, in the form of both movies and books, because it’s interesting to get to know many new worlds and also imagine what I’d do if I lived in that state. Throughout the years I started to realize, that dystopia isn’t really something “imaginary” or “fictional“. The more I became acquainted with new works in this genre, the more I saw similarities in those worlds and our reality. Of course there’s a big portion of hyperbole in them, but it’s made for a great purpose, so that people would understand life better through these exaggerations. But mostly people don’t see any connections, they read or watch these and refer to them as just fantasy. While what is going on in our lives, especially nowadays, could be another great dystopian novel or film.
When the quarantine just started, and I went out for some groceries for the first time, it was literally like a post-apocalyptic movie, something I always loved watching and always thought, “what if our world looks like this one day“. And it actually did for a while. Of course there were no zombies, or cyborg killers, but imagine this scenery: a gloomy weather and fog, empty streets, almost no cars and people around, the few people, that were quickly rushing somewhere, were all in masks, all the shops were closed, and there was a deadly silence in the air, just the sound of wind. Not gonna lie, it looked cool. For the first time I actually felt the presence of my favorite genre in real life and I felt like a protagonist in my own movie. And I think that was the turning point, when many people started to realize, that our world looks like a movie, and, to be fair, not a good and light one. I saw many people discussing and comparing what’s going on in our lives with a movie or book, and it felt relatable.
Now, when I watch the news, or read some conspiracy theories with solid proofs, that could in fact be true, I kind of don’t believe that it all happens in our world, because it doesn’t feel real at all. I thought that quarantine, and spending more time alone, will help people self-develop, understand life and themselves better, that people will be reborn like a phoenix and change for the better. Some did (bananas: a huge shoutout to everyone who understood that reference). However the rest of the world seems to go mad. All the protests, all the violence, which most of the time are truly pointless, like people destroying statues of famous people in “BLM” movements, writing “racist fish” on the statue of Little Mermaid in Denmark, falsely accusing others, getting offended from a single word or syllable, and so much more. I already talked about many of these topics in the previous blogs, so I won’t address them again. What happens in my country is a whole other kind of “divine comedy“: number of cases going up, instead of decreasing, the government doing absolutely nothing about it, making up new stupid rules, telling lies and false statements… Then you turn the channel to international news: people building up 5G towers, which is harmful, and it already killed about 300 elephants and many other animals even without being activated (no, I’m not conservative or uneducated, as people think of those, who believe in this kind of things. I just see and understand the actual consequences of it), creating vaccines, God knows how dangerous, the rumors of possible chip implants, increase of violence, possible wars in different countries, an upcoming meteor, new wave of corona, new unknown types of viruses… You watch all this and don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. And yes, I do believe in most of these conspiracies, because what happens in our world isn’t just “random” or “accidental“. There’s so much that we don’t know about. I also don’t know what’s true and what’s not, but I strongly assume that each and every one of these theories has the actual possibility of being true, and my mind is open for any kind of new information or possibility. Because you never know what can happen, nothing is permanent and secure in this world. If a year ago someone told you, that in six months all institutions, organizations and borders would be closed, people’d have to stay home for months, wear a mask, have and id and a permission paper to go for groceries or take out the trash, would you believe in it? I know I wouldn’t. So now, I believe that people might get chip implanted or something else, even if it sounds unrealistic and stupid for now. And if all those theories turn out to be true, we’re really screwed up.
So, do you still think that dystopia is purely fictional? Next time you watch a movie, instead of admiring the good acting or special effects, try to dive deeper into the hidden meaning of it. Try to see it as a metaphor for the things that happen in real life. I always said, that fantasy and science fiction show us the reality way better, than any other dramas based on true stories. When we want to see something well, we use a magnifying glass, and dystopia is that glass. Whenever I discuss the situation and conditions of our world, I always quote and bring examples from those works, because if you pay more attention, you’ll start to notice the similarities. For example people exchanging real life interactions with virtual one, tv-s becoming a constant member of families, the dictatorship of governments in disguise of freedom and equality, minorities taking over the world, and making everyone bow to them, people being separated more and more and being taught to hate each other and fight with each other, just because someone has decided that they belong to different groups, totally unnecessary violence and abuse, people being afraid of stating their opinions or protesting if it doesn’t coincide with the majority, some people acting like actual hypnotized zombies: you talk to them, and they look blankly at you and seem not to understand a single word you say…I can list these things for hours, and you wouldn’t know, if I’m talking about a specific book/movie or our reality. That’s how bad things are in the world, that you can’t differentiate between a fictional and real one.
I won’t say, that looking differently at dystopia will somehow help you survive or change the world. Maybe it will to some extent, because now at least you’ll have an idea of what’s going on, and how everything works. Forewarned is forearmed. You’ll be more beware and attentive, especially before considering something important like being vaccinated or chip implanted. Never underestimate the true meaning of any fantasy, science fiction or dystopian work. Maybe they are some kind of a guide for us, to be prepared or at least be aware of things that might happen or already happen.
So, if you’re a fan of the genre, or want to see our world in its true colors, here’s a small list of literature, of some of the good dystopian books. I especially value the ones, written many years ago, in early 90s. How could writers describe something they’d never seen or even heard before so perfectly? I think these authors have surpassed the fortune tellers or psychics with their truthful predictions of future. Some of these novels also have movie adaptations, so you can check those out as well. And let’s hope that the dystopian genre will stay where it was initially supposed to be, in the fictional world and stop spreading to ours.
1. R. Bradbury-Fahrenheit 451
2. R. Bradbury-Martian Chronicles
3. R. Bradbury- The Pedestrian
4. G. Orwell-1984
5. G. Orwell-Animal Farm
6. S. Collins- Hunger Games (trilogy)
7. V. Roth-Divergent (trilogy)
8. J. Dashner-Maze Runner (trilogy)
9. L. Lowry- The Giver
10. J. DuPrau- The City of Ember (series)