Utopia and dystopia fiction

A2 English literature

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What are they?

  • The word utopia resembles the greek words 'no place', 'outopos', 'eutopos','good place'
  • In utopian fiction it is the creation of an ideal world
  • Dystopian fiction is the creation of a nightmare world
  • Many novels combine both often as a metaphor for the different directions humanity can take in its choices
  • It can be post apocalyptic, sci-fi or be integrated with other themes e.g. 1984-George Orwell, Animal Farm-George Orwell, The handmaids tale-Magaret Wood
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Themes within utopia and dystopia

  • A totalitarian society comes up in dystopia a lot. 
  • Where by there is a politcal system that recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible.
  • In utopia communism may be a relevant theme
  • Communism is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless and stateless soical order structured upon common order.
  • Also there is utopian socialism  where in a utopian world there is common ownership, democratic control by all social organization.
  • In dystopia there is most often dicatorship and democracy in utopia
  • In dystopia there can be capitalism where by there is an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods.
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