After reading several chapters of The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature, I am fairly familiar with the common definition of “Dystopia”. However, I find that my definition of Dystopia might be different from that of someone else. In my lifetime, I feel that I’ve seen and heard a good bit about what dystopias are, whether its been through reading, or through seeing movies and TV Shows. I’d say that dystopia defines a futuristic place where common fears come alive and life is not good. I think dystopias are the embodiment of our current human fears, whether it may be the concepts and ideas that arise in 1984 or those that appear in The Hunger Games. I think that in this modern day and age, with all of the technology that we have and all of the bad things that keep happening around the world, people have particular fears about what the future is to bring.
For example, my father, having grown up and recognizing all that technology has brought upon the human race, is fearful that technology and robots might take over the world someday. While I, on the other hand, have grown up with technology always by my side, have little to no fear that that might happen. I believe that different generations of the human race have different definitions of dystopias because I think that each generation has a fairly common fear of what the future is to bring. Another common dystopia theme of this day and age is the zombie apocalypse theme. While it seems highly unrealistic, people seem to fear that one day, some sickness (something like Zika for example) is going to overtake the entire human race except for some tiny percent that will survive the disease and will have to learn to live in the world without 99% of the current human population. This is one of the reasons why combining dystopia with Young Adult literature changes the genre quite a bit. It changes things because the young adults of this era worry about different things than the young adults of the 1990s. This allows for authors to focus in on the particular fears of this generation and this era when writing dystopian novels. Ultimately, everyone has different definitions of dystopia; but altogether, I’d say that dystopia is the embodiment of our worst fears for what might come in the future.