Dystopian Literature is a relatively new and upcoming genre, so much so that its definition is still widely debated. Though the common factors that pertain to dystopias in most of their use throughout literature portray them as societies with overbearing and oppressive governments, that still doesn’t completely define a dystopia. A dystopian society can be described as one where conditions are incredibly bad and unpleasant for the inhabitants, whether due to an oppressive government, degrading environmental conditions, etc, but the type of dystopia portrayed can often be influence by the genre of the book. A sci-fi style dystopia be one where living condition on Earth are becoming less and less inhabitable due to some sort of environmental degradation, whereas a romantic style dystopia may put two lovers up against a powerful government type figure (such as in The Hunger Games). The concept of dystopia is constantly adapting, but as more dystopian literature emerges, the genre becomes more defined.
The genre as a whole has become increasingly popular among young adults, but why exactly is somewhat unclear. Dystopias tend to unveil or poke at some sort of pressing issue in a current society, making people see how pressing and important an issue really is. So is the reason for a rise in young adult dystopias meant to show young people (the future leaders of our world) the prominent issues at hand? Even if they don’t quite get it when they first read it, kids will subliminally absorb the meaning behind a dystopian style book. They will be able to see that this imagined place has problems and the problems with it are usually front and center through the duration of the story. After picking up on these issues, the only thing left for young adults to do is apply them. The story of a dystopia is just a façade covering the ever-present issues that impact a society and dystopias make these issues clear, such that when the readers of these novels grow up to be adults, they will ideally have at some point considered, “What needs to be done to remedy these problems.”