All posts tagged illusion

While dystopias can contain various characteristics that make them what they are, there are a couple aspects that fascinate me. One aspect in particular that catches my attention is the fact that many authors of dystopian novels criticize a certain type of political system, a norm of a society, or a current trend that their society is leaning towards (“Dystopias”). Today, many judge people based on looks and what they see fit as being pretty. In Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, he criticizes this aspect of society by making the citizens of the dystopia go through a transformation (plastic surgery) to make themselves all pretty. They do not even get to have a choice about what they look like; the government decides everything for them. In this novel, society holds one, single definition of what pretty is and pressures everyone into becoming the picture of the definition. Westerfeld takes the novel to an extreme. He relays the idea that if some of us keep encouraging plastic surgery and being “perfect,” they will never achieve perfection. We cannot keep moving towards surgery and every available option to “fix” us; we are perfect in our own way. In another part of the novel, Westerfeld criticizes the world with his use of the Rusties. These people are more concerned with making a profit off of anything they can rather than caring for the environment or negative consequences. Westerfeld stressed the problems in our world today that need to be fixed, and we should try to not head toward these outcomes.

In this photo, a beautiful girl is about to go through plastic surgery most likely because she wants to fulfill society’s definition of pretty.

Another aspect of a dystopia that particularly interests me is that a dystopia is an illusion of a perfect world. The surgeries that are supposed to make the citizens “perfect” actually cause a problem. Many in Uglies don’t see the problem with having the surgery because they don’t know anything outside of their society. The citizens are told what is “right,” but that is not necessarily what is right. It can connect with the world today because many people are attempting to transform themselves for various reasons, and I need to find out why. Uglies consists of an illusion of a perfect society and criticizes many aspects of society, making it one of my favorite dystopian novels.


Works Cited

“Dystopias: Definition and Characteristics.” ReadWriteThink. NCTE/IRA, 2006,      nCharacteristics.pdf. Accessed 21 May 2017.

A dystopia can encompass various ideas and multiple aspects of society, which contribute to the creation of an imagined universe where nightmares become reality. In order to criticize a certain aspect of society, authors create dystopias “through an exaggerated worst-case scenario” (“Dystopias”). In many dystopias, the leaders, or those in power, use propaganda to control the citizens. These rulers restrict freedom and information from their citizens. In The Hunger Games and in 1984, the government controlled all aspects of life and kept important information about their nation from civilians. One of the main characteristics of a dystopia is the concept of fear. People live in fear of the government and live in fear of changing any aspect of life. A dystopia is “an illusion of a perfect utopian world” (“Dystopias”). The citizens of a dystopian nation don’t know anything different from their respective dystopia, so they go along with the government, living in a dehumanized state.

watching you

Very often in dystopian literature, scientific innovation has led to the demise of an older society and the creation of a dystopian one. In The Giver, the government developed science to control how people think and what they see. Dystopian literature mixed with science fiction creates a world in the past or in the future in which something bad happened, so the government took over with scientific innovation. Suzanne Collins created Panem to reflect how the government has developed in science and technology in hundreds of years following the present generation. The leaders in The Hunger Games were able to create dogs from deceased tributes to eat those that remained alive. This can only happen in a dystopia affected by science.

When combined with Young Adult literature, the dystopia genre shifts to incorporate a protagonist that challenges the dystopian world he or she lives in. This character is meant to connect with young adults, rebuilding the community and making a better world for the citizens to live in as well as the readers to live in.


Works Cited

“Dystopias: Definition and Characteristics.” ReadWriteThink. NCTE/IRA, 2006, Accessed 21 May 2017.