Dystopian literature consists of many books that are very dissimilar but at the same time very alike; some examples include The Hunger Games, Gulliver’s Travels, 1984, or Matched. These books were all published in vastly different time periods yet they all depict a dystopian future with varying qualities. It would be interesting to determine if there were any parallels between the books and the time period in which they were published. The novels could be based on the atmosphere of that time, and the negative attributes of society are reflected in the dystopia.
Orwell’s 1984 was published in 1949, at the start of the Cold War. Orwell wrote the political novel to warn against totalitarianism and the upcoming rise of communism. He was concerned about the possibility of technology being used by the government to monitor the activities of its citizens; this concern is shown by the Party’s ultimate and unyielding control. The Party even manipulates history to be aligned with their needs, a characteristic found in today’s society with biased “historical” texts. Today, this book is still mildly popular and can still be relevant as a warning about the government and the future.
Whereas Matched and The Hunger Games appeal to a younger audience, they are still novels containing concern for an authoritarian government. The Capitol’s brainwashing propaganda, President Snow himself, certain attitude towards life partners in Matched, and censorship are just some similarities these books have with reality today.
Evidently, there are many more connections between historical and present events and the characters and plots of the dystopian books. Authors such as Orwell are using their novels to depict a dystopian future to caution society about negative qualities and to prevent catastrophes. Conducting more in depth research about specific novels and certain time periods will hopefully show how the reality affects the characters and
plots of dystopian books.
- Flaneur. “1984 – George Orwell.” 2013. JPEG file.
- SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on 1984.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2007. Accessed 18 Feb. 2017.
- Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic, 2008. New York.
- Condie, Allie. Matched. Penguin Group, 2010, New York.