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We and are often cited as classic dystopian fictions, along with Aldous Huxley's Brave New World , which, contrary to popular belief, has a somewhat different purpose and object of attack than the previously mentioned novels. Huxley's Brave New World has as its target representations of a blind faith in the idea of social and technological progress.
In contrast to dystopian novels like Huxley's and Orwell's, however, Bradbury's Fahrenheit does not picture villainous dictators like Orwell's O'Brien or corrupt philosopher-kings like Huxley's Mustapha Mond , although Bradbury's Captain Beatty shares a slight similarity to Mustapha Mond. The crucial difference is that Bradbury's novel does not focus on a ruling elite nor does it portray a higher society, but rather, it portrays the means of oppression and regimentation through the life of an uneducated and complacent, though an ultimately honest and virtuous, working-class hero Montag.
Dystopian Literature: Selected full-text books and articles
In contrast, Orwell and Huxley choose to portray the lives of petty bureaucrats Winston Smith and Bernard Marx, respectively , whose alienated lives share similarities to the literary characters of author Franz Kafka Nonetheless, points of similarity exist between these works. All three imagine a technocratic social order maintained through oppression and regimentation and by the complete effacement of the individual.
All these authors envision a populace distracted by the pursuit of explicit images, which has the effect of creating politically enervated individuals. Huxley envisions a World State in which war has been eradicated in order to achieve social stability; Bradbury and Orwell imagine that war itself achieves the same end — by keeping the populace cowering in fear of an enemy attack, whether the enemy is real or not.
The war maintains the status quo because any change in leaders may topple the defense structure. Orwell and Bradbury imagine the political usefulness of the anesthetization of experience: All experiences become form without substance. The populace is not able to comprehend that all they do is significant and has meaning Likewise, Bradbury and Huxley imagine the use of chemical sedatives and tranquilizers as a means of compensating for an individual's alienated existence.
More importantly, all three authors imagine a technocratic social order accomplished through the suppression of books — that is, through censorship. However, despite their similarities, you can also draw a crucial distinction between these books.
If the failure of the proles citizens of the lowest class; workers reveals Orwell's despair at the British working-class political consciousness, and if Mustapha Mond reveals Huxley's cynical view of the intellectual, Guy Montag's personal victory over the government system represents American optimism. The dystopian setting is brought about by technology and by higher authorities.
As technology increases, the use for human beings in the work force decreases leaving an overwhelming amount of depression among humans. Therefore, a way to continue the production of technological findings is by bringing up humans from day one to accept their unhappiness as normal, by convincing people to accept the fact that they are born to do a specific job. In literature there is a sociological concept known as the dystopian society.
These societies are often encountered in science fiction, as dystopia is usually thought to be concerned with the future. The dystopian society has many different characteristics, concerning the different aspects of a traditional society, but it is always based on totalitarianism or authoritarianism. Repression, lack of individual freedom, limitation of thought, total social control and manipulation, the use of technology to replace biological process, limitations of access to information and nature, creativity and emotions are also commonly depicted in dystopian works:.
If utopian societies are typically designed to enable the maximum fulfillment of individual human potential, dystopian societies impose oppressive conditions that interfere with that fulfillment. These oppressive conditions are usually extensions or exaggerations of conditions that already exist in the real world, allowing the dystopian text to critique real-world situations by placing them within the defamiliarizing context of an extreme functional society Booker and Thomas There are many characteristics in a dystopian society.
This research paper is going to focus on four major characteristics of a dystopian society; these are the control of citizens, the use of technology, the concept of individuality and the constant entertainment provided by the state:. Citizens are rigidly controlled: In dystopian societies, people are not allowed freedom of thought and their movement is strictly limited or impeded.
Conditioning: In dystopian societies, the use of psychological conditioning as a tool of official power is widely used. Through conditioning, people are brain washed and convinced to accept everything as normal and functional in order to keep the social stability working. Control of feelings and emotions: On the other hand, feelings and emotions are strictly controlled by the state too.
Aldous Huxley - Dystopian Author
Priest depicts this dystopian characteristic by saying that:. This was also true for the elimination of the feeling of love and other feelings, and the right to make their own decisions. All of those things were taken away from them without them realizing it.
Thus, a perfect society was created for their own convenience, but at the same it also made them blind and stupid. It was a utopia for those who were blind, but a dystopia for those who understood and cared Censorship includes controlling information by, both eliminating undesirable information, as well as controlling all of the information that a person receives. In the dystopian state, however, social control generally has the upper hand.
People are also denied the right of being informed, for instance, ancient art is hidden; they do not have access to this kind of information. In dystopian societies, people are hidden from the existence of god, of mothers and fathers, of natural and biological processes such as reproduction and creation; in other words, they are hidden the past and history:. A dystopian society, like that of most traditional utopias, has as its ideal a condition of eternal and static stability.
Once perfection of whatever kind is achieved, change automatically becomes a threat- and the problem with the past is that, simply by showing that things were once different, it demonstrates that change is at least possible. Technology replaces nature: Often, dystopian works analyze the concept of technology going too far.
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For example, dystopian societies replace actual nature with a replicated environment. This distorts the views of citizens of the dystopia by having them trust or rely on technology. Technology is also used as a means to control society. One of the requirements to maintain this functional society working is the elimination of individuality. Uniformity is assured, the line of the private, the individual and the public is destroyed. For example, the dystopian citizens wear uniforms, reinforcing the sense that people are types rather than distinct individuals, enhancing the fact that the individual is merely part of the social machine Ferns This is just one example of how dystopian societies do whatever necessary for maintaining social stability, in this case even fomenting people to lose any kind of personal identity, as this is not convenient for the One state purposes.
Constant entertainment: In order to keep people from considering their circumstance and what may be missing in the society, they are instead provided with distractions that help to keep them away form dealing with the reality of their situation. As Bookers and Thomas stated,.
Individuals spend most of their time in the pursuit of instant happiness through the use of drugs, and mind-numbing multisensory entertainments, that are continually broadcast to keep the minds and senses of the citizenry occupied at all times In Brave New World society, contemporary fears of totalitarian, authoritarian and oppressive ideology; together with uncontrolled advances in technology and science have as a result an extremely high cost for humankind, who lives in an unhealthy and unnatural environment.
9 of the Best Dystopian Novels Out There | Read It Forward
Gottlieb states that:. If we begin with Brave New World, it becomes obvious that each dystopian society contains within it seeds of a utopian dream. In the book, this control can be seen through the application of 3 different techniques: conditioning, control of feelings and emotions and censorship. In the novel, it can be seen how another kinds of conditioning are applied to people from the very beginning, that is to say, since children are raised in laboratories:.
Hot tunnels alternated with cool tunnels. Anthony is an associate instructor of English at Maryville University, in St. Bush Clark Triplett and John J. Soares About the Book Dystopian fiction captivates us by depicting future worlds at once eerily similar and shockingly foreign to our own. Edited by John J.