What exactly is the Dystopia genre? It’s a genre which manifests a world in the future which focuses on society and how they have challenged ways in politics, science, religion or technology. It’s the complete opposite of Utopia, which is an ideal world we see as to live in.
I, as a young reader have become enlightened to this futuristic genre that has set aside from Science Fiction. I believe that dystopia is the perfect setting and lifestyle that we as a generation are happily walking into without the acknowledgement. It may seem like the little things first, from the invention of the internet and little message groups you joined so often on forums, or sources like MySpace (2003) checking out bands and sharing your profiles. Our social media insight has risen over the past 10 years, to create this way of connecting; sharing, viewing and searching become easier and well-known interaction among young people. We take it for granted these days, it’s just a way of sharing our weekends, searching through others profiles, who’s with whom and what they look like. Thanks to Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006) which our most used social media applications and sites to date.
The writers of the dystopian genre have manifested worlds which mirror our own. ‘Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (2005)’ creates this community which believes you are only pretty when you turn 16 and under-go cosmetic surgery, this shows how social media creates a version of yourself that you want to be. In their society they believe their ranks are everything, what their feeds are, what stories they have revealed and how high they can get. It’s much like how many views you can gather on YouTube (2005) or how many likes on a post on Facebook. It creates a world where everyone is someone else, their ideal person with no emotions over anything that they can do.
‘The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2008)’ a well-known adaptation has an incredible social media platform. By using TV as a source of entertainment creating a death-ring as an arena and placing 24 children ‘tributes’ into the arena to fight for survival. The world Collins has created is set within the future, in Panem. Within’ the Games the tributes must connect with the audience in order to grab the sponsor’s attention to send them medication, food or survival tools to help them survive the games. It uses so many ways to create a new world which uses social media, the main aspect being playing a game in order to win over society to help them survive.
‘Delirium by Lauren Oliver (2011)’ is another dystopian novel which is a world created around the idea that love is a disease which can only be found in people who have not had the procedure to remove ‘the deliria’. Society is sectioned off by the idea of love where partners are created by a test which chooses for you depending on your own results. However, would that actually ever work? Love happens to anyone, it’s a journey around society coming against fears which they are blocked from. Where the internet is watched, sites are blocked and they are sheltered from the real meaning of what love is.
There are many more clear examples out there in the world, from books to television shows to films. Like Doctor Who (1963), The Twilight Zone (1959) and Falling Skies (2011) to well-known blockbuster films such as The Island (2005), Elysium (2013) and The Matrix (1999). We live in a generation where everything is centred on technology. Who say’s we won’t turn into that society who can click their fingers and their profiles show up in front of their eyes, or touching walls to check your daily feed? We have progressed immensely over the past decade through technology and we will enter many more decades to even brighter and scarier society driven sources. We will look back in years to come and realize what was and what now is.
Lydia S Jones