The Draw of Dystopian Fiction

The world of literature is currently experiencing a wonderful resurgence of dystopian fiction. Many classic novels are set against futuristic new world orders, such as 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale and A Wrinkle in Time, but given our current awareness of developing technologies, social media and government investigation, writers are finding themselves with endless new scope for gripping dystopian fiction that could one day become our reality. Many feel we are getting closer and closer to a world not dissimilar to that of 1984. The media is filled with tales of surveillance and spies –  a total lack of privacy, and crossed with the instability of politics, the economy and society in general, our future is living up to be a bit of a scary place. Where will it go? The possibility of that is perfect for writers, and those with social awareness and a vivid imagination are coming up absolutely gripping novels that engage the reader and leave them dwelling on the future for days afterwards. Two of the most obvious examples of modern dystopian fiction would be the Hunger Games and the Divergent trilogies. Both have been adapted into films and are set in the remains of what used to be North America. Divergent sees its society divided into five factions, depending on the personality type of each individual. It is organised and overly structured, terrifying and bound to implode. Dystopian novels usually see some sort of uprising from rebellious protagonists who don’t want to be controlled. The plots play highly on fear, a lack of freedom and the forbidding of unique thought. It is in human nature to fight back against the controlling acts of others, and this makes for some fantastic fiction! I’m not sure about others, but for me, dystopia is like the big red button… read more →