Utopia Vs. Dystopia

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Try to envision a world that is peaceful all of the time, and, for lack of a better word, perfect, in every sense imaginable; a civilization free from oppression or discrimination, where everything is as it should be. The picture in your mind is that of a utopia, defined by dictionary.com as "A perfect place, especially in its social, political, and moral aspects."� Almost every word has an antonym, and utopia is no exception; dystopia is the direct antithesis of utopia, they almost cancel each other out (it almost takes doublethink to comprehend) with equal opposition. Dystopian societies are in constant peril, and suffer in an effort to become more perfect. Examples of dystopian society would be those of, and similar to, totalitarian states, or those under extreme dictatorships. The dictionary.com definition for dystopia states that it is "A place or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror."�

It takes quite the author to accept the formidable challenges presented when writing a utopian novel (that is, one that focuses on a utopian society), which are scarce in comparison to their opposing cousin. Some utopian novels become popular, such as Looking Backward, by Edward Bellamy. Yet, simply put, if everything is perfect, everything is boring. Attention can rarely be attracted to something that has no problems or major conflicts, as any modern journalist can tell you. People would rather read about the government brainwashing citizens, political conspiring, and altered history, than about some world where everything is going great.

In 1984, "one of the most famous dystopias ever written,"�(Schellenberg, 1) George Orwell portrays an utterly dystopian "upper class."� For the most part, the proles' lives remain unchanged from before the Revolution, because they do not matter to the Party, but therein lays...