Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Brave New World: Dystopian Fiction and Film

Perhaps you may have noticed the tremendous amount of post-apocalyptic books, movies, and video games available. Why the upsurge in these depressing views of the future? Theories range from the inundation of information in our lives, 24 hours a day from around the globe, to our increasingly public digital lives, now available to anyone, including the government, on the internet. Pessimistically, the world is going to implode, explode, or become a mass experiment by some government or another.

Whatever the cause for these views, the end result of this media trend is not necessarily negative. Teens report feeling more aware of how good they really have it: iPods, Facebook, and family, but also medicine, law, and SHOWERS. Another upside to any apocalypse paranoia is an excuse to start learning old fashioned skills like sewing, canning, and survivalism.

The name for this genre, Dystopia, comes from Thomas More's use of Utopia, meaning nowhere in Latin, and the Latin prefix dys, meaning bad. If you want to escape the relative calm and stability of the present, check out these dystopian offerings:

1984,by George Orwell
Anthem, by Ayn Rand
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
Shades of Gray, by Jasper Fforde

Blade Runner
Children of Men
A Clockwork Orange
I am Legend
Mad Max
Minority Report

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