Skip to main content

Senior Research Paper: Literature: Home

Dystopian Literature

(A direct quote from Dystopias: Definition and Characteristics, on the Read, Write, Think website of the National Counci of Teachers of English)

Dystopias: Definition and Characteristics 

Utopia: A place, state, or condition that is ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions. 

Dystopia: A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopias, through an exaggerated worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system. 

Characteristics of a Dystopian Society 

• Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society. 

• Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted. 

• A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society. 

• Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance. 

• Citizens have a fear of the outside world. 

• Citizens live in a dehumanized state. 

• The natural world is banished and distrusted. 

• Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and dissent are bad. 

• The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world.


African American Literature

Western/Cowboy Literature