What is dystopia? A blog post I read by John Joseph Adams defines dystopia with the following commentary: In a dystopian story, society itself is typically the antagonist; it is society that is actively working against the protagonist’s aims and desires. This oppression frequently is enacted by a totalitarian or authoritarian government, resulting in the loss of civil liberties and untenable living conditions, caused by any number of circumstances, such as world overpopulation, laws controlling a person’s sexual or reproductive freedom, and living under constant surveillance.
With the release of the trailer for Catching Fire I am reminded of why I refuse to see the movies. I can already tell it's going to deviate from the book enough that I'm not going to enjoy it. But some people who enjoyed the books may like seeing the movie. But I'm also intrigued. What is our fascination with dystopian society? It seems to have become a popular trend these days.
Dystopia is nothing new. Farenheit 451, 1984, and A Handmaid's Tale are also good examples of dystopian literature. What is it that fascinates us about these dark and twisted views of our future landscape? What is it that inspires us to try to understand the characters that populate these realms?
Perhaps it's our own fear of the unknown. Will our world be like these cold and bleak landscapes when the future comes? What would our world be like? Perhaps we're trying to get a glimpse into the darkness of our own souls, and that we desire to see the light come out in the victory of the characters in the end over their dystopian world.
I don't know what is so fascinating about dystopian literature. I just know I enjoy it. And one day I may try my hand at writing it again.