A dystopic future
The following are four indications of dyspic books that marked the literature of the genre.
If a “Utopia” is like a dream of a good and fair future, a “Dystopia” is the opposite: a nightmare, a dark and bad future…
4) Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, 1931.
It’s about a perfect world, without suffering. Their physical and moral perfect beings have only pleasures. One example is sex at will without worries about reproduction — this “detail” is in charge of artificial wombs made for this, and another example is a happiness pill called “Soma”. However, in the margin of the perfect society are the excluded beings of the real world. The plot is based on a man who is taken from the real world and placed in the “perfect” world.
It’s something like the Matrix of the film, which is also about a perfect dystopic future at the expense of the real world.
3) Clockwork Orange, 1962, Anthony Burgess.
The protagonist is a young man named Alex, leader of a gang of troublemakers in a futuristic England. This gang practices Ultraviolence, with very heavy scenes of fights, beatings, assaults, milk with drugs, sexual violence and everything bad that anyone can do.
When Alex is arrested, he goes through a psychiatric treatment, like a brainwashing, that eliminates from him all the instinct of violence. But when he returns to society, he is defenseless. It is his turn to be beaten and tortured by rivals, former colleagues and former victims.
The gang uses a slang invented by the author, who was fascinated by languages and how gangs used it.
The name is because an orange unnatural, but mechanical, is something very weird. It’s like the natural Alex on the outside, but completely different from the inside. What is correct, keeping the boy’s aggressive nature or turning him into an unwilling zombie?
The book was the basis of the film of the same name, in 1971, by Stanley Kubrick — one of the classics of modern cinema.
Next, two books of the great English author George Orwell.
2) Animal Farm, 1945, by George Orwell.
It’s about an animal revolution on a farm. One of the pigs, the old Major, has a revelation of a better world, led by animals rather than human. Soon after, Major dies, but two of the other pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, lead the successful revolution, expelling human beings.
In the beginning it was good, but in time, Napoleon expelled (and difamed) Snowball, the animals continue to work as they always did before, and nothing had changed for them, except for the pigs who were more and more alike to humans. The animals were also in constant alert against the threat of human beings, which justified that the most capable, the pigs, would concentrate more and more power.
There are lots of iconic phrases, such as:
- Four paws good, two paws bad
- All animals are equal
When pigs began to assume the features of human beings, they changed the phrases:
- Four paws good, two paws even better
- All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
At the end of the book, pigs live in the big house, dress like humans and do business with humans.
1) 1984, by George Orwell, published in 1949.
Big Brother is the ultimate leader of a totalitarian society. He sees everything (not by chance, there is a horrible TV show inspired by this term). It is a society dominated by propaganda, the police of thought and indoctrination.
The book has several terms such as double-thinking (accepting two opposing ideas the way it suits you) and Newspeak (like a politically correct language). Orwell himself became an adjective, an Orwellian, something that denotes a dismal dystopia.
Although such books are from the last century, the themes continue to be more and more current.
A curious fact is that people with different political spectrum look at the 1984 and Animal Farm books and clearly see a communist dictatorship, or a fascist dictatorship. They look at the thought patrol and criticize the other side, and accuse each other of double-thinking.
Well, let everyone interpret in their own way.