Dystopia; Webster’s dictionary defines it as an often futuristic society that has degraded into a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian. Brave New World and 1984 are prime examples of literature that cast predictions of the world to come, and make readers question how far conformity can spread before individuality is dead.
1984 and Brave New World tackle a similar topic, but have very different approaches to delivering the message. In the universe of 1984, people are restricted information, and penalized for trying to get information. On the other hand, in Brave New World, the people are given so much information, that they must pick out the necessary from the unnecessary.
In both cases, however, you have a sense of loss of individuality, whether it be in 1984 where everyone was made to be the same, or in Brave New World, where everyone WAS the same. Both logic and reasoning are thrown out the window. In 1984’s case, it is the lack of purpose. In Brave New World it is over-consumption. Looking at this from a 21st Century standpoint it almost seems ridiculous that people would want to consume so much, because these days we are hell bent on doing the exact opposite. To me, Brave New World still seems to be the more likely of the two that our modern society resembles.
I say this mainly because of one single event: the invention of the internet superhighway. After this magnificent invention, we as a society became accustomed to it, so much so that we could abuse its original intention to spread data around the world and post whatever we felt on it. Much like in Brave New World, we must weed out the necessary information from all the unnecessary. This has caused much confusion over the last few years as blogs and live streams have taken over the time once spent watching the nightly news with the family.
Personally, dystopian books are my favorite, maybe it’s because the chilling atmosphere is always fun to analyze, or that the protagonist, though a single cell in a greater body of conformity, seems to push the envelope just enough to attract the attention of authority. Needless to say, it’s always a pleasure reading the genre because I come out of reading always feeling like I can change the world.