Dystopia and Dystopian Literature (6145 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

I. Dystopia and utopia

A utopia is an imagined social order in which human flourishing has either been perfected or realised to an exceptionally high degree. A dystopia, by contrast, is a radically dysfunctional society in which the lives of the inhabitants are significantly impaired, damaged, or otherwise undesirable. Despite being defined as opposites, however, these two terms can be seen to stand in a complex, historically variable relationship to one another. The term “dystopia”, it is important to note, is derivative of the term “utopia”, both conceptually and historically. “Utopia” was first used by Thomas More in his influential political satire Utopia (1516),…

Citation: Seeger, Sean. "Dystopia and Dystopian Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 May 2018 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19513, accessed 04 December 2022.]

19513 Dystopia and Dystopian Literature 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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