Dystopian Fiction: What’s the Point?

As we have discussed in class, both Fahrenheit 451 and Animal Farm are dystopian novels.

  • What is the point of reading about dystopias?
  • To what extent did Orwell or Bradbury predict the future?
  • Do you see any parallels between either of the books and life in the world today?

Answer any one or more of these questions using specific examples to support your ideas.  Although we may have begun discussing this in class, we usually run out of time.  Pick up where we left off OR add new ideas.

Once you have posted your idea using your first name and last initial, read the responses posted by your peers. Reply thoughtfully to at least one other peer.  What did you learn from his/her response?  Compliment strong points made, ask questions, make connections, and build on the ideas shared.  If you disagree, remember to do so thoughtfully and with evidence to back up your opinion. Remember to criticize IDEAS and not people.

26 Responses to Dystopian Fiction: What’s the Point?

  1. Brooke Batelli says:

    What is the point in reading about dystopias?
    The point of reading distopias is to make people see the dangers of totalitarianism. Authors use this type of literature to discuss reality and display a future that may happen. Lastly, authors use this writing as a warning to the power the government has.

    • Autumn Scorcia says:

      I agree with you on the idea that dystopian novels are usually about the dangers of government becoming too powerful, and portray a future where people think that everything is great when it is really not.

  2. Mikaela Kraus says:

    The point of reading dystopias, is to warn us about how the future could be and how we need to realize our own power. Orwell and Bradbury predicted the future by showing us what a completely censored, and ignorant world would look like. Things that took place in the books are happening in some parts of the world like North Korea, where the public does not have free access to any media.

  3. Meline K says:

    The point of reading and understanding dystopias is to become introduced to a different view of a futuristic society. Bradbury predicted the future where technology, such as TVs have become part of everyday life. He also expresses that books are not as popular, and how technology is slowly consuming our lives. Dystopian authors have also tried to convey their thoughts and predictions about the government.

    • Anna Robinson says:

      I agree. I think reading dystopias are about becoming introduced to a different view of society. Becoming introduced to a different view of society may make you realize something about your own society. Bradbury did a great job of showing the power of technology in Fahrenheit 451. He showed the effects it could have on people’s lives, mostly the bad ones, but it allows for a reality check because you see how it could turn and out and not many people would want that for themselves.

    • Anna Robinson says:

      I agree. I believe that reading dystopias are a good reality check in life. Being introduced to a new type of society or a different part of society allows for a better understanding of it just in case something like that were to happen.

    • Max A says:

      I agree with Meline. I believe dystopian authors are trying to express their feelings and thoughts about reality through almost fantastical science-fiction novels. When they find something wrong with society, they decide to write their beliefs down to warn the current generation of what could possibly happen. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury noticed that technology was rapidly evolving, and he showed the world how it could take over people’s lives if they are not careful enough.

    • Charlotte H says:

      I agree, because from experienced I have come to realize that technology has been becoming a major part of our lives. Bradbury depicted these actions when writing Fahrenheit 451 because he wrote about a problem that can possibly occur in the future.

    • Brooke B says:

      I agree. The display of a different view of a futuristic society in dystopian books helps us to see what possibilities of the future hold. Reading dystopias also shows a different view of people’s own societies and how they compare.

  4. Autumn Scorcia says:

    The point of reading dystopian novels is to make us understand how a futuristic society may look if we go down the wrong path. Both Orwell and Bradbury predicted the future in the sense that the government became too powerful, and started censoring and oppressing the general public. This could be seen because both books show the general public as believing whatever is told to them, whether it be that books are the source of unhappiness and overthinking, or that the overpowered government is helping the society when it actually isn’t. Another way that Bradbury specifically predicted the future was that he described a society where technology was dominant and books were considered depressing and useless, leading everyone to believe that they were happy in oblivion. This can relate to modern society because now more than ever, people have become dependant on digital devices and thinking less for themselves.

  5. Anna Robinson says:

    The point of reading and understanding dystopias is to become more aware of how society could turn out someday. Bradbury predicted the future of the impact technology has on many people today. Although it is not nearly as bad as it was in Fahrenheit 451, technology has had a huge impact on the world. Bradbury predicted how technology would consume a lot of our lives, especially peoples opinions. He showed this through Mildred watching television and believing everything she heard on it, and he also showed this by many people being afraid to show their true feelings towards books because most people didn’t agree with them.

    • Ariana K says:

      You did a great job of explaining how the authors predicted and tried to warn the world. I agree with the fact that Orwell predicted how technology consumes our lives. I find it crazy he knew that was going to happen so long ago.

    • Siena M says:

      I completely agree, I also saw how Bradbury was able to predict part of the effect technology has on us now. I think using Mildred as an example was very smart and protraid what you meant very well!

  6. Max A says:

    The point of reading dystopian novels is to possibly avoid future issues. Dystopias can also represent a current problem. At the time, Animal Farm was written because of the Russian Revolution. Orwell wanted to create a book for all ages to teach others about the revolution, so we wouldn’t make the same mistakes in the upcoming future. Bradbury made a very close prediction to the future. He stated what he thought was going to become a problem in the coming decades and decided to warn others about his theories. So far, Bradbury seems to have been right about people being unhappy, because depression has started to become a major issue in today’s society. Books also may not exist in the future. Everything is digital now and soon there will be no need for documents, thoughts, and stories to be physically written down.

  7. Ariana K says:

    Dystopian novels are written to depict people we can relate to. Dystopian novels are written so we can have a perspective and ideas on how to avoid future problems. Orwell and Bradbury both based their books off of real life events, but added details to make it futuristic. Orwell used the idea of the Russian Revolution to warn others about power hungry people. Bradbury used ideas from The Burning of The Books in the Nazi regime in his novel. Bradbury had a really interesting thought that technology would become hold a dominant place in the future, which was correct! Dystopian novels show us what the future has potential to hold, if we don’t try and make it better, it will all go downhill.

    • Isabelle C says:

      This was very well written. And I 100 percent agree with you about how dystopian novels are written to avoid future issues. And that these books are a wake up call to society to make sure these problems never occur.

  8. Isabelle C says:

    What is the point of reading about dystopias? The point of reading Dystopian novels is that it kinda shows people the reality of what our world could be like, and reveals how humans would deal with the adversity that goes on. I also feel like by reading these distopias, and since they give us the idea of how bad our world can get people get a wake up call about how we should focus more on our society to prevent all these horrific issues that occur in these books.

  9. Isabelle C says:

    What is the point of reading about dystopias? The point of reading Dystopian novels is that it kinda shows people the reality of what our world could be like, and reveals how humans would deal with the adversity that goes on. I also feel like by reading these distopias, and since they give us the idea of how bad our world can get people get a wake up call about how we should focus more on our society to prevent all these horrific issues that occur in these books.

  10. Claire B says:

    What is the point of reading about dystopias?
    We read dystopian novels because they show us what our future could be. They show us the worst-case scenarios of our future and in doing this it gives us an opportunity to prevent the scenarios from happening in real life. Dystopian novels show us humans react in the face of adversity however the humans reactions can go either way. In Fahrenheit 451 Guy uses changes the world for good, he destroys the repressive society and creates a new world. But in Animal Farm we are shown the bad in humanity, we are shown what happens when those choose greed and power over happiness and freedom. Dystopian noveks show us the good in humanity as well as the bad.

  11. Jack M says:

    The point of reading dystopias is to see how some societies have many problems that cause a jurassic change from the way we view a normal life. Bradbury predicted the idea of technological advancements in society and the idea of many people getting addicted to technology. I see a comparison between the idea of people being addicted to technology in Farenehit and the real world.

    • Nick Lange says:

      I completely agree with you Jack. People are getting to addicted to technology and this dystopia shows the possible future outcome of it.

  12. Charlotte H says:

    What is the point of reading about dystopias? The point of reading dystopias is warn people about our future and to make people understand situations in our society today that can lead to future problems. For example, in Fahrenheit 451 which is dated in the future shows readers what problems can occur with the development of television. Mildred, Montag’s wife, is attached to her television “family” and makes her feel like she is a part of something, but really she uses the tv walls to hide her true feeling of being completely unhappy. Also, Fahrenheit 451 shows the problems that can occur in the future from opinionated minorities. In Montag’s society, books are banned, and what he wanted more than anything is to know more about them. When Beatty explained to him why books are banned, he explains that books upset people and people writing these books might have a different opinion than someone else or write about something that can upset a minority. The novel shows that books can possibly be banned in the future if minorities keep getting upset over.

  13. Nick Lange says:

    What is the point of reading about dystopias? The point of reading about dystopias is to see how the future of society can end up in the long run due to some issue. For example, in Fahrenheit 451, people are addicted to technology and are not social with each other causing a depressing and bland society. Mildred is addicted to watching television and believes that the people on her television is her “family”. While she believes she is happy, she is truly not. She tried to commit suicide by over dosing on pills. This goes to that as people are becoming more and more addicted to technology, it is possible that a future society like the one in Fahrenheit 451 can occur.

  14. Danny O'Donnell says:

    The point of reading dystopias is to see the potential dangers in our futures and to avoid making the same mistakes. They act as warning to us, and how societies can slowly morph into a dystopia despite the changes being founded on good intentions. Animal Farm shows this well with how animalism was supposed to be great for everyone but gradually strayed from its own principles and became worse than Jones’ ownership. Bradbury predicted the future quite accurately, we become more reliant and attached to technology every day and many people are addicted and have trouble separating themselves from the digital world. Orwell also predicted the future well, with more failing socialist and communist countries and many people also believe that socialism and communism are the best systems and will help the people. In Fahrenheit 451 censorship was a major issue and while we aren’t burning books in America, censorship has increased, many old and new works of literature, film or people are being deemed unacceptable and should never be read/watched or supported. This can be an issue because not everything should have to be perfect to everyone, and just because a small portion of people may not support it does not mean it should be forgotten and there is things to be learned from it. By forcing everything to fit a certain standard, society becomes much more uniform and lots of value is lost.

  15. Esther Tyler says:

    The point of reading dystopias is to show what can become of the world due to technology. Dystopian novels are a way to warn us as a society about what can become of the world. A dystopia also shows that a world is not as perfect as it appears to be. In fahrenheit 451 people were blinded by society’s “perfect” societies and not really realizing what is wrong in their world. Dystopias make people aware of what can happen to the world if not aware and educated.

  16. Siena M says:

    What is the point of reading about dystopias? The point of reading about dystopias is to show what can happen in the future if things continue how they are. It shows how something now may turn into something more negative in the future and make society worse. An example of this is in Fahrenheit 451, Mildred is addicted to technology and loves the three walls in her house. She thinks they are her family, she uses technology to make her happy even though she truly isn’t. This shows that as technology advances it can make us more unhappy and addicted to using it. Another example in Fahrenheit 451 is the burning of books, it shows that because books are being read less and less and technology is taking over, books may no longer be apart of our lives. Both of these examples are possibilities for the future which is why reading about them is so important.

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