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.

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

  1. Sofia K says:

    The point of reading about dystopias is to show the reader how that dystopia has similarities to the real world. Bradbury predicted that humans would burn books and be attached to watching tv. This relates to the current world because people are glued to their phones and other electronics. Orwell predicted that a utopian state cannot exist because of people wanting absolute power. His prediction came true when the Soviet Union which was suppose to be a utopia dissolved in 1991. I see parallels in today’s world with Fahrenheit 451 because people are now obsessed with social media and impressing their followers. This relates to Mildred because she is obsessed with watching tv and is attached to the family in the soap opera.

    • Alyanna D says:

      I agree with your point about how Bradbury predicted that people would be obsessed with technology. Your connection between Orwell and his prediction about perfect utopias being nonexistent is clever because there’s also been other times where people have failed at enforcing equality. For instance, there’s North Korea with its harsh communist ideology, as well as the lesson of oppressing individuality in “Harrison Bergeron”.

  2. Ryan G says:

    The point of dystopias in books is to show the flaws that the real world may contain. Ray Bradbury predicted that we would be addicted to technology and the rate of reading would go down. Orwell predicted that having a flawless society wouldn’t work because people compete for the most power possible.His prediction became a reality when the Soviet Union. People now are obsessed with technology and people care about followers more than actual friends.

    • Zachary S. says:

      I most definitely agree with this. He predicted the societal need for technology and shortened attention spans which is very interesting. To build on your point, not only the Soviet Union has become a parallel to Bradbury’s dystopian society. There are so many other instances after the book was written that are very similar in terms of governmental action to the novel. There has also been countless wars and unnecessary violences which was famously predicted by the novel.

  3. Alyanna Depalma says:

    Dystopian books are written to open the reader’s eyes to a future where people are miserable and suffering because of a detrimental mistake society could make. Bradbury predicted that people would abuse technology and censor anything that is problematic or offensive. Even in the world today, books such as “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” are being banned in some schools because it uses strong language and contains themes that are difficult to process.

  4. Zachary S. says:

    It is extremely important to read about dystopian societies. The main purpose of reading about them is so that we can identify them and prevent them from happening in our lifetimes. Today, there are many dystopias like North Korean society. Leaders feed citizens propaganda in order for them to think that their way of life is impeccable and there are no problems in their lives. Many people today recognize this and attempt to make change. I see parallels from Fahrenheit 451 and the North Korean government in that both regimes focus on limiting and distorting public knowledge in hopes of controlling society from standing up to their oppression.

    • Stephen B says:

      I agree with your comparisons between North Korea and many dystopian societies. Limiting what people know makes them easier to control and creates a society in which no one would step out of line.

  5. Maya N says:

    -It is important to read about dystopia because it shows the readers about the future if there is ever destruction or suffering going in on in society.
    -Bradbury predicted that our society would advance and our people would become materialistic,Orwell predicted that power will always corrupt a leader and there is no way out of that cycle.
    – I do see some parallels between both books today in our society. Bradbury showed that as technology advanced more people started to become less dependent on themselves and focused more on how people saw them. Orwell showed how having one leader could cause damage to an entire nation, this could be seen throughout certain events in history.

    • Rayna S. says:

      I agree with you in the fact that how it is important to recognize the qualities of a dystopian society before it becomes our own reality. I also think that Bradbury predicted people starting to follow the crowd and stop standing up for what is right. Orwell also said how everyone being equal can lead to its own problems that may cause everyone to once again be not equal. I like your comparison between Bradbury’s book and today’s technology.

  6. Tia M. says:

    It is extremely important to read dystopian novels because it puts you life in perspective. You don’t know if something is good if you never went through something bad. Dystopian novels as opens up the readers eyes to what the future might hold for them or the world.
    Orwell and Bradbury did a very good job with predicting the future, i think in the novel Fahrenheit 451 Bradbury pretty much predicting the world we are living in right now, where everyone is so invested in their technology that we are disconnected with our current world. In animal farm it also predicts how in today’s society people are more censored from things then we used to be, and there is more fake news that everyone believes.
    I do see parallels from the books in today’s world, more people are invested from technology than ever before and it is causing people to become more disconnected and censored from what is important. In Fahrenheit 451 Mildred and Montag did not have a relationship that you would expect from a married couple which is happening more in this world because Everyone’s is always on social media or some sort of technology.

  7. Rayna S. says:

    The point of writing about dystopias is for readers to understand they have to look past what may seem to be a perfect world an discover how “perfect” it really is. How we as readers should understand the flaws in our own society because of this.
    Orwell and Bradbury both talked about how people believing they are better than others can ruin the world. Bradbury discussed how much of an influence technology would be and now technology is starting to take over the world. Orwell discussed how the idea of total equality would be amazing, however, some people take advantage of this and ruin the thought for everyone.
    In Bradbury’s book their television almost resembles virtual reality, a way to escape.

  8. Stephen B says:

    The point of writing about dystopias is to highlight the flaws we have as human beings. Society is not perfect. We have many issues and understanding them is partly of how we solve them. Dystopias can create a projection of what went wrong or what was ignored. Learning about a problem that is just beginning is easier to solve then one which escalates into something out of hand. As like Bradbury predicted, technology is consuming our society and without careful measures taken, we could live in a world with no books. But what matters is that we understand the problem beforehand and can think of a solution to prevent a dystopia becoming the present.

  9. Juliette L says:

    The point of reading about dystopias is to show what the world may really look like if you take things for granted and focus on things that may not be necessary. It also shows that society is not perfect and there are flaws with every person and no one is perfect. Bradbury did provide some things that became true. He included tv screens covering each wall and that compares to flat screens that keep getting bigger and bigger. He also kept saying that they had shells in their ears which sounds most like earbuds or headphones. The burning of books reminded me of the banning of books because even though they may not be burned some places are not allowed to read them and that is just like bruning it in that area. The technology also seemed very true for what we have now.

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