A Dystopia Is Not A Contemporary Idea

2159 Words Jun 27th, 2015 9 Pages
A dystopia is an unpleasant and repressive society which usually has the intent to make equality an opportunity for all. 1984 and “Harrison Bergeron” are two examples of dystopia literature. In each, technological advances and psychological stimuli is designed to overwhelm an individuals thought. Based upon these pieces of literature, is it possible for a utopia exist? For clarification purposes, there are some definitions to keep in mind when reading this essay. The dictionary defines a utopia as an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. It is worth noting that Sir Thomas More first used the word utopia in the year 1516 in the book Utopia. A utopia is not a contemporary idea. Conversely, a dystopia is defined as an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. Totalitarian is defined as a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state. Kurt Vonnegut wrote “Harrison Bergeron” and context is important to note the tone, as it will explain the inspiration for these pieces of literature. Vonnegut was quick to be critical of society’s stupidity and vices. Thus, the whole tone of “Harrison Bergeron” is satire for the purpose of humor. A short overview of “Harrison Bergeron” is appropriate before continuing. It starts in the future, specifically in the year 2081 “and everybody was finally equal.” (Vonnegut) This was…
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