What are Dystopian Novels?

966 WordsJul 13, 20184 Pages
Dystopia is common theme which dates hundreds of years in literature worldwide. Dystopian novels and short stories often depict a society repressed by a totalitarian government which comes to power after a cataclysmic occurrence, wielding unforgiving power and control over inhabitants for their own good. These dystopias are often perceived by the average citizen as a normal or unavoidable way of life, sometimes even a better way of life, yet there is often a single person or group of protagonists who question the justification of such living arrangements and threaten upheaval of the utopia sold by the ruling class. Dystopian work is often an overt commentary on “social and political structures” (“Utopian”) present at the time of their…show more content…
Despite Roth’s commentary on social stratification, Divergent feels less like a dystopian allegory and more like teenage angst with a bit of romance and lots of violence thrown in. There is little reference to social or political strife (Erudite seems to want control simply for the sake of being in power, not because of misgovernment by Abnegation), and no real exposition to show how greatly the dystopian society of the future is different than the society of today. The novel neglects to explore the causes of the Great War (an important factor to the birth of a factionalized society) and fails to plausibly convey how such a political and social system could exist 100 years without confrontation and uprising. Why would each faction cede power to one other faction (effectively silencing their own voices) rather than opt for a government run by a council of equal number of
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