Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Rebecca Belcher-Rankin

Project Type

Honors Program project

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

This article analyzed common aspects of six major works of dystopian literature to assess their commonalities, as well as their authors’ motivations in writing. Dystopian literature explores the major flaws of humanity, as well as the extent to which society could descend into chaos while simultaneously believing it is creating a better world. This thesis did not argue that within the studied works are all the same dystopian characteristics. Instead, it analyzed select dystopian qualities and made comparisons between the dystopian novels that share them, all of which were impacted by the utopian goals modeled in Plato’s The Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia, Sir Francis Bacon’s New Atlantic, and H. G. Well’s A Modern Utopia. These shared characteristics demonstrate that humanity has been fearing the end of the world for several thousand years. As such, this thesis suggests that the prevalence of dystopian literature may not necessarily signal the result of the coming end times, but instead may be the result of the natural human fears of chaos, abused power, and the end of the world.

Permission type

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 9th, 5:40 PM Apr 9th, 6:00 PM

It's Not the End of the World: An Analysis of the Similarities in Dystopian Literature and Their Shared Reflection of the Innate Fears of Humanity

Reed 330

This article analyzed common aspects of six major works of dystopian literature to assess their commonalities, as well as their authors’ motivations in writing. Dystopian literature explores the major flaws of humanity, as well as the extent to which society could descend into chaos while simultaneously believing it is creating a better world. This thesis did not argue that within the studied works are all the same dystopian characteristics. Instead, it analyzed select dystopian qualities and made comparisons between the dystopian novels that share them, all of which were impacted by the utopian goals modeled in Plato’s The Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia, Sir Francis Bacon’s New Atlantic, and H. G. Well’s A Modern Utopia. These shared characteristics demonstrate that humanity has been fearing the end of the world for several thousand years. As such, this thesis suggests that the prevalence of dystopian literature may not necessarily signal the result of the coming end times, but instead may be the result of the natural human fears of chaos, abused power, and the end of the world.