Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What's the Deal with Dystopia?

Disclaimer: Someone pointed out to me that this might be taken as a political post.  It has nothing to do with any current events and is just an idea that popped into my head this afternoon.

It's Grace today!  (Or Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Or Bilbo Baggins.  Or Mrs. Hudson.  I'd probably answer to all three.)

Sudden inspiration for this post slapped me in the face just five seconds ago while chatting with my friend Grace.  Yes, we have the same name.  No, we are not the same person.

Anyway, I'd never actually thought about why people like dystopian fiction so much.  I mean, everything is terrible, people die, and the love triangles are flat and lifeless!  But then I had an epiphany.  

People don't read dystopian novels for the repulsion, they read them for the revolution.  

Yep!  People love the idea of dystopia because the characters always rise above the madness and the rubble and change the world.  You see, you can't change things for the better if the situation doesn't need changed.

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Now of course you also have characters to get attached to and and love triangles to fight over and President Snows to hate with a terrible loathing, but those are the icing on the cake.  People have always loved the idea of the common people rising up and defeating a monster larger than themselves and gaining freedom.  These people are willing to give their lives for a noble cause, and defend the rights that they used to have.  

This is what makes the characters so memorable, because in order to have a revolution, you need determined people who aren't afraid to get the job done.  They might not be perfect, but they're dependable (or not if you're going with the ideas in this post) and strong.  They're willing to give up everything they know to fight for what they believe in. 

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Can we all take a moment to appreciate the guy dancing on the table?

Everyone has the desire inside of them to win whatever battle their fighting and create a better life.  Dystopian novels encourage that desire, and show them that they can in fact win.  Because the main characters have to be bold and unafraid of death, they give us the ammunition we need to do the same.  Even though they'll probably die, the characters are determined to die doing something that will leave behind a legacy and change the world.  They are reckless and unpredictable because they know that people who stay in their homes and never speak their mind will never make a difference or be heard.

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Now I admit, dystopian novels aren't for everyone.  I don't enjoy them very much, which is why this blew my mind so violently.  And there might be people who read them solely for the romance or the character development.  This probably doesn't go completely across the board, because no two people are the same.  And, you know...

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Obi, dear, that was an absolute statement.

So there you have it.  If you have any other ideas as to why people read in this genre or why it's so popular, let me know in the comments!  I'd love to hear your opinions.  

Grace out. 

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