With a stagnant economy, housing crunch, and wide unemployment, not just in America but world-wide, I wonder if we have not grown into another aura of paranoia regarding our future. Hence, the resurgent popularity of Dystopian topics.
Dystopia is derived from the Ancient Greek and means a bad place. By definition, Dystopia is the opposite of Utopia which is a derivative of the Greek word meaning place and sounds like the English homophone (eutopia) which is derived from the Greek to mean good or well. In combination then, Utopia, has come to mean a good place. Utopia is often thought of as Heaven on earth, paradise today, where the world lives in peace and no one dies of hunger. Where there is no such thing as crime. In the classic, The Time Machine, a scientist creeps into the future to see if the world can cure its ills. He stumbles upon a seeming Utopia until he realizes human beings are being raised as food for underground monsters.
According to Wikipedia, Dystopian literature has these in common: idea of a society, generally of a speculative future, characterized by negative, anti-utopian elements, varying from environmental to political and social issues.
Most Dystopian themes will characterize society as oppressive or totalitarian. While the world seems dark and unappealing to the reader, the minor characters or society sees nothing wrong with the way things are. There is generally a character or characters that is dissatisfied and wants things to change. Therein is the conflict, the character pitted against society, like Don Quixote, flailing his sword at windmills.
Other classic dystopian literature includes: Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, and The Iron Heel. Unlike most Dystopian themes, and more like Chronicles of Narnia, America II: The Reformation offers hope for an improved society. It also reminds the reader of God’s continued interest and involvement in the affairs of His creation.