5 best Dystopian Books you must read
To begin with, dystopian literature can be defined as the literature that challenges utopian thoughts, often plotted in an imaginary community that is frightening and dehumanizing. Dystopian reading is scary (not horror), and show the ills of the society as not a part of the society but subtly glorifies them. The basic elements of the same can be an unjust government, no democracy, no liberty, suffering, surveillance, technological control etc. The dystopian fictions are obviously fictions but are generally plotted with the view of criticizing the present world we are in and leading forward to.
Here are a few dystopian themed books you all must give a read to, to have a better idea of the world we are entering in
1. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
– Nineteen Eighty-Four
A classic example of Dystopian fiction, Nineteen Eighty Four is about a character, Winston Smith who lives in Oceania, one of the three super-states of Britain, which is in perpetual warfare with the other two. The ‘Big Brother’ who is watching him and the other workers of the party like that of Smith, is the ruler who has installed telescreens and constantly watches every action of all the people working in the ministries. The power, propaganda, inflicting pain, and authority is all that the book narrates. A fiction that shows how power controls the brain and makes it weak, so weak that a person loses their power and brains to figure out if two plus two is four, five, or three and so the Big Brother (the power) gets to decide what it is because they control the brain. It is a difficult read for sure but worth the effort.
2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
“One believes things because one has been
conditioned to believe them.” – Brave New World
The society depicted in Brave New World is a utopia but as we move forward in the story, the illusion of utopia disintegrates. Leading with the clashes between the two worlds from the eye of the psychologist, Bernard Marx. With the genetic alterations in psychology and reproduction, usher forms an intelligence-based society of elites, which contrasts with that of the other.
3. The Trial by Franz Kafka
“Logic may indeed be unshakeable,
but it cannot withstand a man who is determined to live.”
― Franz Kafka, The Trial
A novel by Franz Kafka written between 1914-15 is one of his best works. Telling the story of Josef K, who is arrested for committing a crime which has remained to be undisclosed to him or the audience, is known for its abrupt ending, incomplete court scenes like in any other book of his.
4. Animal Farm by George Orwell
“All animals are equal,
but some animals are more equal than others.” –
― George Orwell, Animal Farm
A sweet, simple yet thought-provoking book that if you will read it as a story, you will be just okay to read it, but if you will think about it, you might start seeing all those dark scenes of classic oppression, of propaganda being enforced on you, on everyone ending up being hungry of power, of all being equal to each other yet some being more equal than others. Again a classical gem of a dystopian novel by none other than George Orwell you must not miss on.
5. Children of Men by P.D. James
Based on a time in the UK where it is descending into an autocracy, governed by a self-appointed council and warden, shows how humanity can become infertile. The immigrants are being exploited, people are dying, committing suicide, and there is a narrative of people dissenting against the ruling government.
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