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2. Types of Dystopia: Totalitarian Control
About this Lecture
In this module, we begin to explore different types of dystopia, starting here with dystopias of totalitarian control. As we move through the module, we explore: (i) the first use of the term 'dystopia' and its original meaning; (ii) some central themes of dystopian fiction; (iii) some examples of dystopias that exhibit totalitarian control, including: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932), George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (1953), Lois Lowry's The Giver (1993), M. T. Anderson's Feed (2002), Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games (2008-10), and Dave Eggers' The Circle (2013).
In this course, Professor Nicole Pohl (Oxford Brookes University) provides an introduction to and overview of dystopian literature. In the first module, we introduce the concepts of 'utopia' and 'dystopia' themselves, as well as the idea of dystopias as "utopias which have decayed". In the second and third modules, we think about two major types of dystopia – dystopias of totalitarian control (e.g. Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four) and dystopias of environmental collapse (e.g. H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds). In the fourth module, we explore the connection between dystopia and satire, looking in particular at Thomas More's Utopia (1516), before turning in the fifth and sixth modules to consider the history of dystopia from the first use of the word in the mid-18th century to the emergence of young adult dystopian fiction in the 21st. In the seventh and final module, we consider two emerging trends in dystopian fiction today – climate change fiction (or 'cli-fi', for short) and solarpunk.
Prof. Nicole Pohl is Professor in Early Modern Literature and Critical Theory at Oxford Brookes University. Her research focuses on utopias and utopianism.
Cite this Lecture
Pohl, N. (2022, May 12). Dystopian Literature - Types of Dystopia: Totalitarian Control [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/dystopian-literature/types-of-dystopia-totalitarian-control
Pohl, Nicole. "Dystopian Literature – Types of Dystopia: Totalitarian Control." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 12 May 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/dystopian-literature/types-of-dystopia-totalitarian-control