The Charm of Dystopia

10:30 AM

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) movie; an adaptation from a novel of the same title written by George Orwell.
It has been critically acclaimed as one of the most famous Dystopia-themed works in the world.

According to International Reading Association, Dystopia is defined as a futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. It has long been a genre in many forms of cultural slash entertainment products, such as movies and literature.

Dystopias, through an exaggerated worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system.

I personally have always been an avid fan of Dystopian works, both in movies or literature. Mainly, I'm fascinated by the idea of the world falling to totalitarianism and the people are made to believe that they indeed are living in the epitome of a perfect society, all while the truth is the exact opposite.

The one that holds the most charm is the notion the truth that they (the people) believe in — everything is a lie; an illusion, a deceit in disguise, a man-made full of falsehoods. Jean Baudrillard's most infamous quote of all time through his hyperreality concept, in my opinion, might be the best way to describe it.

"Nothing is real."

But for me, the real charm is the enlightening moment when the main characters within the dystopia are slowly becoming more and more aware of the deception made by the ruling powers; when they finally unravel the hidden truth beneath the lies that they initially thought was right; when they finally choke on the falsity they were being fed continuously with; when they finally reject to believe the propaganda of an utopic society they made believe and thought they lived in.

Those moments — what I think are the very core of Dystopias — are ecstatic; I can feel my pupils widening and my heartbeat rising. Because what is there to do that's more exciting for a curious human being than to dismantle a secret we're not supposed to know?

One of the most famous Dystopian novels might be George Orwell's '1984' (also known as 'Nineteen Eighty-four'). An adaptation movie with the same title is also present and loved by many.

Orwell's work is so revolutionary that it inspired the birth of new communication theories, including Orwellian Doublespeak, and many other theories related to political communication.

If you haven't read the book nor watched the movie, I suggest you to check them out as they provide an extremely interesting insight about Dystopias and dystopian society. Let me know what you think about it!


  • Baudrillard, J. 1988. The Ecstasy of Communication (B. Schutze & C. Schutze, Trans.). New York: Semiotext(e).
  • Baudrillard, J. 1994. Simulacra and Simulations. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Orwell, George 2008. 1984. London: Penguin Books.
  • Poster, M. 1988. Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

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