An Introduction to Science Fiction

An Introduction to Science Fiction

Unit 4 Heroes, Villains, and Underdogs in Literature An Introduction to Science Fiction What is Science Fiction? Topics dealing with imaginary yet plausible content and situations. Exploration of the consequences of scientific innovations in contemporary times. Largely based on writing rationally about alternative possible worlds or futures. Settings

are often contrary to known reality, but most relies on suspension of disbelief to create arguments. UTOPIA vs. DYSTOPIA Utopia: A place, state, or condition that is ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions. Dystopia: 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. Dystopias, through an exaggerated worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system.

Famous Dystopian Texts Dystopian Society Characteristics Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society. Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted. A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society. Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance. Citizens have a fear of the outside world. Citizens live in a dehumanized state. The natural world is banished and distrusted. Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and dissent are bad. The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world. Other Characteristics

What the issue is for the future, because that is what the author is trying to highlight about the present. Total absence of social groups other than the state State is in control of the economy banned items, contraband, black markets; privatization of businesses

Government is oppressive and is flawed in some way Climax can be unresolved; death, reeducation, or conformity can occur Characters are isolated from the natural world and are conditioned to fear nature Nature can play an important role with the characters, conflict, and setting (mood). Types of Dystopian Controls

Corporate control: One or more large corporations control society through products, advertising, and/or the media. Bureaucratic control: Society is controlled by a mindless bureaucracy through a tangle of red tape, relentless regulations, and incompetent government officials. Technological control: Society is controlled by technology through computers, robots, and/or scientific means. Philosophical/religious control: Society is controlled by philosophical or religious ideology often enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic government.

The Dystopian Protagonist often feels trapped and is struggling to escape. questions the existing social and political systems; very intuitive a rebel. believes or feels that something is terribly wrong with the society in which he or she lives. helps the audience recognize the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective.

Common Dystopian Themes Censorship Distraction vs. Happiness Knowledge vs. Ignorance Action vs. Inaction

Mass Media The Power of Science Conformity vs. Individuality The Role of Technology Social Statuses Law and Justice

The Search for Identity Dystopian Quotations Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.

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