Dystopia is a popular genre in the modern world, but how long has it been around? To those who are unfamiliar to the genre of dystopia, it is a genre of fiction that deals with a world not very different than ours with our fears being put into the spotlight. This includes things like totalitarian governments, nuclear war, and other related disaster type events. People are interested in books like these now, such as books like 1984 and Animal Farm, to books like The Hunger Games and Divergent. The genre has been around longer than just for a few years, though, and it’s ancestry is crazier than most would expect.
The first dystopian piece of literature is, well, disputed. Some say that the first dystopian novels may have been We by Zamyatin and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Others think farther back, to Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. Since the definition of dystopia is broad, it is hard to decide which novels fit and don’t fit the category.
Nowadays there are many books considered dystopia, such as Among the Hidden, The City of Ember, and Legend. All three of these books evolved into popular series, which engrossed readers, including myself, until the very end. In addition, many of these books are being turned into blockbuster movies, such as Fahrenheit 451, The Inhabited Island, and Children of Men.
Dystopia has come a long way from its humble beginnings and has flourished into something great. Now even minors are reading about these fictional worlds in the future and are beginning to understand the problems people face today. Books that engage and teach at the same time are big accomplishments. Dystopia ties both in into a nice package for any sort of reader.