Dystopians are up there with paranormal as the "it" genre right now. Actually, they've been pretty "it" for a while, from Fahrenheit 451 in the 50's to Hunger Games today. So what is it about a dystopia that makes people curl up with a blanket and a book and think, HOLY CRAP?
Let's see if you can guess my theory. Dystopian societies elicit the HOLY CRAP reaction because:
a) Generally, a lot of people start dying near the end. (Hello, Mockingjay...)b) The technology is really neat.c) The messed-up part of society could ACTUALLY HAPPEN.d) Future boys? Totally hot.
Okay, so it could be any of these depending on who you are-- but for me, the answer is C. Dystopian societies take one (or more) aspect(s) of today's society and exaggerate them into, well, a dystopia. One example in The Hunger Games is fascination with media/reality TV. It gets out of control, add in a corrupt gets out of hand, we wind up with the burning of books and suppression of critical thought in Fahrenheit 451. What's another well-known dystopia? Oh, The Giver. (Read that for English in 8th grade.) Exacerbating today's obsession with being just like everyone else and fear of bad feelings, and we have a society of bland equality. Notice I said "bland." Or, moviewise, in Gattaca (see it! see it!) our "need" to map out our futures and be in perfect physical condition (aesthetically and health-wise) spirals into a world where anyone with any "imperfections" is a lower race with less opportunities.
So that's what gives me a HOLY CRAP reaction: in a good dystopian, I can see the dys part of the topia in the world around me. And it freaks me out--so, of course, I keep reading!
Any other good examples, or reasons for the HOLY CRAP reaction?