Tall Tales And Dystopian Techniques

July 17, 2017 Off By Anna Smith

Dystopian stories are very popular in the world right now. After the fantasy wave ended (think Harry Potter and Twilight) the next wave of literary and cinematic fare was dystopian such as The Hunger Games and Maze Runner. Dystopian fiction depict a future world that is bleak and harsh, the very opposite of utopian. The difference is that a dystopian world usually stems from something that occurs in the present, thus making the imagined future that much more probable. Climate change, environmental disasters and humanity’s sins all play a large role in the shaping of a dystopian society.  

When looking to write a dystopian setting, it is important to get the initial facts straight. Once the story gets going there is plenty of space for the creator to improvise but the beginning has to sound plausible and use science to back it up. 

Catastrophe and Rebuilding One of the more common scenarios occurs after a catastrophic event, when the remnants of humankind are rebuilding the pieces of a society. The rules of engagement have obviously changed and resource recovery is a priority. Whoever is left will try to harness whatever sources are left for themselves, thus dystopian novels often have a powerful group who has access to those sources while another disenfranchised and disempowered group does not – conflict occurs most often from the polarized lifestyles of these two groups. In many cases, the desperation of each group is highlighted through their actions which usually focus on gathering food, rebuilding structures, attempting to purify water and experimenting with toxic land. You can visit http://www.toxfree.com.au to learn more information.

Extinction and Survival Unlike the earlier scenario, the extinction and survival dystopian tales occur much later in the timeline and do not necessarily originate from a cataclysmic event. It could be the result of infertility, a disease or even a natural permutation in human biology. Such stories draw their conflict from the inner struggle of characters and from external threats such as wild beasts and other survivors who want to survive at all costs. These tales usually show the after effects of attempts at environmental remediation Brisbane, reclamation of land, sanitization of water etc. which have failed due to the intensity of the damage caused. If the writer wants to imbue the story with hope, then the ending can reveal some form of new life or antidote that hint at rebirth and rebuilding. If the story is to serve as a cautionary tale then it is better to end on a bittersweet note with one or two of the main characters still surviving but with no big hope for redemption. 

The most dramatic and successful dystopian tales will combine moral and social degradation of the society with natural disasters and damage to Nature as the origin of the dystopia in which the story is set. This is what makes the story believable.