From the Hunger Games, to The Divergent Series and shows like The Walking Dead, dystopian fiction
is riding a wave of popularity, but what is it about this genre that draws people to it?
Given the times we live in it’s easy to picture how things could go wrong. While the US economy has recovered from the crash in ’08 many people still struggle to make ends meet, and fears abound about the implications of the Chinese economy slowing down, as well as the possible exit of the UK from the EU.
Moreover, the cost of going to college continues to rise, saddling students with thousands of dollars in debt that must repaid after graduating into a ever fierce job market. It’s gotten so bad some people forego college all together and instead go into the skilled trades. And it seems everyone is fed up with the state of American politics and the direction the country is going in to becoming a plutocracy.
Where There is Life There is Hope
Given all these issues it’s no wonder people turn to stories about how bleak the future will, but at their core dystopian stories are about the strength of the human will to endure the darkest time and fight for a better future. Even in the most crap sack world there is hope for the future otherwise there would be no point to the story. It’s this hope for a better tomorrow that people find comfort in and gives them a renewed outlook on life.
Viva La Revolucion
Often times in these stories it falls on the protagonist and his/her cohorts to take on the powers that be and reform the society. And we root for these underdogs because secretly we wish we could too take on the status quo and shake things up, but we’re afraid of the consequences. History has shown revolutionaries have short lives. But still we wish to have the power to change the world, which is another reason we turn to dystopian stories.
While dystopian stories appeal to readers for different reasons, at their core they celebrate the endurance of the human spirit and the will to find hope in the darkest of times, and fight for what you believe is right.