Forum Prompt #1 Contemporary Dystopia?

Grading: FC, PC, NC (Full credit, partial credit, no credit)

Assignment: find one example of a contemporary, dystopian text, work of art, film, or real-world space and write one paragraph about why it is dystopian.  Include a link to your topic.  Once you have proofed and polished your paragraph, submit it (and your link) in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

Note that there is sometimes a slight delay between your posting and its publication.  Always keep a back up of your work.  And, if for any reason you are not comfortable sharing your work on the forum, email it to me at



  1. allisonmiranda2013 · August 19, 2015
    Allison Miranda
    I believe that the novel Unwind by Neal Shusterman is an example of dystopian fiction since it strips teenagers of their human rights by the government by claiming that it is done for the good of the whole community. In the text, teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 can be handed over to the state if their parents find them undesirable (rebellious, unmanageable, not wanting to pay for child support) and are then allowed to be Unwound, which means that their bodies will be completely stripped down and used for donor parts for other patients (amazingly almost every part in the body is used, including the brain). However the technology has far outmatched all medical science which causes hospitals and privet organizations to only ever use unwound parts instead of actually practicing medicine (for example a broken bone will instead be replaced with an entirely new appendage). The unwound parts are even used for vanity (new colored eyes, etc.) causing the market to demand more parts which has led orphans and the children of religious zealots (who give their children willfully as part of a church tithe) to try to meet the demand. And it wouldn’t be a dystopia without conflict, which the book has provided with a terrorist group called the Clappers who are trying to eradicate the practice of unwinding by ingesting a volatile chemical that turns them into a living bomb that will detonate if they strike their bodies hard enough (usually by clapping).

  2. Rebecca DePrisco · August 20, 2015

    Rebecca DePrisco
    Dystopian Fiction

    When discussing dystopian societies, the universe of Lois Lowry’s The Giver is… well, a given. However, something about the way it is presented makes it all the more chilling – a dystopia is generally expected to be something unintentional in a story, whether it’s the result of a world-wide war, or the result of a brutal dictatorship oppressing the vast majority of people. This is not the case in the world of The Giver – this dystopia is meant to be a utopia, which makes it all the more terrifying. In the hypothetical situation of a utopia, people are always happy, sadness and suffering do not exist, punishment is not needed because crime is nonexistent, etc. This exists in The Giver’s world by virtue of everyone’s loss of self. Happiness cannot exist without sadness, so this world takes them both away. People do not get the joy of finding love in order to prevent the heartbreak of losing it. Mothers never get to look upon their newborn babies because babies are assigned to them, as are the jobs that the people will carry all their lives – no working hard and feeling the accomplishment of getting to the place you’ve dreamed all your life. Ambitions do not exist, so success does not, either. They aren’t living in this utopia, they are existing, and that’s what makes it so terrifying.

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