According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Dystopia is defined as the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian. Dystopian societies feature different kinds of repressive social control methods and various forms of active and passive intimidation. Works about dystopian societies often explore the concept of humans neglecting technology and humans individually and collectively trying to manage or not being able to properly manage with technology that has progressed far more rapidly than anything else. One story that clearly demonstrates this theme of a dystopian society is "Harrison Bergeron", and a form of media that can be compared with it is, the 2005 film V for Vendetta. Both stories are set in the future and show that as time goes on, the government slowly starts to take control of the citizens by telling them what is right or wrong or socially correct, and the governments in both stories are extremely controlling. In both stories, there is one person that stands up to them and shows a significant act of defiance; unfortunately in both stories the main character ends up dying. However, his shows that the only way to get one’s point across, one must show a significant act of defiance against the law. In "Harrison Bergeron", the Handicapper General, who is the head of the government, takes full control of United States in 2081, by forcing all of the citizens to become both mentally and physically "equal" by torturing them; the beautiful must wear hideous masks or disfigure themselves, the intelligent must listen to deafening noises that hinder their ability to think, and the graceful and strong must wear weights around their necks at all hours of the day. She has everyone believe that what she is enforcing is right, by explaining to them that differences shouldn’t be exposed and ensuring that everyone should be the same. This dystopian theme is also seen in the film V for Vendetta because there is...
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Simpson, J. A., E. S. C. Weiner, and Michael Proffitt. "Dystopia." Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford [England: Clarendon, 1993. Print.
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V for Vendetta. Dir. James McTeigue. Perf. Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving. Warner Bros. Pictures, 2005. DVD.
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. "Harrison Bergeron." Literature and Ourselves. Ed. Vivian Garcia. 6th ed. New York: Pearson, 2009. 724-28. Print.
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