People can be doggedly hard on dystopian fiction. It’s weird how some people can like a thing a great deal until it becomes wildly popular and then somehow that popularity makes it suddenly unpalatable. Instead of asking “why is dystopian fiction still popular” maybe we should talk about why it was to begin with.
Here’s three reasons why people are reading Dystopian Fiction.
- It’s (Uncomfortably) Familiar – This is the one I see most people talk about. You turn on the tv or the internet today and what do you see? Racial conflicts, persecution based on everything imaginable, wars, refugees, and the leaders that no one believes in to the point that it’s quite common that folks just accept that they’re not going to like anyone who is running for office and simply cast votes for the “lesser evil.”Millennials, especially, have grown up in this darker world. They hear older folks discuss “better times” (spoiler alert Millennials, it wasn’t all that great either) and how can they not worry about what the future might look like.The truth is we read about, and our interests lay, with the things that we have on our mind now. It’s why grade school books focus on topics like annoying older siblings, acne, and bullies… and it’s why books for young adults (and adults alike) focus on survival in a world that feels like it’s been set upon its ear..
- Excitement – The heroes in the books face life and death stakes. Visceral reactions and emotions fill every single page. You CAN NOT pick up a good dystopian fiction book without feeling something. You read dystopia for the same reason you go to an action flick… not because you’re obsessed with blowing stuff up but because you’re looking to be entertained!.
- Hope – Even in the darkest places there are lights and maybe the book doesn’t end with the heroes stopping the corrupt government or solving the problem of a plague or dying planet… but the people, the characters, they represent hope. That no matter how bad things get there will always being people like Katniss, Amy Martin, Tris and more who will stand up against the darkness and lead those who don’t know how. That maybe, just maybe, we have those same qualities and are willing to do what is necessary (despite the costs) to make our world better as well.
What did I miss? Why do you read Dystopian fiction? Leave a comment below and let me know your reasons. And if you let me know you’re twitter handle, I’ll be sure to give you a follow!