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:The difference between Utopia and Dystopia

Utopia: A place, state, or condition that is ideally

perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and
conditions. Utopia was written from the context where
the Church of England was breaking away from the
Catholic Church, priests were corrupt and not loyal to
their lord or their morals, and people where split as to
who to follow and what to believe. One of the
conventions of Utopian literature is to provide a
seemingly perfect solution to the problems in society,
and so Thomas More created a world with complete
.religious tolerance
Dystopia: A dystopia is regarded as a sort of negative
utopia and is often characterized by an authoritarian or
totalitarian form of government. Dystopias usually
feature different kinds of repressive social control
systems, a lack or total absence of individual freedoms
and expressions. The first known use of dystopian, as
recorded by the Oxford English dictionary, is a speech
given before the British house of commons by John
Stuart Mill in 1868, in which Mill denounced the
government's Irish land policy: "It is, perhaps, too
complimentary to call them Utopians, they ought rather
to be called dystopians, or caco-topians. What is

commonly called Utopian is something too good to be

practicable, but what they appear to favour is too bad
".to be practicable
Utopian and Dystopian literature both present to their
audience a style which highlights the issues of their
society. Utopian pieces provide an alternative for these
issues, presenting the ideal of a perfect world.
Dystopian pieces show the opposite extreme, the
composer taking something they disapprove of in their
society and hyperbolizing it to create a world that we
can recognize, but has lost all the integrity that we
know. Despite being at completely opposite ends of the
spectrum, Utopian and Dystopian texts share common
elements, which is most often the themes that the
values that they are analyzing, including the
importance of religion, the consequences of modern
.medicine and the importance of human relationships
:Characteristics of Utopian and Dystopian society
:Utopias have characteristics such as
Peaceful government <
Equality for citizens <

Access to education, healthcare, employment, and <

so forth
A safe environment <
In contrast, dystopias have characteristics such as
Usually a controlling, oppressive government or no <
Propaganda controlling people's minds <
Freethinking and independent thought is banned <

Doxiades, K. A. (1966). Between dystopia and utopia. Hartford: Trinity
College Press.
Milner, A. (2009). Changing the climate: The politics of dystopia.
Continuum CCON, 23(6), 827-838.
Milner, A., Ryan, M., & Savage, R. (2006). Imagining the future: Utopia and
dystopia. North Carlton, Australia: Arena Publications Association.
Pauli, L., & James, G. (2008). Utopia/dystopia: Geoffrey James. Ottawa:
National Gallery of Canada.