The Future of Dystopian Literature

By |2017-01-10T15:36:58-05:00June 18th, 2015|

This short series on dystopian literature has been a guide and little more. A longer analysis would do justice to a number of authors who deserve to be studied. The great Kurt Vonnegut offered the darkest of satire when exploring governments gone terribly wrong in Player Piano (1952), Mother Night (1961), Cat’s Cradle (1963), [...]

A Decadent Hell Hole: The Dystopia of “A Handmaid’s Tale”

By |2017-01-10T15:37:42-05:00June 13th, 2015|

Of contemporary thinkers, no one engages the essence of dystopia more than the Canadian author and professor, Margaret Atwood. She is, unquestionably, one of the most important women of letters, offering social and cultural criticisms in the vein of George Orwell and Russell Kirk. As with Orwell and Kirk, Atwood does not easily fit into a [...]

Ray Bradbury and the Dystopia of “Fahrenheit 451”

By |2018-10-20T11:26:34-05:00June 5th, 2015|

An American original, Ray Bradbury, will enjoy a high reputation for centuries to come. The future will remember him for hundreds of short stories and at least four profound novels: Fahrenheit 451; The Martian Chronicles; Something Wicked this Way Comes; and Dandelion Wine. Though Bradbury never set out intentionally to discuss dystopia or utopia, [...]

The Dystopia of Orwell’s “1984”

By |2017-01-10T15:39:32-05:00May 30th, 2015|

Though gorgeously written in its own right, 1984 also benefitted from the timing of its release, at the very end of the Second World War and at the beginning of the Cold War. Though a delusional love affair existed between the West and the Soviet Union in 1943, disillusionment and reality set in in the [...]

C.S. Lewis: Imaginative Conservative

By |2017-01-10T15:46:08-05:00May 20th, 2015|

Most who remember C.S. “Jack” Lewis (1898-1963) remember him as the author of the seven Narnia books as well as a host of works of Christian apologetics, such as The Screwtape Letters (1942), The Great Divorce (1945), and Mere Christianity (1952). Few, however, remember his science-fiction trilogy, his vast literary criticism, or his somewhat [...]

George Orwell: Jaded Revolutionary

By |2017-01-10T15:46:37-05:00May 13th, 2015|

Unlike the first two British dystopian writers, George Orwell was a colonial, born in India in 1903. He entered the world as Eric Arthur Blair, but later adopted and wrote under the pseudonym of Orwell. Having experienced the life of a destitute bohemian, as a prep school teacher, as an imperial British policeman in [...]

The Dystopian Vision of Aldous Huxley

By |2017-01-10T15:40:09-05:00May 5th, 2015|

The other brilliant dystopian of this early period, Aldous Huxley, also came from a prominent British family. The great grandson of T.H. Huxley on his father’s side and the grand nephew of Matthew Arnold on his mother’s side, Aldous Huxley came from a family of distinguished thinkers in the arts and the sciences. Huxley’s masterpiece, [...]

The First Dystopian: Robert Hugh Benson

By |2017-01-10T15:34:47-05:00April 24th, 2015|

The first great dystopian writers of the twentieth century came from upstanding British families. Arguably the first twentieth-century dystopian, Robert Hugh Benson was the third son of E.W. Benson, the Archbishop of Canterbury (1882-1896). Following the wishes of his father, Robert took holy orders as an Anglican priest, but, much to the shock of [...]

The Rise of Dystopian Literature

By |2017-01-10T15:40:23-05:00April 18th, 2015|

A culture cannot survive without a religion, at least not for long. A culture derives from the cultus, the group of people, usually based on kinship ties, who banded together to worship the same deity or deities. Once a common worship and understanding of theology develop, a culture developed from it. From the culture, [...]

A Guide to Dystopian Literature

By |2018-09-25T16:24:25-05:00April 1st, 2015|

Preface For almost as long as I have had the privilege of reading, I have read dystopian literature. I started with Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, but I soon rather quickly devoured Brave New World, Animal Farm, and Nineteen Eighty-Four as well as many of the works of Robert Heinlein, Ursula Le Guin, [...]