Thursday, April 4, 2013


Love them. Don't know why.

I mean, why on earth would I use my "escape time" for reading about the end of the world, government take overs, and the destruction of the Earth itself? Maybe there's something about the fight against all odds (Hunger Games). Surviving in a literally collapsing world (Life as we Knew it).  Cheering for the underdog against the unseen (or very visible) enemy, especially when that person is one's self (Shatter Me and Divergent).

Maybe it's because the dystopian world is looking an awful lot like our own these days. Issues with our health, economy, environmental challenges, and the political unrest that continues to fuel writers' imagination. 1984 anyone? The Giver?

Or is it the other way around? Are books giving people the ideas about how to take over the world? :) Are we in fact fueling the inspiration for the many challenges we now face? It's been said that the power of writers is often underestimated. Makes one it possible? Do we really have that much influence? In some cases, I would hope. It's what drives change. And the dystopian genre. The fight for good against evil. The will to survive.


What do you think?  Do writers have the power to change the world through our words? Or are we merely borrowing from  the age-old cycle of "life" itself. Or is it both?  And what are your favorite dystopians and why?

PS. Congratulations to Leah for winning the bookmark!  Thank you ALL for your helpful and inspiring comments!!!


  1. I'm crazy about dystopians too. In my opinion, Margaret Atwood is the QUEEN MOTHER of the genre!

  2. I think your comment about dystopian writing reflecting our views of the world we live in is astute and probably pretty accurate.

  3. The escapism in dystopians is, I think, not so much that we don't think it'll happen, but society has disintegrated so far in most dystopians, we figure it'll take decades, maybe even centuries, before our world looks anything like that. In short, we believe it could happen, but not in our lifetime. So we can sit back and enjoy the escapism... blissfully forgetting how much our world has changed just in the last 20 years. :)

    As for the influence of writing... I think there is a certain amount of dialog between writing and culture, though I think novels tend to be influenced more than they influence.

  4. Unfortunately you hit on something, Karen. Writers do have a lot of influence on the world, but you're thinking books. How about the press? They have their words, and yes, their opinions! out there every day influencing pretty much everything. This isn't new. Back in the 1800s during the Indian wars, the press literally lit fires to fuel those wars. Writing does influence. We can see that in how our culture has disintegrated over the past few decades.


Tell me how you really feel. Come on, I Dair YA.