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The Grandview Chronicle

Grandview's Source for Student-Centered News.

The Grandview Chronicle

Grandview's Source for Student-Centered News.

The Grandview Chronicle

Broken Bliss: The Duality of Dystopia

The following dystopia masterpieces: ‘The Shadowhunter’s Codex’ by Cassandra Clare and Joshua Lewis, ‘The Mortal Instruments: The City of Bones’ also by Cassandra Clare, and ‘They Both Die at the End’ by Adam Silvera

The genre “dystopian” is the jack of all trades. Whether you are assigned the genre in class or is just for personal reading, dystopian appeals to everyone. Through dystopia’s captivating imagery, it shows the author’s commentary about where the world will be by tackling ideas of technology, apathy, and much more. 

Dystopian has been around for quite a long time. The genre dates as far back as 1921 when Yevgeny Zamyatin wrote the novel “We,” a story set in the future where society is completely run by logic or reason. This means desires are suppressed, until the main character, D-503, starts having dreams and wants which is considered a mental illness in this world.

Divergent is a classic dystopia franchise written by Veronica Roth. This book franchise has also been turned into 3 movies and has also won two Goodreads Choice Awards!


This old classic helped redefine the original idea of “dystopian” since Zamyatin showed a new form of the genre. They did this by describing life in a postapocalyptic, collective world. Some of the themes prevalent in the story include love and imagination dubbed as criminal, humans as numbers, and restrictive laws and schedules. 

Dystopian became a prevalent genre because it was made to introduce a story setting that is opposite to an idealistic paradise. However, more creativity could be fit into a dystopian setting such as showing an end of a world that no one’s thought of. Additionally, showing the author’s ideas of how a world controls others’ thoughts or emotions and showing how characters tend to deal with such a place can add to the innovative element.

Michael Bodhi Green stated that “a dystopian society is characterized by human misery in the form of squalor, oppression, disease, overcrowding, environmental destruction, or war.” This proves that the genre focuses on real life possible disasters that could lead towards a future dystopia. 

Within the genre, there is always a major conflict. Because of this, the story already has a starting point. The ways to solve the problem are entirely up to the author. But this is where authors tend to mix genres. They could choose to make their characters handle this through mystery, combat, and much more. This is the most admirable part of the dystopia genre.

Since there are so many different methods and inventive aspects in handling dystopias, adding other concepts like romance or comedy won’t affect the story, considering how there is so much room in the imaginative space for dystopias. 

The Hunger Games is a classic dystopian book and movie franchise. Throughout the series, you are constantly reminded of the cruel world the characters live in. Suzanne Collins also added a romance between the two main characters, Katniss and Peeta. It makes it more of a tragic situation since both Katniss and Peeta are chosen in a reaping, where only one out of 24 children picked will survive.

The popular ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ franchise, written by C.S. Lewis, is more of a fantasy then a dystopia, but it does share a lot of common traits to a dystopia. It is well known for its writing to never disappoint throughout all 7 books. The Narnia franchise has even won countless awards, including the Carnegie Medal of Writing!

As expected, Katniss and Peeta did not expect to survive together or even think they’d have a chance to get to know each other to even have their own love story. Since they added this, it allowed readers to focus or get excited about more than one part of the story.

Depending on the genre, it also helps you get attached to a story. According to Annabelle Mahoney, a teacher at The University of Rhode Island, “genre expectations affect both how individuals choose texts to read and then how those texts are understood.” This means certain genres allow someone to understand a story differently compared to how they would be able to understand other stories. So going off of this, the dystopia genre can be understood by different types of readers since it’s multi-genre.

Purdue University professor, Richard Johnson Sheehan, mentions, “Genres are ways of writing and speaking that help people communicate and work together in specific situations.” This means writers use writing as their language towards others and genres help with specific expressions.

So, if a writer can write dystopian, doesn’t that mean they have the ability to write and connect with more readers? This just shows how the dystopian genre can also be a good skill for writers,  like taking on a challenge of multiple genres. To an author, it’s similar to taking on the challenge of multiple languages.

The dystopian genre is the best genre out of all genres. It has more advantages than other genres such as more thought, the usage of more than one genre, and being able to have the ability to understand more of what you’re reading. It’s filled with endless masterpieces and endless entertainment that will keep your mind racing for more.

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About the Contributor
Avalie Baros, Social Media
Grade: I am in 10th grade. Years on Staff: This is my first year on staff. What are you looking forward to the most?: I look forward to being more involved in newspaper and learning more about everything and everyone around me! What is your favorite personality trait?: My favorite personality trait about myself is that I have an imaginative way of thinking in my head, but the personality I express is more logical and I tend to find that pretty interesting about myself.

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