The genre of dystopia – the ‘not good place’– has captured the imaginations of artists and audiences alike for centuries. But why do we bother with all this pessimism? Alex Gendler explains how dystopias act as cautionary tales – not about some particular government or technology, but the very idea that humanity can be molded into an ideal shape.
A brief overview of the life and career of English author Eric Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell. Orwell is known for his strong awareness of hypocrisy and injustice in society and his opposition to totalitarianism. His best known works include 1984 and Animal Farm.
Enlightenment philosopher Jeremy Bentham famously theorized that, with his Panopticon device, people could be controlled because they would believe they are being observed. In this dystopia, people are rated by peers and are therefore never off, never anonymous, and always observed.