Utopias and Dystopias
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EngelsMiddelbare schoolvwoLeerjaar 3

This lesson contains 18 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 2 videos.

time-iconLesson duration is: 60 min

Items in this lesson

Utopias and Dystopias

Slide 1 - Slide

In this term you are going to read a dystopian novel 
The Maze runner James Dashner

Slide 2 - Slide

What do these books have in common?

Slide 3 - Slide

What does the word "Utopia" mean to you?

Slide 4 - Mind map

What does the word "Dystopia" mean to you?

Slide 5 - Mind map

What is a dystopia?
A dystopia is a community or society that is undesirable or frightening. It is an antonym of utopia, a term that was coined by Sir Thomas More and figures as the title of his best known work, published in 1516, which created a blueprint for an ideal society with minimal crime, violence and poverty.

Slide 6 - Slide


Slide 7 - Video

Separate societies & Dystopian societies
Separate Societies
Societies with their own rules, separated from the rest of the world:
Religious communities (Oranges aren't the only fruit; The Chosen)
Separate rules and behaviour (Lord of the Flies; Ink; The Circle)

Dystopian societies 
Imaginary, dehumanizing societies, the government is in control & loss of individualism. 

Slide 8 - Slide

What do these books have in common?

Slide 9 - Open question

What is the opposite of dystopia?

Slide 10 - Open question

So what is the function of a dystopia?
It gives a warning
It gives a promise
It wants to make us afraid
It educates us

Slide 11 - Quiz

Characteristics of Dystopian Literature

  1. Government Control
  2. Environmental destruction
  3. Technological control
  4. Survival
  5. Loss of individualism

Slide 12 - Slide

Why Dystopian Literature?

1) To educate and warn about the dangers of today's society/politics
2) Usually disagrees with the author's view of how a society should be

(Sometimes a Satirical critique - criticizes the foolishness/corruption of an individual or society
by using humor, irony, exaggeration, ridicule)

Slide 13 - Slide

Essay: The Maze runner relates to real life
The Maze runner is a novel about a dystopian society because the inhabitants are there against their own will. They were placed in the maze by the creators, who survey them constantly. There are things outside the walls waiting to hurt them, and eventually they try to escape. WICKED has total control over Thomas and his friends. When trying to escape they see that the world  has been destroyed and is now totally controlled by WICKED.  The Maze runner is an example of a totalitarian society and definitely relates to real life.

First of all, the lives of all the inhabitants in the maze are controlled by the government.
 Give examples from the novel (WICKED). Give an example of a real life controlling government (i.e. Russia, China, etc.)

Second of all, the Maze runner shows how  Thomas and his friends are not allowed to have an individual life
Give examples from the novel (the Maze - they cannot escape; they need each other to escape, have to sacrifice individuals; even when they fall in love, they have to go with the group etc.)

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Essay: The Maze runner relates to real life
Last but not least,, the Maze Runner shows what the world looks like after a deadly disease.
Give examples from the novel and give examples from real life

In conclusion we can say that the Maze runner is about a dystopian society but definetely relates to real life. 
Repeat the 3 points (one sentence per point) and finish with one-two sentences how the Maze runner illustrates what could happen to today's world.

Slide 15 - Slide

What does the word "Dystopia" mean to you?

Slide 16 - Mind map


Slide 17 - Video

Dystopian society in fiction
  • Citizens' lives are closely controlled by a government or corporation by means of technology, religion or ideology.
  •  The truth about the world is kept from most members of society
  • Citizens must conform to the rules.  Individuality is a bad thing. 
  • Citizens are dehumanized.
  • The society presents the illusion of a utopia to its citizens.
  • The main character in dystopian works is one of the few to see the truth.

Slide 18 - Slide