utopia vs dystopia

Utopias and Dystopias
1 / 19
Slide 1: Slide
EngelsMiddelbare schoolvwoLeerjaar 5

This lesson contains 19 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 2 videos.

Items in this lesson

Utopias and Dystopias

Slide 1 - Slide

Purpose of this lesson
At the end of this lesson, you will understand:
  • the similarities and differences between a utopia and a dystopia
  • the characteristics of dystopian fiction
  • why "The Handmaid's Tale" is dystopian

Slide 2 - Slide

Thomas More’s “Utopia”
  • Lawyer, sheriff, statesman
  • Friend of Erasmus
  • 1516 publishes Utopia
  • A story about travel to an ideal society
  • Not the first but the definition of the genre
  • A commentary on society

Slide 3 - Slide

  • .....
  • .....
  • Eutopia
  • Topos = place
  • Eu = good
  • “the perfect society” →
  • ....
  • ....
  • Outopia
  • Topos = place
  • Ou = not
  • “does not exist”/“nowhere”
A Meaningful pun

Slide 4 - Slide

A utopia cannot be completely different from our society, it must resemble it, and appear to be a progression from or alternative version of our current society.

Slide 5 - Slide

watch the following video
Decide if it is a utopia or a dystopia.

Slide 6 - Slide

Slide 7 - Video

Is a utopia-for-all possible? Explain

Slide 8 - Slide

dys=bad + topos=place

Slide 9 - Slide

Slide 10 - Slide

Why are these rules in place? When is it okay to limit personal freedom for the benefit of society?

Slide 11 - Open question

What are some rules we have in our society or in our school that limit personal freedom in some way?

Slide 12 - Open question

Techniques used in dystopian literature 
During the following video take notes on:
- The techniques mentioned
- A historical moment when looking for a utopia has turned into a dystopia
- Other techniques, you see in the video, that define dystopian literature? For example, isolation etc.

Slide 13 - Slide


Slide 14 - 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 15 - Slide

Dystopian fiction criticizes
The Seven Deadly Sins

Slide 16 - Slide

Margaret Atwood
Birth Date : November 18, 1939 (age 80)
Education: Radcliffe College, Victoria College, Harvard University
Place of Birth: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 

Slide 17 - Slide

  • The near future
  • Republic of Gilead -> a Christian totalitarian society that has replaced the United States
  • A city in what used to be New England
 “You often hear in North America, "It can't happen here," but it happened quite early on. The Puritans banished people who didn't agree with them, so we would be rather smug to assume that the seeds are not there. That's why I set the book in Cambridge.”​

Slide 18 - Slide

  • Offred​
  • Moira​ 
  • The Commander​ 
  • The Commander’s Wife​ 
  • Luke​ 
  • The Daughter​ 
  • Janine​ 
  • Ofglen​
  • Aunts Lucy, Elizabeth, Sara, Lydia, Helena​ 
  • Rita and Cora​ 
  • Nick​

Slide 19 - Slide