Hope is not a mistake: the importance of community in dystopian media
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Studies show that after major global catastrophes, there is a surge in popularity of the Dystopian genre. Many major theorists propose that society returns to Dystopia in order to find hope where we see none in our own lives. This thesis argues that this hope stems from the sense of community that characters form in the face of adversity within Dystopian landscapes. Drawing from Benedict Anderson’s definition of “imagined communities,” I have traced this thread of community throughout four works: The Running Man by Stephen King, George Miller’s film Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. A thorough analysis of these texts demonstrates that the narrative construction of communities plays a crucial role in the Dystopian genre. This thesis serves as a catalyst for a conversation within the genre about the importance of the bonds formed by characters within Dystopian works.