Dystopian books: Inspirational characters and hidden meanings

It is a common misconception that dystopian books are completely unrealistic.I believe that they have the ability to teach us many things, even if the worlds that are created within them are so much more extreme than our own. The ordinary problems faced by the characters are often disguised by the many flaws of the fictional worlds that they live in. Over the past few years they have increased in popularity and it has became more apparent that their hidden messages really can teach us some important life lessons.

I may have been inspired to write this blog post because of my love of the dystopian genre, but I don’t doubt that other books have taught me things too. When I was younger my favourite book was called ‘party in the sky’. The illustrations were beautiful and the story was uplifting. The little girl in the story didn’t believe that her dream would come true because she was discouraged by others . However the happy ending made me realise that every dream is possible, no matter whether it’s small or big, short term or long term. I learnt that you or someone else doubting your dream isn’t worthwhile. This did teach me something very important but I would confidently say that I have probably learnt the most from books in more recent years. Here are some of the things I have learnt because of my favourite dystopian stories.

Firstly something that seems obvious is to stand up for what I believe in and accept who I truly am. Characters such as Tris from Divergent are a perfect example of this as she has to overcome the repression she faces by accepting and embracing the person that she truly is. Something else I have learnt from Divergent is to not be ashamed of the things I am fearful of but to accept them and try to overcome what is holding me back. I have always been a worrier and I am fearful of many things. I am not necessarily fearful of change but it is something that makes me feel anxious sometimes. Lately I have been trying really hard to accept that things are going to change in life regularly and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This also coincides with Tris’ character, as she adapts and overcomes the changes in her life.

All of the examples I have written above are about Divergent which isn’t something I intended to do. I have also been inspired by many dystopian books including the Hunger Games trilogy and the declaration trilogy. Katniss from the Hunger Games manages to inspire those around her to fight for their own freedom. Whereas Anna from the Declaration bravely overcomes a label which society has forced upon her. They all offer important life lessons and make us as human beings feel empathetic towards them.

Dystopian books have taught me all of these things and I think they will continue to. I still have many more books to read and in the future I may need to do a part 2 blog post.The characters within these stories live within fictional worlds but that doesn’t make any of them unrealistic. Katniss has moments where she doesn’t feel empowered even though everyone around her relies on her strength. Anna finds it difficult to live up to social expectations and live her life normally without being judged. Tris is unable to find her own identity at first which then results in her struggling to fit in. All of these characters have relatable problems and the way they deal with them is sometimes inspirational.

They may be set far into the future in alternative worlds, but they teach us things that we need in our own world. We don’t have to fear for our lives in the hunger games or choose the faction we belong in, but we face many other obstacles. As teenagers we have to choose our futures and who we are as people. In life in general we have to be strong willed and empower ourselves even when life’s circumstances seem to change everything. Dystopian books are more than random pieces of fiction, they are heightened versions of our own reality. Have you learnt any important life lessons from the pages of your favourite books? Let me know in the comments below and…

…Until next time keep dreaming x


3 thoughts on “Dystopian books: Inspirational characters and hidden meanings

  1. Great post – interesting to see the focus on modern dystopian books as well (especially considering their popularity at the moment). I think that is something that really marks modern dystopian books apart from some of the older ones, is the main characters being a bit more inspirational and relate-able in the challenges they face. But you’re absolutely right – dystopian literature shows us heightened versions of our own reality and often they are eerily accurate in their predictions about the future. Brave New World and 1984, both written in the 30s and 40s, made a lot of predictions about the world today that are accurate in creepy ways (particularly things like the mass surveillance of society – they predicted it with cameras and “thought police”, but the internet certainly is a close equivalent to that with social networking). Whether it teaches us about the society we live in or about who we are as a person, I think it’s pretty hard to read a dystopian story and not walk away with something from it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love dystopias, my favourite is Margaret Atwood’s ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’ but I enjoyed the ones mentioned in your post as well. I found your blog from Blogging 101 and look forward to reading your future posts, it looks like we have very similar interests!

    Liked by 1 person

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