2.en.06 Unveiling dystopias

We have been describing and discussing different visions of the future.

As you already know depending on the way we picture it we can talk of Utopias or Dystopias.

utopian-tower-01                                               Dystopian-Feature-Image

Let’s have a look at the two words. Could you say what they mean bearing in mind they come from the combination of Greek words?

U – topia; from the ancient Greek οὐ + τόπος

Dys – topia, from the ancient Greek δυσ+ τόπος

Have a look at the list of features below. What type of society do they describe? utopian or dystopian?

Characteristics of Utopias & Dystopias

Talking of the FUTURE

In the last lessons we have been talking about different visions of the future.

Could you say what literary or movie genre describe the future of humans? Could you name any titles?

We call this genre: —————————————————

Now, complete the text below with the words:

sci-fi /setting / imaginary / humanity/ fiction/ answers / future / technology

_________________________is a genre (or form) of fiction that explores 1)__________ possibilities and consequences of developments in science and                  2) __________.  It is an extremely broad category of genre, crossing over into            other areas of 3) __________ including horror, fantasy and historical fiction.        Whereas the     4) __________ of science fiction stories may occur in the                             5) __________, in an alternate galaxy or in an altered present, the thematic           concerns of 6) __________ tend to reflect a mixture of universal questions           regarding 7) __________ and the contemporary contexts of their composers.                 Put another way, science fiction plays with 8) __________ to the big scientific     questions we ask of our imaginations:


Look at an example:

If humanity learned the secrets to star travel, we would find worlds like our own, meet aliens and declare war on them.

Now it’s your turn to explore the different possibilities of alternative worlds. Choose two of the ideas below and add a third of your own choice:

If scientists discovered a remedy to ageing,…      /           If we could clone human beings, …

If we could understand dog language,…                /           If the world ran out of oil, …

If the world was under the control of an only person, … /     If bees disappeared, …

If the Mediterranean sea dried,…                    / If people had 5-minute long memories, …

If all machines stopped working, ….        / If it was possible to time travel, …

Click on the image below to learn more about sentences like above:

Let’s see now in how many different ways we can talk about the future in English:







One of the most famous dystopian novels is Nineteen Eighty-Four which was written by George Orwell. In the year 1984, Apple, a company that produced computers, launched a new model of personal computer called 1984 Macintosh.

In the commercial they created to advertise this new computer they used some of the images contained in the book.

  • How would you describe the workers depicted in the commercial?
  • How does the runner compare to the workers?
  • How do these characters display dystopian characteristics?
  • What type of dystopian controls are used in the society depicted in the commercial?
  • What characteristics of a dystopian society are present in the commercial?
  • How are setting and characterization used to show that the protagonist in this commercial is trapped by this society and is trying to escape?
  • What is the protagonist in conflict with in the commercial?
  • What is the symbolic meaning of the protagonist’s action of throwing the hammer and destroying the screen?
  • What negative aspects of the dystopian world in the video are highlighted through the actions of the protagonist?
  • What comment or criticism is being made about our society through this dystopia?

Now click on the image below and use the “1984” Macintosh Analysis Tool for a more detailed analysis:


This entry was posted in English. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s