Lapore, “A Golden Age for Dystopian Fiction” (1-9)


Keep the following questions in mind as you read Jill Lapore’s , “A Golden Age for Dystopian Fiction” (1-9). The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

What are some examples of recently released movies, TV shows, or games set in the future?

Are those futures good or bad? What makes the future worlds in the new media you cite good or bad?

Why are there so few children in the books and movies that Lapore cites her in her article?

Why is life so boring for the inhabitants of the fictional worlds that Lapore cites her in her article?

What is a dystopia? According to Lapore, why do dystopias follow utopias?

To what strains of just prior social and cultural production does Lapore argue the current crop of dystopian fiction respond?

When did authors first begin to write utopian worlds? When and why did dystopian worlds emerge?

To what “present-day dilemma[s]” do newly published dystopian novels respond (5)?

Near the end of her essay, Lapore argues, “This move [turning dreams to nightmares] isn’t new or  daring; it is, instead, very old. The question is whether it is all used up” (6). What do you think? Is the form of the nightmare future “all used up”?

How do we deal with the problem that the plans we make for the future or worlds we build now can/always do lead to disaster? In other words, how do we deal with the fact that “utopias contain their own dystopias” (6)?

What accounts for the overlap between Utopia/Dystopia and American teenagers?

What does Lapore mean when she says, “Every Dystopia is a history of the future” (8)?