Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS Section A10. Welcome to Dystopia

The Hunger Games, Watchmen, Gold Fame Citrus, The Planet of the Apes. It seems that dystopian narratives – narratives that reflect a place or society in which everything is bad – are on the rise as people’s hopes for the future are on the wane. But where did this tradition of dystopian representation come from? What are its goals? Is it primarily a fictional production, or does it strive to reflect crises in the contemporary society and forewarn us of our potential destruction? In what way do these works hope to prophesize, prepare us for, and possibly prevent the future? In this class, we will read and look at many forms of dystopian narratives – principally novels and short stories, but also graphic novels and films – have lots of discussion, write some papers (two short papers, one of which will be creative fiction, and one longer paper), and hopefully have fun imagining our bleak future.

James Patrick Byrne
Visiting Assistant Professor of English