Utopia forms a major aspect of human desire, one that is as important as religion. Understanding utopia and the ways in which it can collapse into dystopia is crucial in many disciplines. Fantastic literature (including science fiction and fantasy) is the only form of literature that takes utopia/dystopia seriously. Therefore, analysis of these works provides a basis for serious experimentation in social science.
In this volume, critics analyze contemporary literary thought experiments such as 1984 and We. They show how utopian experiments can easily slide into dystopia. Exploring these fictional sociocultural, political experiments gives us new ways to think about our lives and culture. While literature, history, and political science professors may find this book useful, it can also serve as a call to arms to anyone dedicated to maintaining freedom and humane living in the world today.
About the author
MARTHA BARTTER is Professor of English, Division of Language and Literature, Truman State University.