Entering dystopia, entering Erewhon
Parrinder, P. (2005) Entering dystopia, entering Erewhon. Critical Survey, 17 (1). pp. 6-21. ISSN 0011-1570
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To link to this article DOI: 10.3167/001115705781002039
Abandon hope all ye who enter here: a society cannot be truly dystopian if travellers can come and go freely. Anti-utopias and 'satirical utopias' - that is, societies considered perfect by their advocates but not by the implied reader - must be well-regulated enough to prevent the possible disruption caused by a visitor. There is no exit at all from the classic twentieth-century dystopias, which end either in an actual death, like that of the Savage in Huxley's Brave New World (1932), or in a spiritual death like Winston Smith's in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). Any glimmers of hope that the protagonist may have felt are quickly destroyed.