Utopia & Dystopia

One thing that stood out from this week’s readings and discussion was Munoz’s elaboration on utopia. The synonyms that come up for utopia are “ideal, paradise, heaven, dreamland”. In class I learned the origin of this idea of utopia, and it coming from a novel about a perfect society that someone could never find again, so all that was left was the memory of this place. I think this idea of utopia is so interesting because everyone’s own utopia would differ from everyone else. Everyone has different ideas that represent perfection, and I think this an awesome concept to tie into discussion of queer theory. Many of the readings that dealt with queer theory have been gloomy and on the more seldom side, such as talking and relating it to the death drive. This work, however, brings in this light and magical feel to this discussion of utopia. This along with the nostalgia from talking about “stages” one may have gone through and memories of performances gave this work a refreshing “vibe” to queer theory analysis.

Something else on the contrary was the idea and relevance that dystopia have in our today world, especially relating to movies. Movies can literally be about anything and can take you to a magical, make believe place such as a utopia. Instead, many movies and shows decide to create dystopias. The two that came to my mind when dystopias was mentioned were The Purge and The Hunger Games. Although I never saw The Purge, the idea of legalizing all crime for 12 hours and having it turn into horror is a pure dystopia. If crime was legalized, I would go steal puppies and new clothes, not go on a murder spree. Also the idea of The Hunger Games as a futuristic dystopian world where kids kill each other for entertainment of the upper class is interesting as a viewer but makes me wonder why dystopias are so attractive to incorporate into movies and shows when it is negative, and the opposite of utopia which is defined as perfection and heaven.

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3 thoughts on “Utopia & Dystopia

  1. During class we spoke about Utopia and Dystopia. I have heard these terms but did not really know what they meant until after our class discussion. Our class discussion on Utopia linked with Queer Theory because Utopia is our idealized “perfect” world. If you think about it, to everyone their sense of Utopia would be different. My Utopia could be someone else’s Dystopia. This ties into Queer Theory because certain people try and enforce norms that they seem as ideal and perfect. Heteronormativity pops into my mind when I think of peoples Utopia. Heteronormativity is the idea that heterosexuality is the default for all people. Some believe that a society in which everyone is heterosexual is the perfect society. There are people in this world who would do anything to tear down people who do not fit into this category. Utopias are not realistic since everyone has different opinions and views on what is “perfect” in our world.

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  2. I think it is so interesting to think that every single person, for the most part, has their own utopia in mind. Makes me wonder what everyone around me has in mind when they think of utopia. But when looking at reality, everyone is trying to create their own utopia. Clearly not everything in this world is perfect and probably will never be, but if we look around everyone is trying to find their happiness in any way that they can. Sometimes people try too hard for a utopia creating binaries in our society. People who think that everything has to be perfect, for example, men have to be manly and women have to be girly, are the people that create these dystopias for some. With this binary some people experience dystopias because they don’t fit into some of the umbrellas in our society. It is sad to see how people in our societies can use their vision of utopias to actually create sadness and embarrassment in other people’s lives.

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  3. Like Heather your line about everyone’s own “utuopian image” really stuck with me. In grade school i read a book called “The Giver”. When reading the book I kept a constant flow of images in my head of what i thought it looked like based on the descriptions provided through the literature. Ever since then i have always wondered what it would be like if i were to live in a utopian society. I do however cherish the fact that I don’t live in a Utopian society. Personally I feel every person is meant to be their own person however they might define it. I honestly feel bad for people who strive to be like someone else. While yes looking up to people and admiring certain traits about them is fine, wouldn’t it be boring if every single person were the exact same?

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