utopia and dystopia

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Activity for 1984 lesson 1


  • 1. Utopia and Dystopia
    • Two Visions of the World

2. Utopia

  • Definition: An imagined place or state of things in which perfection has been achieved.
  • Origin: Sir Thomas More, 1516, Utopia
  • Concept originally linked to religious ideals, but now also refers to socio-political ideals

3. Dystopia

  • Definition: an imagined place or state of things in which everything is unpleasant, typically a degraded environment and a totalitarian regime
  • Origin: John Stuart Mill, 1868 speech in the House of Commons about Irish problem
  • Common theme in modern books and movies

4. Utopian Novels 5. Dystopian Novels 6. What is Your Vision of the Future?

  • Get into groups of four; you will be assigned either utopia or dystopia
  • Complete the handout by briefly describing the specific elements of your utopian or dystopian world
  • Share results with class


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