Dystopia and utopia are two words that mean the opposite of each other, which makes them antonyms. We will examine the definitions of dystopia and utopia, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.
A dystopia is an imagined or fictional place in which things have gone wrong. Dystopias are frequently written about in literary works to illustrate current issues in a more extreme context. Some examples of dystopian tales are Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and The Giver by Lois Lowry. The word dystopia was coined by British politician J. S Mill in 1868, combining the Greek prefix dys- meaning bad with the word utopia.
A utopia is an imagined or fictional place in which things are perfect. Utopias are not as frequently written about in literary works as dystopias. The word utopia was coined by Sir Thomas More in 1516, as a title for his work about a fictional island of egality. Another example of a utopia is the Garden of Eden in the Old Testament. The word utopia was derived from the Greek words ou meaning not and topos meaning place.
The much-hyped debut of The Handmaid’s Tale, a 10-part feature set in a near-future world in which a patriarchal, theocratic regime in the throes of a fertility crisis exercises absolute control over its women, is based on the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, who the New Yorker recently reminded us is “the prophet of dystopia.” (Commentary Magazine)
“I am not suggesting this dystopian future is around the corner, but this show has prompted important conversations about women’s rights and autonomy.” (Vanity Fair Magazine)
But on Havergey, an island off the coast of Scotland, a small Utopian society has formed. (The Economist)
The communal utopia they established, like all utopias, eventually failed, and by 1898 the Zoar experiment was over. (The Columbus Dispatch)