Chernobyl, Handmaid’s Tale, 1984 – there is a resurgence of dystopian fiction in our culture. Why is fear so powerful? We explore and engage the big questions dystopia raises for us.
Shane Rogerson and Steph Gear explore the big questions raised by dystopian novels e.g. The Hunger Games, 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale & Where’s Wally?
An engaging conversation confronting our fears, but offering hope of overcoming them.
Shane Rogerson is Senior Minister of St Matthew’s Anglican church in Prahran, Victoria (Australia). He’s passionate about engaging with the bigger questions of life.
Stephanie Gear runs a Melbourne based catering business, works part-time with City Bible Forum and is a passionate reader.
This episode was originally broadcast and released on 23rd September 2018.
How much do you know about dystopian fiction?
So dystopia, it’s but what exactly is it? What would make something dystopian?
At the start of 2017, the book 1984 experienced a resurgence of sales with sales jumping 9,500% and the book jumping to number 1 on the Amazon best-seller list. The book was published 70 years ago – why has it made such a comeback?
What attracts people to dystopia?
Do you like dystopian fiction?
English literature academic Rob McAlear claimed that ‘If the persuasive strategy that governs utopias is “hope,” for dystopias it is “fear.”‘ Is this true?
What fears do dystopian fictions particularly tap into?
These are legitimate fears though aren’t they? Why is fear so powerful?
It really is an adult only show though isn’t it?
So in The Handmaid’s Tale – what are people afraid of? Is it patriarchy or religion, or a combination of both?
So at the core of dystopia is the fear of loss of control and freedom. So what does true freedom look like?
Are there limits to freedom?
So why should they not fear? What reason does he offer to overcome fear?
He says, Christ as Lord – isn’t it a scary prospect to revere someone as Lord?
In 1984 ‘Big Brother’ was depicted as an infallible and all-powerful omnipotent leader. Some have drawn connections between Big Brother and God: a large, masculine deity who is always watching you and demands that you unconditionally love and obey him. So isn’t following ‘Jesus as Lord’ just patriarchal, controlling submission?
Be sure to listen until the end when the big question is asked of the panel.