Thematic Essay Sample: Dystopia in Literature

Posted on March 1, 2022

Educators assign thematic writing to students to check how they can develop a certain topic. They introduce a thematic essay example to let them analyze a paper, its format, the importance of a thesis statement, and an example of a perfect structure. This article introduces a thematic analysis example essay about dystopia in literature written by a high-schooler. Due to this analysis, one will be able to outline and structure an essay paragraph by paragraph. Excellent examples allow students to imagine what a paper should look like and what things it must include. After one finishes writing, one will need to convert a paper into PDF or Word before sending it to a tutor. Today, one can easily do it with the help of Google Docs, which offers a variety of formats before download.

Thematic Essay Definition: The Role of Dystopian Worlds in Literature


It was and remains trendy to create imaginary worlds that describe a certain order and hierarchy in society. An ideal world is called a utopia and a destroying one is called dystopia. According to the Mirriam-Webster definition, dystopia is an artificially made place where people are feared by the government and feel desperate because of the existing injustice. Raymond Williams describes four types of dystopia. The first one resembles a hell that people can reach only through scientific or technological travel. The second one deals with the world that was altered by a disaster. The third type is the result of social experiments. The fourth type represents the world that was changed due to technological progress. To understand each kind of dystopia, it is necessary to analyze works of literature or cinematography. All dystopian works bear a certain message that lets a reader ponder on the problem and understand the danger of human wrong actions and decisions.

Before one creates a thematic essay outline, a person thinks about what things to include to create a perfect structure. If at least one element goes wrong, the essay sample will fail. That is how a utopia world turns into a dystopia. It happened to people who lived in Gilead, the world created by Margaret Atwood. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is the story of June Osborne. She was separated from her family because of her high-fertility ability in a world where most couples could not conceive because of environmental pollution and sexually transmitted diseases. Her daughter was kidnapped and brought up in one of Gilead’s families. The imaginary country divides into several social layers. Angels support commanders and perform menial functions for them. Commanders include men who rule the country. Aunts are women whose job is to turn a woman into an obedient slave who will give birth to commanders’ families. Daughters are female children of Commanders. They are taken from handmaids, econowomen, or unwomen. Econowomen are married to males who are less powerful than commanders, and unwomen are old and disobedient who must do hard work and die without the right to mercy. Marthas are domestic servants while Jezebels are enslaved women who were to become prostitutes. Society is completely adjusted to the needs of Commanders. The world faced its first collapse when handmaids got tired and decided to rebel. The Gilead’s founders forgot that the real world still existed. June’s husband together with other husbands and relatives tries to find a way to release their beloved. This novel introduces the third type of dystopia. A social experiment of strong believers and the desire to cause a baby boom created hell for everyone.

The second type of dystopia is presented by “The Lord of Flies” by William Golding. Children survived after a plane crash. They had to live on an unknown island without adults. The island was like a paradise, with ecologically clean air and water. Everything could be great, but chaos comes to places without order. When boys decided to set rules, only a couple of them were guided by logic and justice. Others chose the side of natural selection, where only the strongest survived. The author of the book chose kids because they were innocent, and it was easier to show real humanity. If religion and social order collapse, the world will collapse as well. The same idea can be found in the movie “Snowpiercer”. The world changed after a scientific experiment that led to the glacial period. The surviving people had to live on a train that divided people into three classes and tails. The last ones rebelled against the set order because they wanted to see sunlight and eat normal food like others. Almost all people died when the order collapsed.

The first dystopia type is introduced in “The Inhabited Island” by brothers Strugatsky. The main character had to land on an unknown island in 2157. The government of Unknown Fathers controlled citizens using radiation towers, whose job was to brainwash and turn people into obedient warriors and servants. The government tried to find those who could not be controlled by radiation and kill or imprison them. The main character Max revealed the truth and tried to destroy the towers with the help of associates. He succeeded. So, the main idea of the book was to show that a human being is a smart creature. Nobody can control it forever. Totalitarian countries are doomed to fail because disobedience will find a way to get the tyrant out.

One can see the fourth type of dystopia in “Paradise 2070” by Roman Sklyarov. The government tries to change people by giving them everything they want. Everyone is controlled by a chip that is implanted in their hand. Those who refuse to install them and enjoy the world of consumers should live in a separate community. They do not have the right to work in the capital and earn money. The main character belongs to children made by 3D printers and raised by parents who are half-humans and half-animals. He refuses technological merits and rebels together with an Islamic community that still trusts in religion, love, natural maternity, and other things that let people remain humans. Others want to participate in the experiment “Paradise 2070” which promises eternal life to the chosen people who will live on land with perfect living conditions. The person who stands behind the system is a devil who manages to get his servants who will serve him forever. The system did not collapse, but the people who followed the devil failed. The main idea of the book is that people stop being humans when they turn into a flock of brainless sheep who follow their animal instinct and do not care about families, love, and motherland.

So, dystopias belong to the fantasy that describes the strengths and weaknesses of humans. Writers create worlds that resemble a paradise but deprive people of human rights. Even though the above-described worlds were created, they might become our reality if we stop taking care of our inner world. Morality, intelligence, religion, love, and culture are things that make people humans.


  1. Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale (The Handmaid’s Tale, #1). Anchor Books, 1998.
  2. “Dystopia.” The Merriam-Webster.Com Dictionary, Accessed 30 Jan. 2022.
  3. Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Anniversary, Perige Trade, Hardcover(2003), 2022.
  4. “Raymond Williams- Utopia and Science Fiction.” Science Fiction Studies, Accessed 30 Jan. 2022.
  5. “Snowpiercer (2013).” Korean Film Biz Zone, Accessed 30 Jan. 2022.
  6. Strugatsky, Arkady, et al. The Inhabited Island. Chicago Review Press, 2020.
  7. “What Are Examples of Dystopia? 23 Fictional Societies.” YourDictionary, Accessed 30 Jan. 2022.
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