British Utopian and Dystopian Fiction

PS 2st, Do 8-10, S 122
SoSe 2010
Universität Bayreuth

Course Description:

In this course we will deal with literary examples of two extreme ways of depicting alternative societies. Utopian fiction features the idea of an ideal world. In contrast to that dystopian fiction, which can be regarded as a harsh reaction to the disturbing condition of its time, features a world dominated by human misery. We will discuss which aspects of social life are addressed through the depiction of alternative societies and in which way this can be done. In order to understand the complexity of the criticism included, we will also consider the socio-political background of these works.

Texts to be obtained by students:

Aldous Huxley. Brave New World
George Orwell. Animal Farm
Samuel Butler. Erewhon
Thomas More. Utopia