literary genres and tropes: dystopia;
a form of literature that explores social and political structures. it is a creation of a nightmare world - unlike its opposite, utopia, which is an ideal world. dystopia is often characterized by an authoritarian or totalitarian form of government. it often features different kinds of repressive social control systems, a lack or total absence of individual freedoms and expressions, and a state of constant warfare or violence. many novels combine both dystopia and utopia, often as a metaphor for the different directions humanity can take in its choices, ending up with one of the two possible futures.
By Lyes Kachaou
(reference for when i am trying to explain these to people and they are looking at me like “huh”):
- the Bechdel test: does the story have a) more than one women, b) who talk to each other, c) about something other than a man.
- the Ellen Willis test: if you flip the genders, does the story still make sense?
- the Sexy Lamp test (courtesy of Kelly Sue DeConnick): can you replace your female character with a sexy lamp and still have the story work? if yes, YOU ARE A HACK.
- the Mako Mori test: there is a) at least one female character, b) who gets her own narrative arc, c) that is not about supporting a man’s story.
- the Tauriel test (which i made up in response to The Hobbit 2 [which passes] and Skyfall [which fails]): a) there is a woman, b) WHO IS GOOD AT HER JOB.
and in justification of my recent TV obsessions, i would like to note that Scandal, The Vampire Diaries, Buffy, and Nikita (ALL HAIL MAGGIE Q) pass all of these tests with flying colors.
UPDATE: i just discovered the Finkbeiner test and it is FANTASTIC.
A vital contribution to American Lettres.
My downward spiral continues. Gonna start Deadwood sometime next week, because Jenny says it’s basically actual!Western Justified and I have a problem.
Bonus points for Timothy Olyphant doing the exact same character.
at least you’re not super into Justin timberlake’s debut effort, JUSTIFIED
ohhh. so that’s why his baby face keeps popping up in the justified tag.