Give Me a Happy Ending, Please

1984

This week, one of the foxes asked about our favorite dystopian world. I’ll confess I had to look up the term, because I wasn’t quite sure what dystopian meant. Oxforddictionaries.com defines dystopia as “an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.” In other words, not the kind of stuff I normally read or write. But I have been exposed to a few.

In high school, my English class read 1984, by George Orwell. I didn’t particularly enjoy that book, especially since I figured I’d probably still be alive by that year and it scared me to think that my world might become like Oceania.

Logan's RunIn the 1970s there was a string of disaster movies like The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Airport, and Earthquake among others, but I don’t imagine those count. The only one I watched that might qualify was one called Logan’s Run, which dealt with a domed world in which people weren’t allowed to live past their 30th birthday and all procreation was done in a laboratory. I watched that when I was in college and didn’t particularly enjoy it. I’ve often wondered how the characters, who broke out of their dome at the end, managed to survive and get by in the outside world.

The_Maze_Runner_coverI have absolutely no interest in watching shows like The Walking Dead or The Maze Runner, although I was thrilled when one of my granddaughters who struggled with reading told me she enjoyed reading the Maze Runner books. I gladly bought the rest of the series for her. I figured if it was interesting enough to motivate her to read, it was worth the investment. But I didn’t read it myself. As for The Walking Dead, why on earth would I watch something like that every week when I already have a difficult time getting to sleep at night? I guess I just never understood the fascination with a possible zombie apocalypse. Avatar is another popular movie that I never made time to see, though the premise was intriguing. If I were paralyzed like Jake, would I choose to enter a world like Pandora so that I could be mobile again? I’m not sure.

OliverUsing the definition above, I would argue that stories like the movies Annie and Oliver, as well as the comic strip and novel they’re based on, depict dystopianesque (did I just make up a word?) worlds – at least for the main characters at the beginning of the stories. But the difference between these and true dystopian stories, aside from the fact New York and London are real places, is that for both Annie and Oliver there is a happy ending. And that makes those stories palatable to me. I can handle living (through the characters, of course) in a dystopian world as long as there’s a way to escape into a better one. I guess that’s why I write romance.

Do you enjoy reading about dystopian worlds? If so, which ones do you like?

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About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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15 Responses to Give Me a Happy Ending, Please

  1. kathleenbee says:

    I also prefer happy endings, Patricia. My brother had an obsession with Logan’s Run when he was a kid. I managed to get my non-reading son to read the first “Maze Runner” book but he didn’t like the way it ended, so he doesn’t want to read the rest of the series. I watched Avatar with my kids, but I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite, although it wasn’t bad. The affects were really good; I can’t deny that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I suppose when you reach a certain point in your life, you’ve had enough unpleasantness that you don’t want to read about it in your leisure time. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jeff7salter says:

    Well, I’m glad you looked up the definition for us, because I had only a vague sense of what it means.
    Gosh, I’m stumped for the moment. Guess I’d better put on my thinking cap between now and Hound Day.
    As for the novel 1984 — I was never assigned to read it (as best I can recall), but I did read it during H.S. [late 1960s]. Decades later, I re-read it because I’d already recognized how our society / culture was rewriting history and mandating how we are supposed to think. Not to mention all the surveillance. Oh well, maybe I’ll discuss that more on Thursday.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think I have seen any of the movies or shows that you mentioned. I never read 1984.
    I did read Divergent when it first came out, before it became a movie and I really enjoyed the first book but the second one fell flat for me. I am really going to have to give this a lot of thought as I get my post ready for tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nope, I stay away from depressing movies with no hope. But as a writer, the concept is intriguing. I could let my inner demons out and kill quite a few characters. Then go back to writing fantasy romance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Ha! That’s a good idea, Cheryl. I’d write stories like that for my eyes only. But I don’t think I could stick to it very long.

      Like

  5. I only glanced at the upcoming topics and my mind went to “Utopian”, not “Dystopian”; I wonder if that was the original thought?
    I’m not sure how one can have a ‘favorite’ dystopian world.I will really have to crunch my brain.
    “1984” was a shorter term guessitmate, but it’s too darned close to right now.

    Like

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I suppose if you created one it might be your favorite. But as I mentioned, I’d be spending all my time (or my characters would) trying to escape.

      Liked by 1 person

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