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Dystopian literature characteristically addresses the plight of the “everyman” as he copes with the oppression imposed by a totalitarian regime. Touchstone writers of the genre known for novels including Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World and Anthem have, however, been scrutinized for creating uncannily similar plots. While scholars have linked the writers’ ideas back to a Russian predecessor, the novel We, this research explores how a charge of quasi-plagiarism is a shallow explanation. The great question being explored in any dystopian novel is whether government can save mankind from itself by eradicating individual will. The commonalities among that individual will dictate the appearance of a world without it. It is because of human universals such as love, family and a desire for knowledge that these dystopian novels focus on the prevention of love through the regulation of sex, communal rearing of children, and thought-level censorship of ideas.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

John P. McCombe

Primary Advisor's Department

English, Psychology


Stander Symposium poster


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