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Protopia vs Utopia vs Dystopia

Written by: Jade Buan

Edited by: Ailiya Treesa Philips


Topia is an affix that means, “a place with specified characteristics”. There are topias everywhere, all over our world. They can be found in novels, movies, art, and much more. The Hunger Games? Dystopia. The Giver? Utopia. The Inevitable? Protopia. Examples of these different societies lie in our hands and brains. The question is, which topia is the best for the human race; the world we live in today?


Protopia is one of the most unknown topias. Protopia is said to be “a state that is better than yesterday”. What are the specified characteristics of a protopia? The answers vary every single day. The only requirement being - to be better and improve based on yesterday’s performance. Despite being one of the most unheard of, protopia tends to be everyone’s personal favourite. The idea of self-improvement seems to be an abstract concept that cannot be measured, but the idea is attractive. Knowing that today was better than yesterday, where tomorrow is even better. It strives for a utopian environment without the pressure of being perfect. The downfall being, what happens when there is nothing to improve upon? Where do we go from there?


Utopia is regarded as an “ideally perfect world in the sense of people, politics, environment, etc”. Perfection allows no mistakes, which allows no conflict either. No people to kill, nothing to steal, no hearts to break. All the food you can eat, the relaxation you can indulge, and puppies everywhere! It truly does sound like a perfect and desirable world to live in, but it completely defies the sense of effort and attempts. With only happiness in sight, Utopia seems to be a perfect world with no true free will. Everything that makes up the triumphs and defeats of our life lies in the differences between happiness and sadness. With no sadness, happiness is reduced to an emotionless shell with no true joy. Is utopia really as perfect as it seems?


Dystopia is a popular genre of novels that authors often take on. Popular titles being Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and so much more. Though the books and characters appeal to us, their reality is rather dismal. A society that believes in no rules or is corrupt from the beginning. A sense of endless fighting and war to achieve justice. It is a nightmare and it drains people of their energy and optimism. Dystopia seems to be the worst of them all, anarchy or corruption, both being a horrendous option for our society. Dystopia just seems to have the bad end of the stick.


Protopia seems like the most attractive option for our society, it is the median; however, how do we measure this improvement? Utopias are rather impossible, but the perfection? It seems like it would eliminate all of our adversity. Dystopias? One of the most popular and entertaining YA genres, but a world of corruption and anarchy seems rather tragic. There are many more topias than these three, do your research and learn about them. This is our world and the future lies in our hands. What kind of society do we want to be? What kind of society do we want for our posterity?



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