Welcome, beautiful people on the internet! We are at the final stop of Worldly Wise today, tracing the footsteps of various subgenres in the realm of Speculative Fiction. Unfortunately, we had only been able to cover Dystopian Fiction. But keeping my promise, today we will look into the key elements that you must include in your narrative if you want to harness the true potential of an utopian world within the realm of Speculative Fiction. I am talking about the likes of Utopia by Thomas More, Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy, and even more recently The Culture series by Iain M. Banks.
But first things first, let’s figure out what this subgenre is all about.
What is Utopian Fiction?
This is a subgenre of literature that explores and envisions idealized societies or futures. It shows us a narrative that describes, often in a speculative or imaginative way, a perfect or near-perfect world. If you have been wondering how this term was derived, it is from the literary work Utopia by Thomas More. The author and statesman is credited with popularizing the genre in the early 16th century.
Elements of Utopian Fiction
If you are wondering why including certain elements of a subgenre is important for your work, do not forget to check out my previous column. Let’s talk about the top 6 elements you must utilize in your Utopian Fiction to make readers instantly connect with your tale.
The most recognizable aspect of this subgenre is the presentation of an idealized vision of a perfect society or community. This society is where problems such as poverty, inequality, and conflict have been eliminated or greatly reduced.
The emphasis is on harmony and cooperation among their members of the society. What is leading to peace and stability in the ideal society is often a strong sense of unity, shared values, and mutual respect.
Critique of Contemporary Society
Another prominent element you would find is it frequently critiques the flaws and shortcomings of contemporary society. It is not uncommon for the narrative to be a driving force for social and political commentary, highlighting the problems and injustices of the real world.
Emphasis on Nature and Environment
This might not be a common practice, but some tales in this subgenre show a strong connection to nature and ecological principles. These societies often live in harmony with their environment, promoting sustainability.
Equality and Prosperity
Utopian societies are synonymous to abundance and prosperity. Resources are available in plenty and efficiently distributed. There is no space for scarcity or deprivation. As a result, Utopian societies typically prioritize equality and social justice. Any forms of discrimination are often eradicated, and individuals have equal access to resources and opportunities.
There can be a turning point in your story that is darker and explores the potential pitfalls and unintended consequences of the ideal society, evolving into a dystopian narrative. This highlights the fragility and complexities of utopian ideals.
Utopian Fiction has been our final destination, and I hope it has enriched your understanding of this intriguing subgenre in speculative fiction. Do you think I missed any key elements of Utopian narrative? Let me know in the comments. As we wrap up our journey on Wordly Wise, I want to thank you all for being here, it was one filled with a wonderful literary journey. Remember, I am rooting for you to take your story idea to the finish line, always.
Lots of love!
Disha Walia is a lifelong storyteller and an enthusiastic writer and editor in love with the idea of exploring the creative world of words. While making her space in the world of non-fiction and fiction alike, Disha loves to spend even her free time daydreaming about what next to write. Connect with her on www.quillinary.com. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter.