SparkNotes Blog

Literary Dystopias, Ranked by How Likely You’d Be to Survive Them

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As long as literature has existed, people have been writing books about what would happen if our world was pretty much the same except worse. More often than not there was a war, and then everything changed, and the time to fight back is now. Also, the government is watching.

These dystopian hellscapes are deadly enough for our heroes—our Offreds and our Katnisses—but what about someone normal like you or I? You know, the kind of middling everyman who has below-average archery skills, has never skipped a meal, and looks bad in beige henleys? Where would we fit into these post-apocalyptic dumpster futures devoid of all hope?

Well, some of them we might survive. Others? Not so much.