15 Thought-Provoking Dystopian Quotes


Written by Frankie Cameron

Do you ever wonder if events from a dystopian movie or book could happen in real life? With some of the recent world events, reality is beginning to sound more like fiction. In this post, we will explore 15 thought-provoking dystopian quotes.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines dystopia as “An imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives.” Dystopia is a speculated community or society that is undesirable or frightening. It usually involves people rebelling against the systemic and societal oppression it has forced them to live with. Authors write dystopian fiction as a cautionary tale of a future to avoid.

Dystopian Themes?

There are many types of dystopian novels, but most of the themes revolve around environmental disasters, government control, technological control, survival, and loss of individualism.

Environmental Disasters

Environmental disasters include events such as climate change, disease, asteroids, comets, droughts or famine. Books such as The Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Maze Runner by James Dashner would fall under this category.

Government Control

The government plays a big role or no role. There are usually different classes, oppression, dictatorships, war or overpopulation. There could also be religious control through cults, sects, and extremists.

Books that fall under this category include 1984 by George Orwell, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Technological Control

Technology control explores the world of constant surveillance. Where technology has advanced to the point where everything you say or do is recorded. Where life and technology are so interwoven that you don’t know where one begins and the other ends. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley does an excellent job of exploring this theme.

Loss of Individualism

This theme happens when the collective becomes more important than the individual. When society values conformity above all else. The Giver by Lois Lowry is an incredible story using this theme.


People are left to fend for themselves after the world falls into chaos and destruction. The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a great example of this theme.

Created in Canva.

15 Thought-Provoking Dystopian Quotes

Science fiction can be frighteningly detailed at times, especially when depicting an imperfect future. Here are 15 quotes to get you thinking.

Hate looks like everybody else until it smiles.
― Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me)

Every faction conditions it’s members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it’s not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way. But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can’t be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can’t be controlled. And it means that, no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.
Veronica Roth, Divergent

Which is better–to have laws and agree, or to hunt and kill?
William Golding, Lord of the Flies

Did you ever feel, as though you had something inside you that was only waiting for you to give it a chance to come out? Some sort of extra power that you aren’t using – you know, like all the water that goes down the falls instead of through the turbines?
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

Tell freedom I said hello.
Lauren DeStefano, Wither

I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running, not staying, but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.
Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave

The life where nothing was ever unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual. The life without colour, pain or past.
Lois Lowry, The Giver

Perhaps the logical conclusion of everyone looking the same is everyone thinking the same.
Scott Westerfeld, Uglies

You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

You get your name back in a day or two. It’s the one thing they let us keep.
James Dashner, The Maze Runner

Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.”  He looks toward the railway car’s open door, where streaks of dark water blanket the world. “You try to walk in the light.”
Marie Lu, Legend

The problem, as I see it, is that you’ve been told and not told. You’ve been told, but none of you really understand, and I dare say, some people are quite happy to leave it that way.”
Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
George Orwell, Animal Farm

Hollow Edge

It is possible for a story to combine themes. Hollow Edge tells the story of an environmental disaster that leads to government and technological control and a fight for survival. 

Hollow Edge Book Cover on a Park Bench

Final Thoughts

Do any of these quotes sound like something out of the news? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments.


Until next time



Feature image by brands amon from Pixabay.

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