A dystopian future is one where the social problems of today become greater in magnitude, producing a future that is filled with crime, war, and similar evils. A dystopian society may also be imagined as a society where a ruling elite controls the vast majority of wealth and political power while simultaneously disseminating propaganda to the masses to control the lower and middle classes. This ruling elite may be seen as propagating misinformation in order to socially control the citizens. This propaganda is usually revealed in such a manner that the elite are the caretakers and providers of the lower middle class. In many fictional depictions of dystopian societies, the propaganda—which would be disseminated by an overwhelmingly powerful government (Big Brother) or a totalitarian cabal—would psychologically force the lower classes to believe that they are living in a utopia that represents the culmination and perfection of civilization, where in actuality, crime and bureaucratic corruption are widespread. Typically, a dystopian novel is intended to comment on what the author perceives to be then current social trends by extrapolating those trends. Sometimes, as with Animal Farm, the dystopia is presented in the form of an allegory to get past the censors.
Dystopia in fiction
In the 20th and late 19th century, many well-known dystopian novels were written. Among these are: