According to a large portion of the world’s population, humankind is already living in a dystopia. Ever since God punished Adam, Eve and the serpent for eating from that tree we have been banished from Paradise. Compared to Paradise, this toiling, this painful childbirth, these thistles and weeds growing up through our crops are considered part of this Earthly dystopia — a temporary punishment before taking up residence in Paradise once more in the after life.

If not taken literally by so many today, Earth as a dystopian setting was certainly more literal for earlier peoples from the major religious traditions.

Although dystopia seems to be the opposite of idyll, it has in fact the same purpose: to conserve the children–as well as adults–in an innocent, unchanging state, comfortably freed from memories, emotions, affections, responsibilities–and from natural death. Breaking away from a safe and secluded dystopian society, children break out into linearity.

— Maria Nikolajeva, From Mythic to Linear: Time in children’s literature

Nikolajeva goes on to explain that quite a few authors depict a reverse process, and offers A Cry from the Jungle by Norwegian author Tormod Haugen as an example of an ‘extremely complicated and equivocal novel.’

Cry from the Jungle

Why do literary novelists love dystopia? from Salon

The Dystopian Timeline to The Hunger Games [INFOGRAPHIC] via Goodreads

A flowchart which will help you decode dystopia from eBook Friendly

A LibraryThing list of YA Dystopia