Is this what dystopia feels like?

Read our latest blog written by our Senior Communications Executive, Gina Francey.


As a lover of fiction, when times get tough you can often find me with my head buried in a book, rather than the sand.

Given recent Government advice telling us not to leave the house I now have more time than ever to dust off  (quite literally) some long awaited novels.

However, as the days go by, and as I watch each Government press update unfold, I can’t help feeling like we are living in some strange dystopia – think somewhere between Lord of the Flies and 1984 – which has set me thinking about some of my favourite and well-read dystopian novels.

From the likes of Huxley’s Brave New World, Atwood’s The Handmaids Tale and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, to name but a few.

While all of these works of fiction are fundamentally unique, with the first listed above concerned over a world that is dominated by science; the second focussed on gender and the restrictions on women; and the latter worried about free speech and censorship, they all have similarities and key themes of isolation throughout – be that physical or mental.

At a time where the terms social distancing and self-isolation are trending on Twitter – and will no doubt make the next edition of the Oxford English dictionary – these novels couldn’t be more poignant than they are today.

I mean, there must be a reason why they are all sat on my shelf with spines bent and tattered… (yes, I’m one of those readers). And perhaps that reason is due to the endearing, enduring quality threads of the lead characters.

Although alone and frightened with what they face they all remain hopeful, and seek to find the positives in the world in which they live.

Finding out that somebody thinks the way they do gives each of the characters enough strength to carry on for a better world.

Each novel strikes a chord not least given our current situation and battle against Coronavirus, in that no matter how much force or negativity one can be under many continue to seek and live what they believe is right and come through the better for it.

So, as we carry on through the third week of isolation of who knows how many, I’d encourage everyone to take inspiration from the protagonists in these books and remain positive and connected with one another. And fingers crossed through our combined efforts and kindness, we will make it to Utopia and kiss Coronavirus goodbye. (Failing that, at least there is always another book you can start reading!).