Direct Social Critique
While it can be dangerous to directly criticize your government, the dystopian genre allows authors to create new governments and worlds mirroring the problems of their own. Though these problems will often be exaggerated, they should be relatively easy to identify by the culture they were made for.
In most cases, these were the first dystopian novels to be published, as those written later tend to mix with other sub-genres. Many of these include protagonists or narrators who discover and explore a new country, which they can critique as much as they want.
Direct social critique dystopias tend to focus on contemporary social issues, which can make them difficult for modern audiences to connect with. However, they frequently include elements that seem more relevant to human nature, rather than any particular culture.
- Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
- Erewhon by Samuel Butler
- It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis