I’m a girl. Just a normal, sometimes dreamy, wish upon a star, kind of girl. So why do I love to read Dystopian literature or books about the end? You know. The big end. The end of all times. The one where the world is over. At least as we know it. Doom and despair. It's permanently off the grid and all the malls are closed. For good.
Well, I’ll tell you three reasons why.
1. There is something about reading a story where things are worse off than you are that makes you feel better. I look up from the page and realize - Hey, I have running hot water. I have electricity. There is still not only food at my local grocery but aisles and aisles of food choices. I can shop till I drop and all manner of items will be delivered to my door. It’s that simple. Life in the real world is easy by comparison. Even on a bad day.
2. My family. In end of the world literature there is usually this horrible separation from all your family and friends. just getting across the street in your own neighborhood seems to become an impossibility. Whatever relations you had, even the ones that got on your nerves, are either miles or states away. With no way to contact them and no way of knowing where they are or how they are surviving the end of days. This makes me greatly appreciate my family a little more. Ok, a lot more. I can still pick up the phone and reach my mother in Florida. I can still meet my sons for dinner and my girlfriends for a glass of wine at our favorite spot. Such long shot impossibilities in the world of books like The Dog Stars become small miracles in my world when I close the final page.
3. Then there is the final reason. The one that is the most significant. That Dystopian literature usually brings to light something we cling to every day of our lives. Hope beyond hope. A belief that no matter how bad things are, and no matter how bad they may become, there will always be a continent of our society that will rise to the occasion to be better human beings. The ones who struggle beyond their own problems and challenges even in the midst of survival to still reach for higher ground to be the best we can offer. The ones who show us that in the darkest days the light of being human will not be extinguished because those of us who cling to that light will survive.
And, that is what helps me turn out the light, roll over and sleep in peace.