Utopian Vs. Dystopian

edited June 2013 in Fan Fiction

After reading through some of David Leemhuis' fanfiction again, somewhat of an idea or a thought came to mind. This idea specifically came to fruition from Chapter 8 in Out of the Mist where the otherwise utopian society Leemhuis has created for the rats actually questions whether or not there's some arrogance afoot. It reminded me much of my own work, which I WILL post eventually. But anyway, in my own work the rats live in a more dystopian society. They live in a world of arrogance due to the fact that they're more knowledgeable about the cynical world around them. Instead of living in groups like they're accustomed to, they learn that they can separate and overthrow what they feel is undesirable. That's how Jenner forms his character in my story. He views Nicodemus as a threat for living in a world that belongs to them. He believes that by combining their animal instincts with their more human-like characteristics, they're an unstoppable force.

Part of what gets to me about Leemhuis' utopian society is that the rats are given more power, more emotional range, and more intelligence than even the average human, but it seems to forget that that is exactly what causes arrogance and corruption to come up. It seems almost implausible not to have some arrogance amongst themselves given the circumstances. And yet, in his story it's this big shocking problem that only really seems to have just came up. The only really power hungry and arrogant character was written off as being controlled by a mentally ill character from another dimension. My belief is that if one can love, they can also hate. And yet, that concept seems completely foreign to the rats.

While I rag on about the rats living in a utopian society, I also ponder if having the rats living in a dystopian society is appropriate. I write the rats as being more arrogant and power hungry, but is that all their intelligence gave them? Isn't a society supposed to embrace their weaknesses and their strengths? Isn't a society supposed to embrace their arrogance as well as their compassion? With the rat's newfound power and superiority over humans shouldn't it be easier for them to figure this out? If they can accept their arrogance and accept that it's going to exist in their society, wouldn't that actually be better than them being either being opposed to it or being smothered in it?

I understand this isn't a complete thought, but if anyone out there is writing NIMH fanfiction, it's something to consider when you're writing.


  • Ahhhh...

    I must say I'm intrigued my your reasoning. As it happens I am currently working on my own Fan-Fiction (at long last) and while considering my current conception of their society I who;e heartedly agree with you. In my mind, I can never really see a complete vision of the perfect colony of enlightenment as it were or the cruel overlording vermin state. No, although I can see this making for an interesting story element.

    In one of the storiees I have under developement, the vilain (similar to your Jenner) believes that while they can no longer live as they once were, they must never forget where they came from...

    I am just recently re-reading the book and I find it interesting that there are indications of their inclusion of not only the more obvious political human structures (e.g the council) but also the use of Titles such as "Captain of the guard." My villain is fearful of the others becoming more and more like humans and so is quick to remind people of their fundamental survivalist natures.

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