[Eugenics, an element of the literary plots of dystopia]

Med Nowozytna. 2007;14(1-2):83-98.
[Article in Polish]


The work presents the ideas and assumptions of eugenics, a social philosophy established in 1883 by Francis Galton, which affected the social policies of numerous European countries in the first half of the 20th century. The work shows the effect of eugenics on the literary standards of European prose in the previous century. Two outstanding dystopian novels of the 20th century, The Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell, situate eugenics as a permanent element of the literary plot of dystopia. Apart from the typical features of this type of novel, for example: personal narration with a trace of irony, a totalitarian state and Newspeak, eugenics is an important element of the literary plot with is aim to exclude and marginalise certain social groups. Eugenics is also one of the main social ideas criticised by both the writers.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Eugenics / history*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Literature, Modern / history*
  • Medicine in Literature*
  • Philosophy / history*
  • Social Desirability
  • Utopias / history*