Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



A memory hole is the banishment of problematic thoughts. We exile that which we prefer not to exist. Enter the perilous Memory Hole: The Psychology of Dystopia, to explore a legion of social and psychological themes through the lens of dystopian literature. The crushing fist of 1984 annihilating thoughts from existence as a means of persuasion. The exquisite seduction of addiction as an agent of control in Brave New World. Incineration of the written word to bask in the embers of peace of mind in Fahrenheit 451. Each chapter weaves in and out of the dystopian realms forged by the great storytellers of our current age, and those of yesteryear. Memory Hole begins a century ago in the 1920s and journeys ever closer to the present day. With each chapter comes a new decade, along with the relevant social and cognitive psychological science. The odyssey also wades into the domains of neuroscience and behavioral economics as it weaves a cohesive narrative to explore over a century of science. Social issues are examined in parallel with each dystopian novel. Censorship, overpopulation, and hyperconnectivity are the themes of today. The climate crisis and human cloning are the themes of tomorrow. We can confront these issues with courage or banish them to the memory hole. Alas, the destruction of information serves to shield us from knowledge.


College of Arts, Sciences and Technology

Academic Department

Psychology and Social Sciences

Publication or Event Title

Memory Hole: The Psychology of Dystopia


Thanks for reading this chapter excerpt of Memory Hole! If you’d like to explore this dystopian realm a bit more, please see below for links to the first edition hardcover, available November 1, 2021.

Barnes and Noble

-Alex Dontre



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