Froom what I can tell, keeping a journal is pretty much the most important thing an individual can do in the face of an oppressive regime. 1984, We, Camp Concentration, Anthem, Kallocain, Level 7 - whether the frightened citizen hiding his notebook under the bed or the prisoner writing at his captors' request, dystopian authors just love their diaries.
Seriously, though, is this just lazy writing, an easy way to get in plenty of explanation without having to come up with realistic dialogue? Is it the echos of an older style? Classic works having their patterns borrowed through the decades?
To me, I guess it's like anything else. I like it when it's done well (Kallocain, We), but after I've seen it over and over it just serves to remove me from the action. Your feelings?