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Dystopia in Children's and YA Literature

Literature usually indicates a generation anxiety (i.e. Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Rings, anxiety about racial wars, modernization, etc; Gibb’s Neuromancer, anxiety about technology). It would be interesting if someone wrote an analysis about the predominance of dystopia in popular culture (Hunger Games, Divergence… I can’t think of another example.)

  • Other dystopian YA novels might include: Cinder of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer Incarceron by Catherine Fisher Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles) by Gena Showalter The Demon Trapper's Daughter: A Demon Trappers Novel by Jana Oliver I'm sure there are plenty more... But those are the first ones that came to mind – crispychips 7 years ago
  • The Maze Runner series by James Dashner and The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield, and The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth are some more examples, this is a fascinating topic! – MRichens 7 years ago
  • I feel The Hunger Games trilogy is quite contradictory to its message of fighting the powers that be (I.e. the government oppressing poor societies.) While the story itself is blatantly a "stick it to the man" narrative, that is all it does to go against convention. The novels openly acknowledge the three-act structure (the narrative structure used in pretty much all books/films etc.) and the films have also come into mainstream populairty, earning money for huge corporations that the characters in the stories, are openly against. As for what the books reflect in terms of a nation's anxieties, I don't think it really stretches beyond the going against the oppresive powers, which is in itself, not really an anxiety or infact anything new. – Jamie White 7 years ago
  • To further this analysis, one might take a look in to what the popularity in dystopian figures mean in relation to what our culture/society values today. In other words, what values in today's society make dystopian figures so popular? Or even, are there any relations between what is happening in today's society that correlate with the dystopian themes? – AutamnDarling 7 years ago
  • This is a great topic, and I think it would be important to have a balance of bestselling novels turned into blockbusters, and lesser-known novels/series such as Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and Exodus by Julie Bertagna. The focus on dystopian YA fiction as opposed to regular/adult literature such as 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 is important. Why are dystopian future societies so appealing to younger readers in recent years? When did the line between fantasy and sci-fi disappear and why is that important? – Claire 7 years ago

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