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Dystopian Films with Young Heroes

The Hunger Games, Divergent/Insurgent, After Earth, Elysium, The Maze Runner. All of these films were released within the past 5 years and they are all dystopian themes with a child as the main hero protagonist. The child helps galvanize and lead their people to salvation while usually overthrowing a corrupt government. In every scenario, the child succeeds.

What does this theme say about our current society? Is it linked to the weak North American economy or the global environmental crisis?

  • I think there is a lot of psychology in this discussion. One could discuss how children/teenagers are needed to make changes because they have grown up knowing nothing but this society and are not yet defeated like previous generations. They have youth and hope on their side. It might be interesting to tie into any historical accounts of youth rising up against tyranny. – Liz Watkins 7 years ago
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  • I find it interesting that 3 out of the 5 films you have cited came from books. It would be worth looking at how literature deals with this theme and how it conceives childhood/ teenage years within a dystopian world. How is this youth different from non-dystopian works? – Rachel Elfassy Bitoun 7 years ago
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  • What about the fact that these dystopian novels and films all fall into the Youth genre instead of the Novel genre? What does that say about the world? – orenhammerquist 7 years ago
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  • I think we'll need to look at this topic from a less optimistic but more likely direction. Specifically, remember that the teenage market is a huge source of income in entertainment, both for music, books, film, video games, and others. A parent is hugely more likely to purchase for the child as opposed to a single adult or a childless couple. As such, teenagers tend to like media which focuses on teenagers. Thus, whenever these stories become popular, it looks like they're the stories that go on to make popular films, but it's really the inverse: The films were popular because the stories were popular. Doesn't really seem to have much to do with culture to me, just economy. – Christopher Vance 7 years ago
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  • You can analyze the characters from these films and draw parallels between them. Overlapping traits, familial circumstances, social status - how are they significant to these characters? – Arlinka Larissa 7 years ago
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