Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

The Dystopian genre of the mid-18th century, with underpinnings of Communism, Nazism, and totalitarianism, was one thing. The Hunger Games is quite another. Or is it? The recent upsurge in dystopia in the younger demographic is undeniable—but why is it so popular with teenagers? George Orwell wrote that “telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Dystopia's unique brand of “telling the truth”—with its basis in real sociopolitical issues and its development of believable young adult protagonists—is in fact what makes this genre so appealing to a younger readership. Young adult dystopia generally and The Hunger Games specifically defy assumptions of sociopolitical apathy in young adults by placing young protagonists in a powerful position to effect widespread change in their society. This genre thus has an exceptional potential to be a powerful tool for encouraging young adults to enact revolutionary change in the real world around them.

Location

B192 JFSB

Start Date

20-3-2015 1:45 PM

End Date

20-3-2015 3:00 PM

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Mar 20th, 1:45 PM Mar 20th, 3:00 PM

A Revolutionary Act: Investigating the Draw of Dystopia in Young Adult Literature

B192 JFSB

The Dystopian genre of the mid-18th century, with underpinnings of Communism, Nazism, and totalitarianism, was one thing. The Hunger Games is quite another. Or is it? The recent upsurge in dystopia in the younger demographic is undeniable—but why is it so popular with teenagers? George Orwell wrote that “telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Dystopia's unique brand of “telling the truth”—with its basis in real sociopolitical issues and its development of believable young adult protagonists—is in fact what makes this genre so appealing to a younger readership. Young adult dystopia generally and The Hunger Games specifically defy assumptions of sociopolitical apathy in young adults by placing young protagonists in a powerful position to effect widespread change in their society. This genre thus has an exceptional potential to be a powerful tool for encouraging young adults to enact revolutionary change in the real world around them.