By employing the critical studies of adolescence from Nancy Lesko, Roberta Trites, and Maria Nikolajeva and the study of positive and negative symbols of rebellion examined by Robert Lindner through Leerom Medovoi, I will interrogate the popular notion that female protagonists in dystopian Young Adult Literature (YAL) are strong, self-aware rebels who are positive role models to YA readers. Using the didactic nature of dystopian literature, I will examine how adult authors consciously (or unconsciously) set ideological standards for their YA readers through the female protagonists and how these standards are not as empowering as they initially seem. To address this disparity between what is promoted as rebellion and what is actually enacted by female protagonists, I will analyze Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy and Ally Condie's Matched trilogy. The analysis will conclude that the female protagonists are problematic, subscribing to specific, conservative ideologies presented in the novels which prohibits them from seeing through the rebellion they are involved in and that their choices are determined by male characters instead of their own self-awareness.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Rimmasch, Meghan I., "Where Have All The Rebels Gone? Ideology and Conformity in Young Adult Dystopian Literature" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 6754.
rebellion, adolescents, Young Adult Literature, ideology, The Hunger Games, Matched