Date of Award
Master of Arts
Matthew W. Sivils
Young adult dystopian literature has grown in popularity and cultural relevance over the last 10 years. By exploring three popular dystopian series, The Hunger Games, Divergent , and Delirium, I attempt to account for this explosive growth in popularity with adolescent readers. Recent data shows adolescents losing a sense of localized home identity, an issue that all three texts highlight through a focus on borders. These borders attempt to bind the protagonists' home identity so that the dystopian governments can control its populations, but the protagonists counteract this identity freezing by forming a home identity through un-controlled social networks. By mediating the physical world through social relations, the protagonists connect both the real and imagined communities that permeate the texts. Adolescents must deal with their own home identities from within their own virtual and local communities; most research supports adolescents' use of virtual communities as a space to explore their real-life identities. These dystopian texts reflect the increasing influence of virtual communities, and these shared experiences provide a foundation not only for the genre's cultural relevance but also for a pedagogical value.
Ashley Ann Haynes
Haynes, Ashley Ann, "The Technology Question: Adolescent Identities of Home in Dystopic Young Adult Literature Post-Hunger Games" (2014). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 13813.