Dr. Betsy Nies | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of English
The worlds of young adult dystopian fiction exude anxiety – anxiety about romantic love, family, freedom, politics, and, in many ways, the present state of the environment as our future. But where do children learn their attitudes regarding the natural world? And how do the children of narratives such as young adult dystopian fiction go about fixing the problems they see in the natural world as a result of the attitudes they were raised with? Do they even go about fixing anything at all? By looking closely at parental relationships and attitudes regarding nature in two of the most popular young adult dystopian novels – The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) and Divergent (Veronica Roth) – we begin to see a pattern emerging between the oppression of nature and females, the father’s role, and an ending hinging on equality and democratic ideals.