Friday, October 11, 2013

Young Adult Literature Today: Dystopian


Dystopian is probably one of the most popular genres in young adult literature today. After the huge success of the series of The Hunger Games, many other dystopian novels followed in its afterglow including Divergent, The Maze Runner, and Delirium.

Although some zombie novels could come under the same category as being dystopian, I consider zombie novels as a separate genre in itself and therefore will not focus much on them in this segment. 

One of the major qualities of a dystopian is a post/pre apocalyptic society is which there is usually a corrupt government system that enforces rules and regulations that would be looked down upon in modern day society.

Most dystopian novels are satires, that will mock certain elements in society be making fun of them in either a humorous or serious way. One of the classic dystopian books is 1984 by George Orwell. In this society people are constantly watched by the government authority called “big brother” and must submit to all their rules, or else they will be forced to. This book deals with many aspects of society including lies, fear, and anti-institutionalism.

One of my favorite aspects about dystopian literature is that the possibilities for dystopian books are really vast. The amount of things that could stem a dystopian society can come from anywhere. With all of the things that are wrong in society today, people can come up with many things to write about.

Dystopian books also tend to portray a deeper meaning within them, which is another great aspect of this genre.

With all of the positives being said, there are also some downsides to the dystopian genre. Since dystopian is a very large and popular genre, it is also become very clich├ęd, just like the paranormal romance genre. Although dystopian books don’t have their own section the bookstore yet, like the paranormal romance genre, it won’t be very long before it does. Following the huge success of The Hunger Games, many authors saw its success and want to jump on the bandwagon in order to gain the amount of success it gained.

The other thing that is my pet peeve about dystopian books is that every single dystopian book gets one way or another compared back to The Hunger Games. This is basically because The Hunger Games was the first dystopian book that ever got a lot of popularity so people feel the need to compare every single dystopian book back to it because apparently comparing it back to The Hunger Games measures its success or something. A lot of the popular dystopian books such as The Maze Runner and Divergent are very often compared back to The Hunger Games just because they are dystopian books, and really have nothing in common other than their genre.

Dystopian is one of my favorite genres of literature, not only to read, but to write as well and I am hoping to write a dystopian novel sometime in the near future!

~K.M.D.

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