aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

The New Yorker looks at dystopias

The New Yorker looked at the popularity of dystopias in YA Lit. “The typical arc of the dystopian narrative mirrors the course of adolescent disaffection. First, the fictional world is laid out. It may seem pleasant enough. Tally, the heroine of “Uglies” (and its two sequels), looks forward to the surgery that will transform her into a Pretty and allow her to move to the party enclave of New Pretty Town. Eleven-year-old Jonas, in “The Giver,” has no problem with the blandly tranquil community where he grows up. Then somebody new, a misfit, turns up, or the hero stumbles on an incongruity. A crack opens in the façade. If the society is a false utopia, the hero discovers the lie at its very foundation: the Pretties are lobotomized when they receive their plastic surgery; the residents of Jonas’s community have been drained of all passion. If the society is frankly miserable or oppressive, the hero will learn that, contrary to what he’s been told, there may be an alternative out there, somewhere. Conditions at home become more and more unbearable until finally the hero, alone or with a companion, decides to make a break for it, heading out across dangerous terrain.”

You can read the whole article here, with plenty of examples.

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