Dystopian Novels: the Giver by Lois Lowry and the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Reflective Essay

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In a modern society gripped by fears and oppression, adolescents are able to conceptualize a perfect world of harmony influenced heavily by dystopian novels. The colourless world of The Giver and a life of authoritarian control in The Hunger Games allows the audience to envision a new and interesting perception of the world and its problems. Adolescents are drawn to dystopian literature as these stories follow a youthful and persistent protagonist, rebelling against the rules and constant oppression of fictional worlds filled with the devastation of war, death, and hunger. This begs the question, why does dystopian fiction appeal to our youth, and is it beneficial for teens to be reading these grim stories of rebellion, warfare, and crime.

The recent interest of dystopian fiction among the adolescent audience has brought many of the issues of our world to the forefront of social media. Dystopian novels have highlighted the wrong in our society, in which readers are able to realize the impact these matters can have on our future- matters such as sending young children to fight to their death as seen in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, or the cruel oppression faced by the citizens of Harrison Bergeron. Our teenagers are able to immediately recognize the wrong in such issues, and help them understand that dystopian novels are just an echo of our true world wrought with corrupt and immoral standards . Modern audiences often look at these broken cities and dystopian societies and think “This will never happen in the real world.” Unfortunately, it already is happening- the crime, the starvation, devastation, the warfare, and the governmental corruption. Adolescents no longer see holograms and flying cars as their future, they see their future in dystopian fiction.

Adolescents often feel powerless and belittled by the wide world around them, and so dystopian novels provide a safety net in which these stressed-out teenagers are able to escape to from the demanding and flawed world of their own. Adolescents are able to see themselves in the protagonists of these dystopian novels as they hero a seemingly ordinary teenager whose duty is to change the world for the better. These stories are written with a lot to be changed, however this time it is the teenagers themselves who are finally given the power to do the changing. The Giver by Lois Lowry was one of the first dystopias to be written in the perspective of a teenager. The main protagonist in this story is viewed as someone who is strong and ambitious as he rebels against the rules in order to act righteously. This can provide reassurance to the adolescent audience who are at a similar age, as they admire how the protagonist is able to approach these obstacles with such bravery. Novels which challenge deeper ethical and social issues often stick with the young readers minds as they closely mirror the chaotic life of a teenager, as they develop the capacity to challenge more complex situations.

As the audience reads the last words of their book, they must now turn and face the true issues of our broken world. And as we see these brave, youthful adolescents rebelling against their limitations, we can consider that perhaps it isn’t so much rebellion, but rather questioning (??). Dystopian novels don’t always have a fairytale-happy ending, and instead they shine light on the intriguing yet terrifying reality of the state of our world.


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Dystopian Novels: the Giver by Lois Lowry and the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Reflective Essay. (2021, Feb 06). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/dystopian-novels-the-giver-by-lois-lowry-and-the-hunger-games-by-suzanne-collins/



How is The Giver and the hunger games similar?
The Giver and The Hunger Games are similar in that they both depict dystopian societies where individuality and personal freedoms are suppressed in favor of societal control. Additionally, both stories feature young protagonists who challenge the status quo and fight against the oppressive systems they live in.
Is The Giver a dystopian story?
Yes, The Giver is a dystopian story. It is set in a future society where people are not allowed to experience emotions.
Is The Hunger Games a dystopian book?
Yes, The Hunger Games is a dystopian book. The book is set in a future world where the government controls everything and the people are divided into different districts.
What is dystopian about the Hunger Games?
The youngest female writer to win the Booker Prize is Kamila Shamsie. She is a British Pakistani writer.
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