Youth Identity In Dystopian Novels

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Register to read the introduction… This encourages the characters, through the author, to develop a counter-narrative that challenges hegemonic structures that seem to be innate and necessary to maintain order. Their resistance is two-fold – first, they challenge the physical space and boundaries of their constructed world, and second, the youth also challenge aspects of their identity that have been constructed by adults. Analyzing dystopian fiction provides for discussions about ways that youth experience is treated as monolithic, and that under certain conditions all youth can be controlled. For educators, dystopian novels problematize aspects of youth identity that are treated as normative in schools and in society. The purpose of this paper to is to introduce three dystopian series that might help teachers consider the way youth identities are constructed by …show more content…
In additional to the government-imposed operations, a second issue that Westerfield includes in his novel is body dysmorphia. Some of the pretties engage in acts of rebellion as a way to express their carefree lifestyle. For example, a few characters get tattoos. But it is not the image of a tattoo that represents the rebellion and the freedom. Instead, it is the pain the characters endure that raises their awareness of life and heightens their senses. Tally’s best friend, Shay, finds herself feeling out of place, even in a world constructed on sameness. To enforce rules in New Pretty Town, the government created a class of Pretties called Specials, who have had additional operations to increase their physical strength, sensory awareness, and brain function. These Specials work for branch of the government that attempts to prevent the Rusties or characters who have escaped the society from infiltrating and overthrowing the system. But the Specials operate at such high levels of awareness; they often find themselves overwhelmed by their responsibilities. Shay leads a group of Specials called the Cutters, who practice ritual self-mutilation. The Specials use this ritual to help clear their minds and overcome the effects of the lesions implanted when they were …show more content…
A subtext that should be considered is the reason an adult would discourage particular kinds of love and sexuality. It is not that dating is merely a stage of adolescence, but the delegitimizing acts as a way reinforcing normativity. While youth might experiment, by telling them it is just an “experiment,” there is the belief that youth will eventually abide by social norms and the status quo. Resistance and rebellion are merely steps towards accepting what the dominant group approves. Love triangles, then, function as a plot point that help youth question reasons some kinds of love and sexuality are allowed and some are not. A point that deserves more consideration, but not for this essay’s purpose, is that way that heterosexuality is given dominance. The dystopian world in Matched (Condie, 2010) makes government control of marriage seem rash and inconceivable. However, for LGBTQ people in the United States, this is a stark reality. It is not so dystopian for

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