Why Young Adults Are So Interested in Dystopian Literature | Teen Ink

Why Young Adults Are So Interested in Dystopian Literature

February 5, 2019
By Jfunk57 BRONZE, Lowell, Indiana
Jfunk57 BRONZE, Lowell, Indiana
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Why are young adults so enthused by dystopian literature? Young teens have been reading dystopian literature for years, since around 1984 when the first dystopian novel was written, which was by H.G Wells, called “Time Machine”. This story started the dystopian literature craze among the young adults. H.G Wells stories were followed by many other amazing dystopian novels by other authors such as “Ten with a Flag”, “Harrison Bergeron”, and “The Veldt”. Teens are so enthused by dystopian literature, because of the feel of different types of societies. That we can decide whether or not we think it’s a dystopia or a utopia.

This brings me into my first topic, dystopian literature has grown over the past years and will continue to evolve even with today’s teens. Dystopian literature has evolved into a beloved genre of reading for these young teens. Over the years of dystopian literature many of books and movies have been made, such as the three I have read, Ten with a Flag, Harrison Bergeron, and The Veldt. All these books have something in common, they all form their own kind of society, this is what I think drives the interest in these young adults minds for reading this kind of literature. Dystopian literature really forms a whole other society than the one we live in. It shows us how it is possible for any other societies out in out universe work and form. For example in “Ten with a Flag” they have a completely different society then the one we live in, their government has control over basically everything from, the navigation of your car to knowing who and what your baby is. A quote from this story clearly expresses how different this society is than the one we live in. “I think we should use the flag” he said. My skin froze “No” I whispered. “There will be other babies” he said, “Ones without flags, we don’t need the raises. I can’t stand the thought of losing you. Tell her she can have other babies doctor”. In this quote the couple was meeting with the doctor and trying to come to a conclusion about the flag their baby had gotten. A flag was something wrong with the baby, meaning that the couple would have to give something up or make sacrifices for the baby. In this society the government is above everyone else. People in this society are ranked from 1-10 10 being the highest and government officials, 1’s are labor workers or slaves. This is an example of a whole different way of living and this is how the readers a drawn in.

Secondly, This type of genre of books really tries to target these young adults. I believe that most of these dystopian authors are beginning to try to target a certain age group of readers, these readers are between the age of 12 and 18. This age group would fall under the young adults category. These authors are starting to take notice of the age groups that is reading and enjoying their content. This will bring in more readers making the genre more popular. I think that the authors should take advantage of this situation that these young adults are presenting them. They should put their minds to stuff that attracts this age group, such as adding pop references or other current events happening in our society today and implementing them into their fictional societies. One example from the book of this is from, Harrison Bergeron. In this book Harrison is the tallest, strongest, smartest, and best looking person in their society. In Harrison Bergeron, people who are “above average” in looks, smarts, strength, are forced to wear handicaps, these handicaps consist of a hearing aid that blasts ear piercing sounds threw your ear to make you forget your train of thought, or a bag full of lead that will take away from anyone who has above average strength. In the book Harrison in 14 years old, and he breaks out of where he was contained and goes on live television and shows the world all his powers. “The studio ceiling was thirty feet high, but each leap brought the dancers nearer to it. It became their obvious intention to kiss the ceiling. They kissed it.” In this quote it shows off how talented Harrison was by jumping 30 feet high and kissing the ceiling. I think that this relates to young adults by showing them they can do anything they put there mind to.


One other point is, young adults can decide whether or not it’s a dystopian society and imagine how it would be to live there. I believe that deciding the way you intercept the book is one of the main reasons this genre of books is still thriving today. Readers understanding the book is one of the best thing for the author to have. I mean understanding by deciphering your own perception of their society. This gives the readers different ways to read the book. Such as the genre dystopian, you can read it imaging as if you're part of the society or you could read and think about how much better our society is compared to the books. For example, in the feldt there were a lot of cool technological advancements in that book that we could all only imagine that were there to experience it. “George Hadley was filled with respect for the brilliant mind that had come up with the idea for this room. A wonder of efficiency selling for an unbelievably low price. Every home should have one.” This quote is how George, the father of this family feels about one of his technological advancements that he purchased for his 2 children it was called a nursery. This room could change into anything you imagine. For this case the children are imagining that their parents are getting eaten by lions. In the room you can see Africa and a group of lions gathered by a dead tree eating on some fresh meat. As you can see this book had some really cool technology, you can see how the readers could be drew in by these kinds of things.

In conclusion, I believe that dystopian literature is on the rise and will become one of the most well known genres for young adults, you can decyfer how you believe the society works and understand the book the way you want, whether it is in a positive or a negative way. As I’ve demonstrated everything I believe about dystopian literature, and how it affects today’s teens I hope you have a way larger understanding of this genre of stories.

The author's comments:

In this srticle I talk about how dystopian literature is on the rise with young adults.

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This article has 4 comments.

JoeBiden said...
on Feb. 15 2021 at 11:35 am
JoeBiden, Washington, District Of Columbia
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Favorite Quote:
My fellow Americans, here's the deal!

Here's the deal!

-President Biden

on Dec. 12 2019 at 3:17 pm
SolInvictus76, Leavenworth, Indiana
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You've completely forgotten about George Orwell! How about William Golding? There are many older dystopian novels out there than just from 1984 and beyond... And speaking of 1984...

Smithtn said...
on Feb. 22 2019 at 6:47 am
Smithtn, Evansville, Indiana
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Well-written!! Some deep stuff you’re reading Jason!I agree if young adults read these types of books it can give them a good understanding of what it is like to live in different societies. I will for sure check out the authors you suggested!
PS check out Louis Lowery... The giver & Number the stars. Similar type of writing that I enjoyed. Tonya

jgibson said...
on Feb. 21 2019 at 1:53 pm
jgibson, Van Wert, Ohio
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Congrats on your excellent article, Jason