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Government and Power in Young Adult Dystopias


  • Hanna Persson

Summary, in Swedish

Dystopian fiction first appeared as a literary genre in the 1870s and has since been known to conduct social criticism of the real world in a futuristic, fictive form. As it has evolved during the 20th century it has grown into a widely researched topic. In this essay I will analyze two young adult dystopian novels: Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games (2008) and Marie Lu’s Legend (2011). I have chosen to focus my work on four common themes in dystopian literature: government, propaganda, technology, and the suppression of individualism. I have looked at similarities between the two novels to see whether there are detectable patterns connecting them. Furthermore, I investigate whether these novels relate to, or criticize, events in the real world. I also wish to find out what triggered the rise in popularity that young adult dystopian fiction experienced during the late 2000s to early 2010s. I conclude that the novels treat many issues and topics that relate to the real world, and that they quite clearly are based on the social and political climate in the United States during the time they were written.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • literature
  • young adult literature
  • YA
  • dystopian fiction
  • dystopia
  • dystopias
  • dystopian literature
  • politics


  • Birgitta Berglund (FD)