The theme of dystopia has been utilized in western literature for many decades. Dystopian literature as an independent and mature genre, emerged in 1930s, mainly as a response to political and socio-economic shifts. Thence, by its unconventional interpretation to postmodernity, dystopian literature and its film adaptation have attracted increasing attention and enjoyed an extensive influence. The past three decades, however, witnessed a decline of the popularity of dystopian literature, mostly due to its confinement in modernity from which new problems evolved as well as the aesthetic fatigue caused by the overstatement of alienation and totalitarianism. Accordingly, the mainstream dystopian literature has gradually slipped out of academic focus since the new millennium. Meanwhile, Young Adult (YA) literature, became popular in the Post-modern era with an emphasis on self-discovery and self-identity. Owing to its introspective exploration of Self versus Otherness and the identity, this genre has gained a strong backing from academics, authors, and YA readers.
This striking rise of YA Dystopian literature has gained much praise via a metabolic incorporation of these two parent genres, Dystopian and YA literature. This new subgenre integrated the Post-Apocalyptic predisposition of a mainstream dystopia into the YA literature featuring self-discovery. By setting the protagonist on an apocalyptic road to probe the self, YA literature attempts to analyze the identity crisis and alienation in a different fashion. Ever since 2001, YA Dystopian literature, especially with the related adapted film versions, has reinvented itself as a popular trend and, surprisingly, accomplished receptive aesthetic value both from critics and audiences as well.
By a comparative analysis of the mainstream and YA Dystopian literature and their film adaptation, this thesis aims to investigate the underlying purpose and messages of authors, clarify the expectation on readers, and expound the social, cultural, environmental and psychological factors of its rise and the constructive implications for young readers and audiences.
Key Words: dystopia; YA literature; human nature alienation; female heroic, romance
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Defining Dystopia 1
1.2 The Development of Adapted Dystopian Science Fiction 1
1.3 The Outline 2
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