Being Divergent: The Representation of Race and Gender in Adaptations of Young Adult Dystopian Fiction Cover Image

Being Divergent: The Representation of Race and Gender in Adaptations of Young Adult Dystopian Fiction
Being Divergent: The Representation of Race and Gender in Adaptations of Young Adult Dystopian Fiction

Author(s): Selma Veseljević Jerković
Subject(s): Gender Studies, Other Language Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Matica Hrvatska Tuzla
Keywords: young adult dystopian literature;adaptation;race;gender;genre

Summary/Abstract: The recent box-office successes of young adult (YA) dystopian adaptations have introduced the novels through other media outlets to more people. Dystopian literature encourages the readers to critically assess their society, preparing them for political action. However, one must question the increasing popularity of the dystopian YA female protagonist, both in literature and film. The burden is on the strong marketing efforts, commercializing adolescence and celebrating girl power,as well as on the hybridity of the genre, including both the post-apocalyptic dystopian and the romantic discourses. This hybridity only accentuates the conflicting meanings of girlhood that can be revealed in the popular YA dystopian writing: the protagonist is aggressive, but her independence and strength is surpassed by the love for her romantic partner, not for herself. The YA adaptations have the power to oppose the problematic representation of gender and race, embodied in the character of white heterosexual man, and incorporate diverse and complex characters. The manner of representation of race and gender is influential over the audience who a reencouraged to accept or oppose stereotypes or to create new role models. This paper aims to reveal how YA dystopian novels and their fi lm adaptations, specifically The Hunger Games (2008-2010) and Divergent (2011-2013) trilogies and their subsequent film series, present race and gender, in other words, how divergent they allow themselves to be.

  • Issue Year: 1/2019
  • Issue No: 15
  • Page Range: 119-134
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English