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The past two decades have seen a surge of dystopian novels aimed at teenaged and young adult audiences. Many of the novels have been so well received that they were rapidly adapted into films. I am investigating the cultural obsession with dystopian stories and their popularity in young adult audiences through a critical analysis of The Hunger Games trilogy, novels and films, with references to additional contemporary dystopian novels and films. My work draws from the psychology of popularity as well as studies of popular culture aimed at predicting and explicating film and novel success. I also aim to explicate the differences between dystopia as a literary genre and other forms of society demonstrated in literature that show civil unrest. I am analyzing the novels, films, and social movements behind these contemporary texts to account for their popularity in young adult culture.

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Honors Thesis

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John P McCombe

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Stander Symposium poster

Culture and Popularity: A Critical Analysis of Contemporary Dystopian Texts