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Bibliography by Brittany Choi

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on November 17, 2014 at 11:52:22 am

Annotated Bibliography Assignment


By Brittany Choi, Dystopian Novel Project 


 1. Ferris, Harley. "A Study in Dystopian Fiction." Ed. Clines. (n.d.): n. pag. Jacksonville University. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.


In this research paper, Ferris first defines dystopian literature, giving a brief history of its origin. Ferris states that although this genre is highly entertaining, its real worth is its "ability to speak into one's relationship to God, country, humankind and one's own self." He points out the major characteristics of this genre. His also writes about the major themes of this genre. He is unable to discuss each theme in major detail, but gives a good bird's eye view point of five reoccurring themes: pluralism versus individualism, chaos versus order, precision of language, war versus peace, humanity. 


Ferris also discusses two types of dystopia: external and internal. An example of external dystopia is 9/11 and the aftermath of government infringements on personal privacy. Beyond the government, external dystopia includes culture, religion, advertising, and media. In certain cases, each of these are included in and paralleled in dystopian literature. 


Internal dystopia is the control of one's own mind. This is the idea that one's mind can be brainwashed, manipulated, and controlled. Political parties or other ruling powers can use manipulation of people's minds to control the people. The greatest goal is to make people come to a collective agreement that "things are the way they should be." Once this goal is reached, there is no telling how great one's power can be. The theme between collectivism and individualism is one of the main battles within internal dystopia. In between these two extremes is interdependence, where humans must rely on one another and no person or people is more important than another. Things like fear and manipulation of the truth are used to keep people under submission and collectivism. 


In the conclusion of his paper, Ferris discusses the protagonists of these works of literature. The protagonists first discover that there is more than what they know and that life must be different than it is. They become heroes because they ultimately decide to sacrifice and make hard choices for the sake of the human race. Ferris again provides parallelism of this kind of character to real life situations. People like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi sacrificed themselves for the hope of a better future for those who followed them. To conclude, Ferris points to the ultimate success of a dystopian hero as freedom. 


Ferris also includes an appendix of "signs and portents". He connects specific dystopian novels to current events as "possible hints of things to come." It is an interesting case study of parallelism of dystopian literature to our everyday life. 

2. Kitto, Michael. Literary Exploration. "Dystopian Fiction; A Brief History"




3. Ames, Melissa. "Engaging 'Apolitical' Adolescents: Analyzing the Popularity and Educational Potential of a Dystopian Literature Post 9/11." The High School Journal. Volume 97, Number 1. (2013): pp 3-20. Print. 




4. Miller, Laura. "Fresh Hell." The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 14 June 2010. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.


Laura Miller provides commentary on the phenomenon of dystopian literature among young adults. She points to several highly popular examples - Hunger Games specifically - and discusses how the current young generation is attracted to its appeal of adventure. She then compares and contrasts current young adult and past adult dystopian literature. Adult dystopian novels are typically less hopeful than young adult novels. They both serve to warn readers of how current conditions could lead to bad consequences. However, young adult literature focuses less on the warning to turn away from this path and more on the portrayal of what is happening right now. It’s a different representation of reality. 


Miller argues that Hunger Games is a portrayal of the reality of high school. The games are representative of the social hierarchy, stress, worry, and unfairness of high school. Even the contemporary young adult culture is often included in these young adult novels. They include aspects such as settings from video games – maze from maze runner – and from action movies – showdown as the climax of the story. Even paranoia of adults shows up in these novels as constant surveillance cameras. These novels address real and contemporary concerns of young people, presenting an alternative representation of reality. 








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