“May the odds be ever in your favor” : The Hunger Games as texts for critical engagement AND “I am both worse and better than you thought” : implications and significance of trauma representation in fantasy literature

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Abigail G. Army (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Amy Vines

Abstract: In Young Adult Dystopian Fiction stories like the Hunger Games series, the invisibility of whiteness creates a discordant view of the world and its potential future. Recognizing this invisibility and having the ability to evaluate and analyze its use in literature is a necessary skill for critical engagement. YADF is an approachable avenue for readers to engage with and understand the real-world implications of the genre’s themes and messages. This engagement also can aid readers in creating a more expansive feeling of empathy. The analysis of The Hunger Games aided the creation of a lesson plan for a collegiate classroom. This lesson plan has been prepared and is intended for actual use. The lesson focuses on connecting academic concepts to real-world application, drawing in students, and helping them develop their collective passions. AND With an annual profit of nearly $600 million, Fantasy is a widely popular genre in contemporary literature and is highly valued in the Young Adult (YA) canon. Fantasy literature’s pervasive popularity ensures this topic is not only currently relevant but will continue to be so. As the genre continues to enter cultural memory, it becomes increasingly imperative to understand the effect Fantasy has on its audiences. Specifically, quite often Fantasy literature features characters experiencing traumatic incidents, therefore understanding the potential for help or harm that a book could provide to audiences became a question. In this project: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling presents different types of trauma representations. The texts and authors were selected because the traumatic incidents were clearly represented. The chosen authors displayed their relationship and knowledge of, or lack thereof, to trauma, which aided in developing a grid to evaluate the texts. The research discovered that an author’s cultural authenticity impacted whether the audience believed an author’s representations. Further, delineating the authenticity into three levels created refinements allowing it to apply to other genres and books as a research model.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Critical Engagement, Diversity, Literary Criticism, Speculative Fiction, Trauma Studies
Collins, Suzanne. $t Hunger Games (Series)
Dystopias in literature
Race in literature
Psychic trauma in literature
Young adult literature
Fantasy literature

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