Fun Things to learn from Young Adult Novels pt 2.

Hey loves and Welcome back to

Joi’s Journey of Perception.

I love looking back at my favorite childhood movies and books and looking at the from an adult perspective.

I will link some of those post below.

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My story of travelling through the world

The functions of Young Adult Dystopia novels reflect what adults see as society’s ills to foreworn young people and to inspire young adults to make a change and not repeat mistakes of the past. Through the novels The Lost Girl and The Hunger Games, the choice of character (gender) is very important. The books both, focus on the way both genders deal with and express emotions prepare the young adults for society’s expectations of women as emotional laborers and two inspires men to open up and share emotions and women not to be ashamed of having certain kinds of emotions. I stated that I believe that this is the perfect age to introduce adolescents to these life lessons because their minds will interpret them in a different way and it will help give them a different perspective. Rather than thinking that adolescents are too young for these books, dystopian novels in fact guide adolescents towards maturity.

For example, an idea that is brought up: how it is okay to cope with their emotions towards things, instead of harboring and bottling up the emotions. Young adult dystopian novels are a great vehicle for introducing adolescents to adult themes the books warn the adolescent about what is going on in society and telling them that they can be the change that the world desperately needs. The outcome of the situations in books leaves us with some sort of happily ever after while in the real world we deal with the burden of expectations, miscommunication, and criticism. 


Often in Dystopian novels, there is a social ill that is brought to readers’ awareness in a low-key manner. Using select characters to help explain these social ills. There is a difference between adults and adolescents when it comes to emotions and how they go about expressing them.   Emotions are a topic that adults find hard to talk about especially men. Instead of dealing with their emotions themselves, adults tend to push them on to children/adolescents. This is so the adults do not have to cope with them themselves. The older we get the more complex our emotions get.  Society does not like the idea of certain emotions being shown in select environments like work. In many of the novels dealing with emotions, it is a female character who is the focus.

    In the Hunger Games, the main character, Katniss, deals with high expectations set for women from those superior to her. Katniss was one who did not mix emotion with everything, which was not excepted in society. “Crying is not an option,” (p.35 e-text). Her focus was on survival (providing for the household for her mother) and the method to go about doing this. Society expects women and children to process emotions for adults, especially men. The burden of expectations and inequality took place during the preparations of the game. During the television appearance the contestants, especially Katniss, was pressured to behave in gendered emotional way. Maybe she was not aware of Peeta’s affection towards her, but society wanted her feel honored that Peeta’s love for her. This book as a whole is a good example of too much emotion gets in the way of things. You have to know how to shut off emotion to be logical. Once Katniss’s emotions came out to play, her game was thrown off and she was distracted. 

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    There were times in the book where the author showed that it was okay to have and act on emotion through Katniss. “I want to do something, right here, right now, to shame them, to make them accountable, to show the Capitol that whatever they do or force us to do that there is a part of every tribute they can’t own. That Rue was more than a piece in their Games. And so am I,” Katniss had no problem mourning the loss of a loved one. Those watching the games, especially in the upper class, remind me of Amarra’s parents in The Lost Girl, because they rely on Eva to deal with the emotions for them. Those in capitol are numb to their emotions or only show what they believe is acceptable by society. This is the parallel of grieving in both books. 

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    The book also touches on the idea of Romance. Romance is what young readers are required to engage in. Along with the idea of control playing a role in these two books, Peeta found it hard to control his feelings for Katniss and the emotions that came along with it. It was not an act for him. These were real emotions, but Katniss was in survival mode and could not let that distract her. “All of the pieces are still fitting together, but I sense he has a plan forming. He hasn’t accepted his death. He is already fighting hard to stay alive. Which also means that kind Peeta Mellark, the boy who gave me the bread, is fighting hard to kill me,” (pg. 60). The audience was watching (what was mediated to them) and praised Peeta for showing emotion.  Katniss was torn between showing emotions and following was society expected or focusing on existence. This is something that women deal with daily. 

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    Eve, in The Lost Girl, was more aware of her feelings towards the law and being a clone.  “But like all the other times I asked that question, that answer isn’t enough. If Amarra died, what would her family get,” (pg. 21) Eva was aware of the idea behind clones and how it was the lack of dealing with emotions. It is hard to be an effective clone if you are aware that you are one. So, this is difficult for Eva because she is aware of her emotions towards the situation but is being forced to hide them because she is there to help those mourning Amarra, hide from their emotions and prevent them from deal with them. 


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    In my first essay, I stated that adolescents’ minds work differently when it comes to comprehending information. They like to look at things in a wide-ranging way. This may be because they are in that awkward stage of transitioning into an adult, meaning that they may still have a partial adolescent outlook. Therefore, adolescents relate to these books much more than adults. I believe that readers thoughts on how humans deal with emotions will be altered once reading these books. in The Lost Girl, a bit of empathy is shown by the students.  “You probably know most things already. But I just thought there might be stuff you never learned.”The children are all trapped in the echo system and know it is hard for Eve, so they are showing empathy for her. 

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    In the real-world, mixing emotion with important decisions or work can be bad, which is why society does not respect women in a high position like CEO or president. Society believes that women care not able to make rational decisions because it would be influenced by their feelings. In my first essay, I speak on the idea of why these books appeal more to young adults and it partially has to do with how they take in the information. Adolescents’ minds work differently when it comes to comprehending information. They like to look at things in a wide-ranging way. This may be because they are in that awkward stage of transitioning into an adult, meaning that they may still have a partial adolescent outlook and be opened to things rather than turn them down right away. Boys and men are praised for showing emotion when women and children are scrutinized for it. You’re expected for taking on everyone’s emotions without acting on them too much.

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    Another major component The Lost Girl focuses on is the shaming of emotional work/ labor of grieving. Emotional labor is also being forced on the children without their consent, sort of like bringing a child into this world. They did not ask for it. Eva has the burden of continuing Amara’s life for her. She was expected to put away her own feelings towards the idea of being a clone so that she can deal with the emotions those fond of Amara were internalizing.

    The father also had a problem with expressing his emotion about the loss of his daughter, which applied more pressure to the mother.” She isn’t like us. She’s been taught to look and act exactly like us, but she isn’t,” (pg. 236).  The dad brought up facts about his daughters’ last wishes rather than expressing himself, while her mother expresses herself. The mother it is showing empathy for Eva and knows that she is her own person, the father thinks it’s a job and an act. 


    This idea of gender expectations plays into reality in the retail/ food industry. In these fields, a lot more weight is put on to the females and younger ones on the team.   Women are expected to always have a smile on their face and be friendly.  Katniss demonstrates this in the book when being made over.  “I force my lips up into a smile to show how grateful I am,” (p. 62).  Society also does not favor the idea of a woman being emotional at work because then she is looked at as worthless. Women are expected to not express themselves too much but are still expected to take on the emotions of men and meet up to their expectations. 

     “A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.”

    — Neil Gaiman

    I also believe that the idea of maturity can play into adolescents being expected to take on the emotions of adults. Adults do not want children to grow up to fast, however, they believe that the children are old enough to take on coping with things for them. I stated in my first essay, “Another major component of Young adult books about Dystopias is the idea of maturity and what it means. While adolescents may believe, they are mature and ready to take on adult responsibilities, they make in fact not be mentally or emotionally ready to step into that new role.” I believe that adults rushing them to grow up fast has a lot to do with it. Children want to remain children but taking on the hard task like dealing with emotions, hinders them from being able to remain children. Trites spoke on the idea of power playing a role in Young Adult Dystopian novels. “Young Adult novels are about power. But they have not developed this tendency from within a vacuum,” (pg. 3). I believe in both books as well as reality, the power of emotions comes to play. Men are looked at as more superior because they seemed to be more in control of their emotions, while females and children cannot control them. In reality being at one with your feelings is what having control is really about. Which is why these books are necessary in the first place, it helps steer young adults to what is right versus what society says is right. 

    In conclusion

    I believe Young adult dystopian novels are a great vehicle for introducing adolescents to adult themes. In the hunger Games, the characters grapple with the world’s ideas and expectations on how one should act on their emotions.  In The Lost Girl, the theme of emotions comes to play when Eva was expected to carry on the emotions of everyone mourning the loss of Amara. This is a social ill that occurs in society a lot. resonate with adolescents because they are real-world issues. These books help bring awareness to young adults on the thoughts of having (showing) emotions from society. For the most part, the messages in youth dystopian novels can help guide adolescents as they grow into adults.

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